kanye2Kanye West has always been a source of controversy. From his self-centered promotions to his outbursts at previous MTV awards shows, he knows how to cause a stir. However, the backlash for arguably one of his more harmless acts has been enraged and at times downright offensive.

It all started Sunday night at the MTV Video Music Awards, a show known for its unpredictable and outrageous moments. Taylor Swift had just received an award for “Best Female Video” for “You Belong With Me”, and was in the middle of her acceptance speech, when West jumped on stage and grabbed the microphone from her. After telling Swift that he was happy for her, he proceeded to say that Beyonce’s video for her smash hit “Single Ladies” was one of the best videos of all time. He then gave the microphone back to Swift and promptly returned to his seat.

While the initial reaction to West’s outburst was one of shock (and rightfully so, it was completely unexpected), it was the reaction from the general populace that caused the greatest stir. I was on the MTV website, where people could update their Facebook status live during the show, and was shocked by what I saw. As a result of his actions many people vowed to boycott both him and his music. But perhaps what was most shocking to me was that one out of every ten or fifteen status updates referred to West by using the N word, usually with an adjective like “Dumb” or “Stupid.”

Although I can sympathize with people who believe that West’s actions were uncalled for and unnecessary, that is no excuse to use an offensive term to describe him. When you call out somebody on the internet for the color of their skin, it is no different than you saying the same thing in real life. These Facebook statuses are just proof that racism is still a problem in America. It is sad that the actions of one have bestowed such an amount of hatred towards a whole group of people. This discourse will undoubtedly be overshadowed by the “OMG, KANYE IS A JACKASS!! LIKE WTF??” dialog. The implications of the backlash are going to be ignored, and that’s just sad.

(Image Credit: MTV)