Individuals with disabilities must have accommodations that meet their needs, but they should never be discriminated against.
Obviously, this is a lesson that Kanye West needs to learn, along with some simple rules of etiquette.
In case you didn’t know, West put his tactlessness on full display at a recent concert in Sydney, Austrailia, when he stopped his show because all audience members weren’t standing.
“I can’t do this show until everybody stand up. Unless you get a handicap pass and you got special parking and s**t,” West said.
Almost the entire crowd obliged and went crazy with screams and singing. West continued his song briefly until he noticed that two audience members still weren’t standing. He refused to continue until they rose to their feet.
“There’s literally two people left,” he said. “There are two people left. They don’t want to stand up.”
One of those audience members waved a prosthetic leg in the air, to which West cockily replied, “OK, you fine.”
West then zeroed in on the remaining audience member. “This is the longest I’ve had to wait to do a song,” West said. “It’s unbelievable.” The audience began to shout that the guy was in a wheelchair. West didn’t seem satisfied with that response, so he sent his bodyguard over to confirm that the audience member was, in fact, wheelchair bound. Once the man’s disabled status was confirmed, the music blasted and West finally began the song.
Think before you speak. That is something most of us hear as children. West humiliated two young people for no other reason than to boost his own ego. Those two people were put on the spot because they were the only ones that West noticed not following his command.
But how many people were in that audience with disabilities that West couldn’t see? It is very possible that there was someone in that audience who can only stand for certain periods of time before they need a break, but they were pressured into standing because of West’s inability to think of anyone above himself.
West really seems to have a terrible case of foot-in-mouth disease. It seems to date back to 2009 during the MTV Video Music Awards. A young Taylor Swift was accepting her very first VMA, for Best Female Video, when West stormed on stage.
He grabbed the microphone from Swift, mid-sentence, and said, “I’m sorry, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!” He simply handed Swift the mic back and jumped off stage just as quickly as he had jumped on. Of course, later in the night, when the classy Beyoncé won an award, she gave Swift an opportunity to give a proper acceptance speech.
West truly needs a lesson in good old-fashioned manners.