“All Falls Down” for Kanye West

Dominic Martinez, Student Writer

The current controversy regarding Kanye West mirrors a classic poem titled “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. To sum it up briefly, the poem is about a traveler who finds a crumbling statue of an ancient ruler named Ozymandias buried halfway in the sand. The last two lines of the poem, “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;/ Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!” are an allegorical reflection of the futility of mankind’s power against the forces of time and decay.

Kanye West’s position in the headlines currently seems too many to be an example of yet another wealthy and powerful man destroying their reputation, nowadays seemingly faster with the convenience of social media. The Family of George Floyd, supporters of the Black Lives Matter Movement, and members of the Jewish community are equally appalled by West’s online behavior and influence over his fans. But one factor that people tend to ignore is the reality of the situation; Kanye West is only a man. A man given a platform larger than most young artists from his time would’ve dreamed of. Contrary to a popular song of his, he is not a God. “Ye” is not a religion. It is doubtful this controversy will be in the news much longer as more and more of West’s business partners are abandoning their partnerships with him, which will eventually cancel his business practices and force him into retirement. The words sent out into the Twitter feed and podcast listener’s ears will fade from memory. The greatest disappointment in human history is the testimonial fallacy, meaning our willingness to let people famous for one thing be revered for their opinion in other things they have no authority or expertise about. These ignorant speeches by those who preach antisemitism should be called out for their ignorance but also have their platform leveled down to the same as everyone else’s, regardless of their fame and wealth.  My sympathy goes out to the family of George Floyd and the Jewish community, as neither of them deserve to be put into this situation. Hopefully this will all be over soon, because like Ozymandias, King of Kings, even words written in stone fade from memory.