Kanye West has made some “interesting” declarations (one being of “civil war”) in the past, but his latest one may even be his most surprising. The music mogul and fashion designer recently revealed that he’s not the biggest fan of reading. Since then, a number of people across social media have been weighing in on his views, and one major literacy advocate is among those who’ve spoken out. Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton caught wind of the West’s statements and offered an honest take.
To add some additional context for those who aren’t in the know, Kanye West dropped his head-scratching views when he appeared on Alo Mind Full podcast. The star asserted that he hasn’t read “any book” before providing an analogy to sum up his views. For him, “reading is like eating Brussels sprouts” while “talking is like getting the Giorgio Baldi corn ravioli.” I’m not quite sure anyone would’ve had “Kanye compares reading to eating a vegetable” on their 2022 bingo cards, but here we are.
In any case though, LeVar Burton provided some civil thoughts on the matter. The beloved star took to Twitter, where he seemed to question the validity of Ye’s comments. He also expressed one “hope” that he has regarding one of the “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” performer’s latest ventures:
The Star Trek vet is referring to Donda Academy, a private Christian school that Ye recently established in California. The tuition-based institution opened for the 2022-2023 school year at the end of August and has already been marred by controversy. As reported by Rolling Stone, many are curious as to what pupils are actually learning, as the school’s website is vague in regard to the curriculum. It’s also turning heads due to the fact that parents are forced to sign non-disclosure agreements when their kids are enrolled. As of this writing, the school has yet to be accredited.
With all of that in mind, one can honestly understand why LeVar Burton would question Kanye West’s logic. Burton has been a staunch education advocate over the years, and his efforts were greatly channeled through Reading Rainbow, which premiered on PBS in 1983. Years after the critically acclaimed show ended its run, Burton launched a kickstarter to revive it for digital platforms, and he had a tearful response when Rainbow received a massive amount of backers, including pledgee Seth MacFarlane. Aside from his efforts on behalf of the series, Burton has also spoken out on other reading-related causes, such as the banning of certain Dr. Seuss books last year.
You really have to appreciate just how restrained LeVar Burton is about the Kanye West situation. It should be said that the rapper is, of course, more than entitled to his opinion. However, I seem to recall my parents telling me that eating your veggies was important for personal growth.
Those who do have a fondness for literacy can check out the first two seasons of Reading Rainbow using an Amazon Prime subscription.
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