There are many teens who would consider being called a “hero” by Kanye West the most incredible moment of their lives, but Parkland school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez is not one of them. Kanye just learned that it’s going to take a lot more than a haircut and a flattering tweet to impress the young activist.
As reported by Entertainment Tonight, Kanye West recently shaved off his blonde curls, and he took to Twitter to show off his new look. The “Lift Yourself” rapper revealed that his hairstyle is meant to pay tribute to Emma Gonzalez, a 19-year-old who was attending Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when gunman Nikolas Cruz used an assault-style rifle to murder 14 students and three adult staff members at the school.
The life-changing incident has motivated Gonzalez to become an outspoken critic of the NRA and the politicians who support the gun rights organization. Her willingness to take on these groups quickly captured the public’s attention, and, on a more superficial level, so did her shaved head.
On Saturday, Kanye West tweeted a photo of the teen activist, along with the words “my hero Emma Gonzalez.” He followed this tweet up with the snapshot of his shaved head, writing that his hairdo is “inspired by Emma.”
However, Emma Gonzalez did not return the “Ye vs. the People” rapper’s love. Instead, she indirectly responded to Kanye West by letting the world know who her idea of a hero is. About 20 minutes after Kanye called her his hero, she tweeted a photo of James Shaw, Jr. holding his young daughter. He tweet included the words “my hero James Shaw Jr.”
Shaw made headlines last weekend when he took on a gunman armed with an assault rifle at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee. The 29-year-old grabbed the weapon with his bare hands, burning them as he yanked it away from the gunman. According to the Washington Post, James Shaw, Jr. further cemented his hero status by raising $158,000 for the families of the four victims who lost their lives in the shooting.
Emma Gonzalez has not explained why she responded to Kanye West’s praise of her with praise for James Shaw, Jr. However, it’s possible that she had West’s recent endorsement of Donald Trump on her mind when she answered his tweet.
Gonzalez is certainly no Trump fan; she deemed the president’s response to the Parkland school shooting “disgraceful,” and she’s called for gun control activists to ignore him. Some people have criticized Trump for remaining silent about Shaw’s heroic actions in the face of a mass shooter, with Salon pointing out that the president has completely ignored Shaw, while lavishing Kanye West with praise repeatedly.
If Kanye West sees Emma Gonzalez’s tweet about James Shaw, Jr. and decides that he’s also deserving of hero status, maybe he’ll finally convince Donald Trump to acknowledge Shaw’s existence.