We All Know A Kanye West

Ever since Pete Davidson started dating Kim Kardashian, we’ve seen increasingly worrying behavior from her ex, Kanye West. It’s not like there weren’t warning signs before. The rapper’s a walking red flag. But now his threats to Pete, his love-bombing to Kim–things have gone from interesting to scary. Worst of all, Kanye’s behavior isn’t special or unique. Though they are probably a lot more covert than Kanye, we all have someone in our lives that exhibits these signs of abuse. It shouldn’t be okay from Kanye and it’s not okay from the people we know IRL.

We all know someone with unchecked confidence. We love a confident person. Shout your confidence from the rooftops. Then again, Kanye think’s he’s a god. That’s when you need to start worrying. Once someone thinks they can do no wrong, they’ll stop doing what’s right.

We all know someone who gets away with everything. Kanye is broadcasting his abuse to the world. He’s not hiding what he’s doing. He’s threatening Pete in his music videos, in his Instagram posts. And yet here he is, getting away with it. Think about the red flags in your life. Think about the women who struggle to get restraining orders or don’t bother to report abuse or SA because they know nothing will come of it. Kanye’s just proving what we’ve been saying all along.

We all know someone who doesn’t hide their dark side. It’s not quirky or cool to talk about hurting the people you supposedly love. But these people–Kanye West and the people we know who are just like them–excuse it because it’s their brooding artistic nature or because they’re just upset about losing the person they loved. They hide behind their excuses. You know what this means, right? When they finally do the things they’ve been warning everyone about, we can’t say we didn’t know. We can’t say we’re surprised. We’re culpable.

We all know someone who’s dangerous. It’s the “if I can’t have you, no one can” mentality. It’s seeping off Kanye like pop culture-approved toxic waste. You can be hopeful and think that no one in your life is capable of violence. Truth is, they are.

We all know someone who will have people on their side even when they’re clearly in the wrong. Kanye’s rabid fans will love him no matter what terrible shit he does. And he banks on that. He uses his support as proof that what he’s doing is okay. If you know an abuser in real life, they’ll have family and friends supporting them. You have evidence? It doesn’t matter to them. The victim “brought it on themselves.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.