The sad saga of Kanye West continued through Valentine’s Day this week, as the rapper continued his ill-advised quest to win back his ex-wife Kim Kardashian, sending her a truck full of roses and making threats directed at her current boyfriend Pete Davidson.
It’s a scary situation when you factor in the fact that West has millions of followers on social media; going after Davidson so publicly encourages them to harass him or even attack him. On Monday, Kardashian appeared to try to get West to stop, texting him “U r creating a dangerous and scary environment and someone will hurt Pete and this will be all your fault.” Instead of taking that message to heart, West posted a screenshot of her text and urged his followers not to harm Davidson — though not before threatening to do it himself.
“UPON MY WIFE’S REQUEST, PLEASE NOBODY DO ANYTHING PHYSICAL TO SKETE, I’M GOING TO HANDLE THE SITUATION MYSELF,” he wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post. Later, he shared another screenshot of a message from Kardashian where she asked “Why can’t you keep any of our conversations private???” and he responded, “Cause I got a text from my favorite person in the world. I’m your number one fan. Why wouldn’t I tell everyone!!!!”
It should go without saying, but this is all extremely unhealthy, dangerous behavior. West refuses to take no for an answer in a way that feels completely detached from reality at best — the fact that he can’t see how alarmed and irritated Kardashian is and seems to genuinely think he still has a shot at reconciling with her is deeply concerning — and abusive at worst. The fact that all his ire is directed at Davidson also speaks volumes; he clearly sees Kardashian as a possession, not a woman with agency capable of making her own decisions, and he’s mad at the SNL performer for “stealing” her away from him instead of confronting the fact that she no longer wants to be with him.
And while West has a well-documented history of mental illness, it’s important to note that being mentally ill is not an excuse for this type of misogyny. Davidson, who has also been open about his own history with mental illness, appears to be taking the high road, ignoring West’s threats and refusing to get dragged into the drama. We shouldn’t be armchair diagnosing West, and while it certainly appears that he’s currently dealing with some sort of mental-health crisis, none of us can truly know what’s going on with him. All we can go by is what we see on social media, and what we see seems to indicate some really unhealthy attitudes towards women and relationships. This is stalking, and Kardashian should seriously consider pursuing a restraining order to stop him.
To West’s credit, he has since deleted the posts. Fingers crossed that means he’s finally come to his senses and will leave Kardashian and Davidson alone, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Update: West has deleted all his posts from Instagram and posted what appears to be an apology. “I’ve learned that using all caps makes people feel like I’m screaming at them. I’m working on my communication. I can benefit from a team of creative professionals, organizers, mobilizers, and community leaders. Thank everybody for supporting me. I know sharing screen shots was jarring and came off as harassing Kim. I take accountability. I’m still learning in real time. I don’t have all the answers. To be a good leader is to be a good listener.”
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