First Amendment stands

Experience Staff,

Rapper Kanye West set off a political firestorm on Twitter Monday when he tweeted “I love the way Candace Owen thinks.” Fans and critics alike were offended by the praise for the controversial black Republican and were shocked the rapper supported her. There was a brief respite from political tweets, but West then came back to show his support for President Trump. He posted photos of a signed MAGA hat and clarified that he didn’t agree with everything the president said, but supported him nonetheless. Fans weren’t having it.

Many told him to simply “shut up” and made moves to boycott his music. Twitter has been on fire ever since.

Whatever your political leaning, it is important not to silent those with political opinions differing from yours. In the past two years, critics from the left and the right have tried to make the argument that celebrities should butt out of politics as though policy does not affect them and as though they do not have the same First Amendment rights we do. People seem to believe that “other people’s rights stop where mine start” which is simply not true. The First Amendment allows for much more overlap than we would like to think. Your rights and other people’s rights “start” at the exact same point.

This is not to endorse West, but rather to make the argument that he has just as much right as any other celebrity to use his platform to make political statements. However, it should be noted people also have the right to boycott his music, express their criticism and disappointment and even disgust. The First Amendment may protect your speech, but it does not protect you against the consequences.