An open letter to Kanye West about his abortion tweet

The hip-hop star's message isn't pro-life or pro-choice. It's just dumb

Published February 24, 2011 9:40PM (EST)

He ain't saying she's a gold digger...
He ain't saying she's a gold digger...

Dear Kanye,

I know you are very busy with "All the Lights," I'm really happy for you and I'mma let you finish, but Justin Bieber had one of the best uninformed abortion sound bites of all time. For someone who is known for his funny and irreverent tweets (they've been turned into New Yorker cartoons and "30 Rock" catechisms!), your tweet about gold diggers getting pregnant on purpose so they can scam money for abortions is the biggest misstep in your career.

Yesterday, Kanye sent out this message to his 2,518,037 followers:

He followed it up with a non-redemptive clarification:

"It ain't happen to me but I know people."

In a way, your message is egalitarian, in the sense that both pro-life and pro-choice advocates should be horrified by the disgusting misogyny in such a statement. We're not debating that there are definitely some sad women out there who try to get knocked up with a celebrity's baby, but doing it so they can then have an abortion? Also, your facts are wrong. Last time we checked, terminating a third-trimester pregnancy will cost $400-$2,000 not $50K-100K. And guess what? An abortion isn't like an alimony payment: It's an emotional and physical experience that you will never, ever have to experience. Not to get all Keith Olbermann on you, Kanye, but how dare you make such a flippant statement about your "ballin" millionaire friends and the oh-so-tragic experience of them having to pay for an abortion? Was it a traumatic experience, Kanye? Did this 1 percent of millionaires to whom you're referring need a PSA?

Unlike Odd Future and their controversial lyrics, what you said about gold diggers doesn't fall under the guise of artistic license. You can't just say, "I was making a statement about the messed up society we lived in." You were expressing your own thoughts on Twitter, and in doing so, disrespected a painful experience of womanhood more than any "Rape kill kill" lyrics ever could. 

By Drew Grant

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew.

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