Kanye Called Emma Gonzalez His "Hero" & She Wasn’t Particularly Moved
Kanye West has really been active on Twitter lately, bringing himself even more news coverage than he gets on a regular basis. After a days-long love fest with President Trump, on Saturday Kanye turned his attention to someone else: a Parkland shooting survivor and Never Again movement leader. Kanye called Emma Gonzalez his "hero," and while she didn't directly address Kanye's comment, her response seemed to capture the confusion that many people almost certainly felt watching his attention switch from the president to someone who occupies a somewhat different spot on the American political spectrum.
He posted a picture of Gonzalez from an event soon after the shooting, along with the caption, "my hero Emma Gonzalez." He then posted a photo of himself with a shaved head, writing "inspired by Emma" along with it.
Just a little bit later on Saturday, Gonzalez tweeted what seemed to be a response to Kanye, though she didn't name him in the tweet. She posted a picture of James Shaw Jr., the man who tackled the Waffle House shooter, saved the rest of the patrons in the restaurant, and has since raised nearly $200,000 for the victims of the shooting, according to ABC News. "my hero James Shaw Jr." Gonzalez wrote with her post, using the same capitalization and spacing as Kanye used in the post about her.
While there's no confirmation that Gonzalez was indeed responding to the superstar musician, the spacing and capitalization — consistent with Kanye's post but not at all consistent with how she normally writes on Twitter — make it pretty clear that that was what she had to say on the matter. Her tweet evidently went over pretty well, garnering over 20,000 retweets by Sunday afternoon. "I love how you put a little random space before the name like Ye did," wrote one Twitter user in response. "Subtle snark is the best snark."
When you take the matter fully into consideration, though, it seems like Gonzalez's subtle snark went far deeper than an added space. By leading the Never Again movement against gun violence with such force, Gonzalez has indeed become the hero of many — but there's no doubting that Shaw is the hero of the hour, even if he told The Tennessean that he doesn't feel like a hero. By taking the shooter down in what he called a "selfish" move, he succeeded in saving not only his own life, but also the lives of everyone else in that Waffle House.
Trump, however, hasn't so much as mentioned the shooting, much less Shaw's heroic actions. Vice President Pence did eventually thank Shaw in a tweet — but it came four days after the shooting took place. In the meantime, though, Trump did find time to respond to Kanye's compliments of him in Twitter in not one but two tweets.
"You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him," Kanye wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. "We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought."
Trump then retweeted that tweet along with the caption "Thank you Kanye, very cool!" He later responded to Kanye again with a simple "MAGA!" after Kanye tweeted a picture of his newly-signed "Make America Great Again Hat."
Trump also brought Kanye up at his Saturday night rally, so the musician is evidently on his mind — but he's given no evidence that Shaw is. Perhaps if Kanye listens to Gonzalez — his "hero" — and then mentions Shaw, then the president will take notice as well.