Those who say there was opportunity in the momentum provided by Black Lives Matter for Kanye West, to launch his bid for the White House as President of the United States, premise their argument on the fact that the momentum was undeniable. The cry of Black Lives Matter resonated with many people. It was such a strong cry that it displaced the overbearing, intrusive and completely disruptive monstrosity called Covid-19. Whereas great and formidable forces cowered before Covid-19 and made all manner of concessions to the rampaging bully, Black Lives Matter dared it, head on. Refusing to back off until the cry assumed a life of its own. It walked deserted streets occupied, possibly by droplets of Covid-19, in open defiance of general guidelines for containing the virus. It shunned the use of face masks; neither did it observe social distancing. Some people began to feel that a cry that made people overtly suicidal, for want of a better explanation, demanded to be given more than a passing glance.
In no time, the cry had become everything like the fabled idea whose time has come. It was a time to embrace; a time to stand in solidarity with; a time to stand shoulder to shoulder to with another. A time to kneel in protest. A time to let everyone own the message, and embrace its demands in modified behaviours. Markedly different from what it used to be. But no one knew how long the momentum would last for. Yet, there were some who knew that as surely as fluorescent light attracts moths, butterflies and all kinds of insects, in the night, it was only a matter of time before another season emerged. The season wherein those who once readily embraced the idea, would now quickly refrain from embracing it. The only reasonable response to the cry seeing it had been hijacked by different persons and groups with agendas markedly different from the original heart-rendering cry of ‘I can’t breathe.’ Suddenly I can’t breathe became a bandwagon claimed by many, who indirectly leaked away the once juicy momentum.
Kanye West saw the situation and correctly read that the season had changed so he beat a retreat, withdrawing from the presidential race. But I am curious. How was Kanye supposed to ride the momentum to full effect if he had correctly read what time to make the plunge?