If Kanye West does not become president you can blame the iPhone. They are “notoriously faulty”

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Here is Amber Neely at Apple Insider:

West’s lawyer is now claiming that the “notoriously faulty” clock of the iPhone may be one of many reasons his campaign team missed Wisconsin’s strict 5:00 p.m. ballot deadline.

Kanye West’s campaign team reportedly filed his Wisconsin presidential campaign ballot 14 seconds late on August 4, preventing his name from being added to the state’s presidential ballot. His campaign team and lawyer are now pushing back against Wisconsin in an attempt to get West added to the ballot.

A West campaign aide, Lane Ruhland, said that she had arrived at Wisconsin’s Elections Commission office before 5:00 p.m., though the door was locked, putting her behind schedule. By the time she reached the door, it was 14 seconds after the filing deadline.

West’s lawyer, Michael Curran, points that a Democratic Party staffer had timed her entrance with an iPhone video and that iPhone clocks are “notoriously faulty.”

Ruhland claims that the elections specialist had not provided any official timestamp, either.

“The elections specialist did not show us a clock, timer or recording showing the time of 5:00:14, nor did the filings receive a time stamp,” Ruhland said in her affidavit, highlighted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Read the rest here.

Kanye is Coming to See Joel Osteen on Sunday

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We are learning more about the direction that Kanye West‘s newfound Christian faith is taking him.  He will be at prosperity preacher Joel Osteen’s church this Sunday.

Here is the Houston Chronicle:

Kanye West will attend service at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church on Sunday, Donald Iloff, Jr., a representative for the church confirmed.

West is scheduled to have a 15-to-20-minute conversation with Osteen at the 11 a.m. service.

“Joel is still putting his questions together, but he will talk about Kanye’s journey to his faith,” Iloff said.

Kanye will take to the pulpit a second time Sunday, according to Iloff , to perform with his choir at the 7 p.m. service.

We haven’t covered Kanye’s conversion here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home and I am not planning on spending too much time on it.  Those interested should start with Curtis Lee’s piece at Christianity Today and the Religion News Service archive of Kanye stories.

A “Kanyefication of one of our most enduring national myths”

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Writing at the Los Angeles Times, historian Kevin Waite connects Kanye West’s comments about slaves choosing slavery with Lost Cause myths about slavery.  Here is a taste:

Yet there’s an uncomfortable truth in West’s comment. Ill-informed though his views may be, they align alarmingly well with popular interpretations of American history.

The claim that slaves somehow consented to their own enslavement is a Kanyefication of one of our most enduring national myths. Depicted in fiction, film and even statuary, the “loyal slave” has persisted for more than a century and a half. The trope buttresses the so-called Lost Cause school of history, an intellectual movement celebrating the plantation South and exonerating it from any blame for the Civil War. Instead, that cataclysm is charged to the North, which destroyed a civilization that benefited masters and slaves alike — so goes the logic of Lost Cause propagandists.

Read the entire piece here.

Kanye West’s #SlaveryWasAChoice Rant in Historical Context

Here is Kanye’s appearance on TMZ:

A lot of historians are weighing-in on Kanye’s misinformed and generally incoherent ramblings.  Over at Slate, Rebecca Onion puts it all in context.  Here is a taste of her piece “Kanye’s Brand of ‘Freethinking’ Has a Long, Awful History“:

Kanye West’s “freethinking” condemnation of generations of enslaved people’s failure to rebel is drawn—whether he knows it or not!—from a dangerous ideology that’s older than the United States. Twitter has spent the past few days dragging West for his willful ignorance, and #SlaveryWasAChoice has already made the absurdity of his comments abundantly clear. But West’s particular approach to history—projecting his own self-concept and psychology onto people long dead, without giving a thought to the complexity and pitfalls of such an enterprise—is a temptation we all indulge in, from time to time. Let’s use West’s outlier example to remember how harmful it can be.

First, there’s the long history behind the argument “slavery is a choice.” Before the American Revolution, Francois Furstenberg writes in In the Name of the Father: Washington’s Legacy, Slavery, and the Making of a Nation, white Americans pushing for independence from Britain argued that people “proved their virtue by maintaining their freedom; they proved their lack of it by submitting to slavery.” There are constant invocations of the word slavery in slaveholding colonists’ assessments of their relationship to the Crown. This looks painfully ironic to the contemporary eye, but the colonists, Furstenberg argues, were thinking through the nature of freedom—deciding who was meant to be free, and who was not.

After the Revolution, the “conceptual opposites” of slavery and freedom were increasingly “moralized,” as Furstenberg puts it. This framework “helped promote the idea that a virtuous person would resist slavery, even at the cost of life itself.” As the 19th century began, Americans who might otherwise have been uneasy with the continuation of the institution of slavery in a proudly republican nation convinced themselves that the enslaved people had given what Furstenberg terms “tacit consent” to remain in their positions. This is what drove contemporary apologists to mention, over and over, enslaved people’s affection for their masters—to tell, again, the story that Washington’s whole household cried and grieved when he died. (You’ll still see this idea of the “happy slave” circulate among slavery apologists today.)

Read the rest here.

More American History Lessons for Kanye West

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Yesterday we posted a link to Princeton University historian Kevin Kruse’s history lesson for rapper Kanye West.  Today it is Jim Cullen‘s turn to provide a lesson.  Cullen teaches history at Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York.  Here is a taste of Zach Schonfeld’s interview with Cullen at Newsweek:

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican?

Kanye West, American rapper and 40-year-old eighth grade history student, just found out. And boy, is he shaken.

West, who seems to be experiencing some sort of political and philosophical awakening in real time since praising President Trump and declaringthe 45th president “my brother” six days ago, tweeted out a text exchange on Monday with someone named “Steve.” In the texts, Steve notes that Lincoln “freed and protected the slaves and he was Republican. Republicans were the ones who’s [sic] helped black people.” (The tweet—which prompted an avalanche of people trying to explain grade-school history to a major rapper—has since been deleted, but you can find it archived here.)

This is fairly common Republican rhetoric: By proclaiming itself the party of Lincoln and the Abolitionist movement, the modern GOP easily obfuscates the ways in which its racial politics and political coalition drastically transformed throughout the 20th century. In other words: It’s a long, long road from Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump. And West’s friend Steve seems to have confused the rapper by failing to give any historical context for political party realignment. (West subsequently tweeted out some texts from John Legend trying to explain some of this, but that tweet has also been deleted.)

We asked Jim Cullen, a high school history teacher at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York and the author of The American Dream, among other books, to explain the changes in the Republican and Democratic parties to West. (Please, can somebody text this link to Kanye?)

Kanye has just discovered that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. He tweeted an exchange saying that “Republicans were the ones [who] helped black people.” Do you think his tweet is misleading, given the two-party system as it exists today

Well, it’s factually correct. The Republican party was the party of Lincoln and it was the party of African Americans for at least a half century after the Civil War. That didn’t really begin to change until the 1930s and didn’t finish changing until the 1960s. To illustrate the point, the reverend Martin Luther King Sr. was a Republican, as most African Americans were.

Can you give a brief summary of how the GOP voting coalition has changed since the Civil War and Reconstruction era?

For about 70 years after the Civil War, African Americans were a key voting bloc for the GOP, both in the South, and increasingly in Northern cities, which could be very competitive in local, state and federal elections. This was especially true for middle-class and entrepreneurial African Americans. The first wedge in this coalition appeared during the New Deal, notably with the Executive Order 8802, signed by FDR to prohibit discrimination in the defense industry. Black flight to the Democrats intensified over the course of the 1960s, and was largely complete by the end of the century.

Read the entire interview here.