Critics call Stormzy and Kanye West comparison ‘cowardly racism’

Critics have condemned people comparing Stormzy and Kanye West, after the British artist said he felt the treatment of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was “disheartening”.

Stormzy has been a vocal critic of the Conservative party over the years, and backed Corbyn in the 2019 election against Boris Johnson.

Current Labour leader Keir Starmer suspended Corbyn in October 2020, after he rejected a watchdog’s ruling that he failed to prevent antisemitism, instead blaming “an obstructive party bureaucracy” for stalling reform.

In an interview published earlier this week, he told British GQ that he still holds Corbyn in high regard and suggested he had been “vilified”.

“It was really disheartening. I just thought so highly of him and still think so highly of him and I think, ‘Well if they can make him out to be a paigan [a foul person] then things are worse than I thought’,” he said.

“I mean if he’s the villain in the grand scheme of things, then s***’s madder than I ever thought.”

Since Stormzy’s comments were made, some people on social media have attempted to compare the UK rapper with Kanye West, who has been embroiled in multiple controversies over the past few months.

Ash Sakar, contributing editor at Novara Media, was among those to condemn the remarks, calling them “the most cowardly form of racism”.

“The most cowardly form of racism,” she tweeted. “Stormzy felt that Jeremy Corbyn was unfairly maligned – and [people are comparing him with Kanye], why? Say it with your chest!” she tweeted.

“All Stormzy has done is say ‘I still believe in the man that millions of people in this country voted for, and think he was treated unfairly’."

“But now people are comparing him to Kanye West because it’s apparently fine to treat all black men as basically interchangeable,” she added.

“This isn’t about fighting racism, it’s weaponising minorities against each other to police black and brown people out of political participation.”

Others echoed Sakar’s comments, with one writing: “Gonna say it exactly how it is: anyone coming for Stormzy - or having the f***ing audacity to compare him to Kanye West - actually just hates Black people. Its really as simple as that.”

Another tweeted: “Comparing Stormzy to Kanye has made me so angry. Racist bullies. A considerable portion of the Corbyn furore has been a guise to remind Black and brown people of our stations and to not go above it. These are the same people who fawn over Theresa May’s attire.”

“How predictable, how many of us knew they would come for Stormzy for telling the truth, and comparing him to Kanye is lazy as well as racist,” another said.