On Monday night, Kanye West’s series of since-deleted tweets alerted fans and followers to the increasing realization that the Chicago rapper is not doing well. The tweets followed other concerning comments he’s recently made, including his remarks about abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
Responses to Kanye have been mixed. Some quickly came to his defense or offered support, many watched in silence, and others chose to call the rapper “crazy” or share mocking memes at his expense.
While it’s clear some of Kanye’s comments have been troubling at best and ahistorical at worst, it’s not an excuse to mock someone who appears to be working through mental health issues he's detailed in the past. Halsey took this point to her fans, asking people to keep quiet if they don’t have anything constructive to add to the conversation, noting that making fun of the rapper’s mental health is simply not okay. The pop singer has been open about her own experiences having bipolar disorder.
Kanye revealed back in 2018 that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. While many have pointed out that it appears the rapper is experiencing a manic episode, it’s important to note there are different types of bipolar disorder, different people experience varying levels of mania and depression, and people treat their mental illnesses differently, whether through therapy, medication, or other means. Truly, unless you are a professional or someone with bipolar disorder—even if you are trying to help—it’s probably best to sit and listen to prevent spreading misinformation.
Halsey recognized that being sensitive to Kanye’s mental health doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be held accountable for problematic things he’s said or done, or that you’re not allowed to dislike him. Simply, it’s being respectful to not only him, but the other people in your community who can feel stigmatized and targeted by jokes about mental illness.