If Adidas can drop Kanye why can’t Mielke?

Finn Clark Co-Feature Editor

28th November, 2022

A poster of the contraversial artist hanging in Mielke’s classroom. (Photo Credit:Finn Clark)

With recent controversial remarks made by rap artist Ye West, brands such as Adidas and Gap have stopped their business with him. However, many fans still believe they can support his music without supporting his beliefs.
History teacher Jeff Mielke has a red, blue and white poster in his class. Along the top and bottom arethe words “Kanye West for President.”

When questioned about the poster Mielke stated that, “Posters don’t state agreement.” Mielke stated he believed that
you can separate the art from the artist.
“I like him for his music,” Mielke said.

West has done many controversial things in recent days. At a fashion show in Paris, West brought out models with shirts that contained the phrase “White Lives Matter”, which has been identified as a hate slogan by the Anti-Defamation league. Among West’s remarks is one Twitter post in which he said he would go “death con 3 on Jewish people” in one Twitter post. In a recent interview with CNN,
an anonymous former coworker of West’s even stated that Kanye had planned to name his most recent album after Hitler. Following these events, Mielke decided to keep his “Kanye for President 2024” poster up in his
classroom.

“In light of recent events, I definitely think it would make anyone uncomfortable,”substitute teacher
Kelsey Hale said.
Mielke said he believed that “you kind of have to deal with the good and the bad’’ when dealing
with artists. Even with separation between creator and creation, some students at Arcata High believe that you can and should stop supporting an artist after controversial ideas.
“I think separating the art from the artist is a valid argument in some cases. I think to the extent that Kanye has gone and the rippling effects that we’re seeing occur from that, that the poster, in a way is like a public support of
[West’s actions] being acceptable, and they’re not,” senior Saneya Khattab said.

According to some, even if Mielke simply enjoys Kanye’s music the poster is inherently political.

“You’re not nominating him for a Grammy, you’re endorsing him for politics,” Hale stated.
Even students who have been fans of Kanye West for a long time have said they are dropping him.
“I mean, I’ll be very honest, I’m a really big Kanye West fan, or I was, I have been for like, a long time. So
I have a lot of disappointment in him right now.” Khattab stated.