Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Show Some Respect: Dr. Dondra West

On Saturday, November 10, the mother of Hip Hop Superstar Kanye West, Dr. Dondra West died unexpectedly at age 58.

Since that time, there have been hundreds of posts and stories about this tragedy and thousands of more comments on blogs just like this one. Jump over to Show Hype and see for yourself if you don't believe me.

I was moved to write this piece after reading some of the garbage that is floating through the blogosphere in regards to Dr. West's passing. My standing as a Kanye West fan has nothing to do with this. This is about showing respect.

Too many of the postings that I have seen in the past days have discussed the potential botched cosmetic surgery, speculation about the legitimacy of the doctor(s) who performed said operations and numerous other things. One person was even kind enough to impose their religious views about cosmetic surgery and vanity on the discussion.

An incredible woman died and I haven't read one article celebrating the life she lived and to me, that's a god damn shame.

Obviously, I didn't know Dr. Dondra West personally. What little I do know about her has been gleaned from interviews, articles and the lyrics of her son's songs. To me, the things that need to be remembered and spoken of about Dr. West were best said by John Legend:

"Dr. West wasn't just the mother of a superstar. She was an accomplished, successful, beautiful woman in her own right. She raised and nurtured a brilliant son with the strength and resilience to follow his dreams and to turn tragedy to triumph."
After 30 years as an educator and at one point serving as the Chairwoman of the Chicago State University English Department, Dondra West left education to work with her son, serving as both CEO of West Brands LLC and Chairwoman of the Kanye West Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping decrease dropout rates and improve literacy.

Whatever you think about Kanye West doesn't matter. You're views on Plastic Surgery are inconsequential as well. Step out of the TMZ, Us Weekly, Reality Television haze and understand this:

The world lost an incredible woman last weekend and it is a tragedy. Her family deserves your sympathy and she deserves your respect.

R.I.P. Dr. Dondra West

And Kanye - Mama was very proud of you...


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