I’ve been as big of a Chance fan as anybody. Like, bought tickets to his St. Louis show immediately after they went on sale, praised his new songs as the greatest thing since sliced bread even before I listen to it, mess around get a Chance tattoo-type Chance fan.
So it pains me to say this, but I hated everything about the way Chance made his announcement that he’s donating $1 million to the Chicago Public School system, and $10k to 10 different schools in Chicago. I want to make this point abundantly clear: unbelievably generous. In a perfect world, this wouldn’t be needed because schools would be properly funded. It shouldn’t take something like this, and I commend Chance for stepping up. As well, I realize what a blessed life I have that I can even have the nerve to have a complaint about someone donating $1 million to a school district. Like, I get all of that. I promise you that I understand it.
Here’s my issue: we needed a 10 minute press conference live on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram? We needed TV stations cutting to it live? We needed Chance retweeting people praising him on Twitter for hours?
What happened to people just doing good things and not looking for the praise? That’s something I thought Chance would be all over. Not to say that he’s not humble, because I’m sure he is. But if this were a politician, we’d be murdering them right now. If Donald Trump came out and committed $1,000,000 of his own money to public schools, and then held news conferences at each school with the kids, kept kids at schools on the edge of their seats by slowly telling which schools get money, and then retweeted his praise for hours, we’d HAMMER him. We’d say he’s using the city of Chicago and its kids as pawns. Chance has a direct line to the ear of the mayor of Chicago, someone who’s closed 50 majority-minority schools in Chicago during his tenure. And yet Chance has stayed silent on blame towards him, while hammering Governor Rauner. Both are at fault and should be held responsible for things like public education in the city of Chicago, but it’s not fair to just criticize the white, Republican because that’s the easiest target, and that’s something you know your base of fans will rally around.
So no, I’m not completely buying into Chance’s showing that he’s “doing everything to save chicago” and going to the fullest extent he can to do good for the city. Because once you step outside of looking at it as “Chance the Rapper doing it”, and starting looking at it as someone trying to embolden their base, I think you’ll gravitate towards my side. It became more of a “look what I did, look at all these people saying I did a good thing”, rather than “here’s what you can do”. The fallout wasn’t “here’s how Chance set a path to help public schooling”, but rather “look at how great of a person Chance the Rapper is!” From the start, it rubbed me the wrong way. Which I’m sure everyone will hammer me about, but I’ve made my points and you can do with it what you want.
They say that charity doesn’t have to involve someone being necessarily “excited” about their charity. Because the people receiving it don’t care where it’s from, but just that they’re getting it. So a kid in one of those schools doesn’t and shouldn’t give a damn what Chance’s intentions are, because it’s going to tremendously help their education. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.