SOUTH CAROLINA — He jumped on stage with a bullet-proof vest, and “2020” etched in his purple hair. The Chicagoan rapper, and third hopeful for president, Kanye Omari West.
Kanye held his #2020Vision rally last night in North Charleston — his first presidential campaign appearance. Like Donald Trump, he rambled about being a billionaire, and how Democrats are corrupt. He made promises he could never keep, like a pro-life “policy” — guaranteeing expecting women “a million dollars” if they choose against abortion. And similar to the current president, he sparred with opposers, and had one escorted out by security.
This took place on Sunday, much like his church services. However, not to speak for God as Ye did, but I have a gut-feeling that He was not pleased.
Since the crowd awed at his cheeky reference to the infamous, “Imma let you finish…” at a disruptive constituent, and chuckled at his finger-wag toward TikTok controlling young minds — I’m guessing the majority of the audience were younger than 25 years old. The rally was an informal one, whereby holding up your hand, one could approach center-stage — -and either pose questions or pronounce concerns about the country.
However, that was the interesting thing — Generation Z had a chance at the mic. One young person talked about police reform, and another one mentioned the school-to-prison pipeline, the last divulged a personal story about aborting her child due to her $9 an hour wage.
That anecdote helped center Kanye’s pro-life plan to replace abortion with a $50,000 per year policy secured for expecting mothers to “help them raise their child.” This #2020Vision plan is ultra-unrealistic, not remiss by the audience — where some women booed, and one pointed out the obvious, “then everyone would have kids!”
But, things got much worse.
After apologizing for his statement in 2018, that “Slavery was a choice” on TMZ — I didn’t expect Kanye’s historical ignorance to magnify but, that happened. For some reason, he went back to American Slavery and slandered Harriet Tubman — the very person who aided his freedom — stating, “[She] never freed any slaves. She just had them work for other white people.”
The audience cringed in silence.
Some of the rally-goers left, and a woman’s appall was caught on Live video, where she muttered, “Yo, we’re leaving right now.” She later posted the footage to Twitter with the caption, “Kanye said this, and I left immediately. I went for a laugh, and I got one. But when it got disrespectful for me, it was over.”
He then brought up Claudette Colvin, the 15-year-old teenager who refused to move off a Montgomery bus nine months before Rosa Parks. “They [lauded] the second woman [on the bus], not the first!” — as if he cracked some code. That’s one fascinating theme about Kanye — when he learns a general fact about America; he swears America doesn’t know. Like visiting the White House to discuss the 13th amendment rudimentary with Trump.
But, his usual grandiose banter transformed into a cult-ish altar call — describing himself as “Moses,” proclaiming God called him “The Chosen One.” I figured this rally would be outrageous, but I did not foresee a troubling hour capturing a man’s brokenness, emotionally fragmented by his late mother’s death.
Kanye became beside himself (one might call it hysterical), after revealing his father wanted him aborted — shouting, “There would be no Kanye West! My momma saved my life!” After taking a short breath, he disclosed another secret: he wanted his wife, Kim Kardashian West, to abort their first child, North. “I almost killed my daughter!” He repeatedly cried to the crowd as they shouted back, “We love you, Kanye. We love you.”
And here’s when empathy ambushed me.
There’s no soft way to put this — Kanye West is in trouble. Tomorrow, the media will come after him, but Kanye’s most formidable opponent is his trauma.
His friends, his family, and his wife — y’all need to finally grab the mic, take Ye off stage, before Kanye is finished.