Kanye West speaks about Harriet Tubman, abortion & more at strange rally; hip hop community reacts
This past weekend, Kanye West held his first presidential campaign rally in Charleston, and in case you missed it, it was very strange and a lot to take in, and included Kanye speaking about his anti-abortion views, the LGBTQ+ community, and gun control; saying "Harriet Tubman actually never freed the slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other white people"; saying "The most racist thing that's ever been said out loud is the idea that if Kanye West runs for president, that I'm gonna split the Black votes"; and accusing of someone of being from TMZ before having them kicked out by security.
Here are some excerpts, via Billboard:
West, with "2020" shaved on the back of his head, made his entrance just after The O'Jays' "Stairway to Heaven" played throughout the venue. He spoke loudly over the crowd, without a microphone. He instructed staff to "close the doors but keep them unlocked" to buffer outside noise.
"Moving forward we will be in rooms where the acoustics are absolutely incredible, because I will be involved next time," West promised before launching into a jumbled myriad of topics, including religion, addiction, guns and his very personal experience with the idea of abortion.
[...] In his most candid moment, on the subject of abortion, West cried as he revealed: "My mom saved my life. My dad wanted to abort me. My mom saved my life. There would've been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy."
"I almost killed my daughter," said West as he sobbed. [...] "Even if my wife were to divorce me after this speech," West said, "she brought North into the world."
West then proposed that there should be "no more Plan B," the emergency contraceptive pill, but instead a "Plan A." He proposed $50,000 per year to help women take care of a child, but added, "It takes a village, no matter how much money you have. Society has been set up for single mothers to never have a village."
You can read more at Billboard and watch a video of most of Kanye's rally below.
Meanwhile, many others in the hip hop community and beyond have since reacted to the things Kanye said. Noname said, "KEEP HARRIET TUBMAN NAME OUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTH!!!!!!!"
JPEGMAFIA said, "I just hope Kanye is ok. I don’t really know what else to say here."
Writer/professor Jelani Cobb said, "Kanye West is not well and going to his rally is as wrong as it would be to get tickets to watch a wounded man bleed on the street."
50 Cent, Q-Tip, John Legend, and others have also reacted, and you can see their posts below.
TMZ reports that Kanye's rally ”has concerned, upset and alarmed many of his friends and the Kardashians.” "We're told the family is upset that Kanye talked about Kim's first pregnancy and how they discussed abortion, something he says he wanted," TMZ continues, before later adding, "We're told his family and friends are also upset because they feel Kanye is a distraction to what is a very important election."
Meanwhile, the reality of Kanye actually being a presidential campaign still seems unlikely.
Kanye also tweeted that he would be releasing a new album called Donda (named after his mother) this Friday (7/24) but he quickly deleted the tweet.