For a state that prides itself so heavily on a “live and let live” culture it’s ironic how many people here have taken to voice their displeasure about the arrival of Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian West, and the Sunday Service event he held here last weekend.
To those who did not attend the Sunday Service or read about it here in the Enterprise, not to mention TMZ or countless other celebrity gossip “news” sources that covered the event, it was a strictly spiritual event promoting love for God and positivity towards one’s community. Highly contrasting from an average service, the musical event brought in 80 gospel singers and other musicians who brought a flare likely different from any other seen in Cody before. It was not a hip-hop concert in any shape or form as some who were not there have tried to assert.
Even better, teens and young adults made up the majority of attendees, a demographic that makes up some of the lowest participation in church attendance. Many of the people I spoke with at the service said they do not consider themselves religious, but feel connected to the spiritual values Kanye communicates in his songs. If it ends up putting butts in the pews, who can criticize that? Unless you’re an ardent Atheist, there may be some deeper resentment ailing you.
Furthermore, if he’s choosing to set up house in rural northwest Wyoming it’s likely due to the fact he’s trying to get away from the Los Angeles mania that so many have confidently said he will likely bring here.
West rarely does public interviews and is no courter of the media. His wife Kim might be another story, but as far as she has said publicly she has no plans to live here full time.
With all that being said, I, as someone who has followed Kanye’s entire career, fully acknowledge he has uttered some awful lyrics and has brought a fair share of negative attention to himself. I won’t get into it here, but his 2018 comment about blacks being enslaved for 400 years by choice was pretty interesting. We’ve all said something we’ve regretted from time to time but when you’re every word is recorded and written down there should be a high standard applied.
However, I tend to believe actions speak louder than words and think it’s only fair to give West and Kardashian a fresh shake until proven otherwise in Cody.
As someone who considers himself a libertarian I welcome Kanye and Kim; but could care less whether I see them again during their remaining time here. Within two years from now I predict their arrival will fade into memory, replaced by the latest Nite Rodeo feats and grizzly bear attacks.
(Editors choose not to run Doug Blough’s column for today, which he wrote in response to reactions on his earlier column on Kanye West.)