It must be easier for people to see Kanye West as a crazy cartoon character, or a spoilt child (remember that "hilarious" Jimmy Kimmel sketch?), than to see him as he really is: an intelligent, creative individual with something to say. (Genius is debatable; and I'm not quite sure if its general overuse is valuable to anybody). People twist his words, twist his actions – recently he said "voices" told him to storm the stage at the Grammys, and of course people took this as an opportunity to laugh at him and denounce him as insane (forgetting that most people have an internal monologue).

Even if he is "crazy", we are overlooking the fact that a lot of writers, artists and musicians throughout the ages have been certifiably insane (composer Robert Schumann heard angelic voices in his head and was plagued by the note A5 in his ears all the time; Sylvia Plath's confessional poetry described mental illnesses; infamous Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa suffered hallucinations and severe anxiety) – but this has never stopped them from being celebrated. However, eccentric behaviour – i.e. mental illness – and being black does not seem to compute for the White establishment: it's not a serious thing, it's just goofing around. It finds creativity and blackness impossible to reconcile.

But this hasn't always been the case at awards ceremonies. A new study by Vocativ has shown that awards, specifically Grammy nominations, have not always been as White as they have been, and certainly were this year – zero Black nominations for the categories Best New Artist or Record of the Year. The graph below shows glimmers of diversity in the 1960s, a complete lack through the mid '70s and early '80s, demonstrating that the pop music industry was at its most racially equal in the late '90s / early '00s (when an R&B-esque sound dominated pop).

A graph showing the same trend in the charts seems to suggest that racial equality in the pop music industry actually travels in waves, and may well be connected with racial issues boiling over, or simmering down, in society at the time.

If this graph is anything to go by, we can predict when the dust will settle and diversity glimmers once again. The period between '65 and '95, measuring 30 years, marks the least diverse time for pop music; by that reckoning, it will be 2035 when the trend lines in the graph meet in the middle once again. However, the incline from '05 is much sharper than it is for '65, the divergence occurring in a shorter space of time, suggesting that this period of uniformity in the Billboard Hot 100 (at least) might also be a shorter one than that spanning the '70s.

It's interesting to say the least, and also sad. However, it could be that a lot of music made by Black artists is following a burgeoning genre or style that has not yet touched the mainstream, neither by directly appealing to it nor by being 'picked up' as a trend to follow (hip hop – and rap – was not an overnight success, and demonised at first). At the same time, the sudden divergence in recent years coincides with social unrest across America following events like Ferguson and its related protests and riots – is the establishment of White America saying something?