Tears, Walkouts And Pro-Choice Rants: Here’s What Happened At Kanye West’s ‘Presidential’ Rally
It's hard to watch.
Kanye West held a surprise presidential rally in South Carolina on Sunday afternoon (despite missing the candidate registration deadline in many US states), ranting on everything from abortion, abolitionist Harriet Tubman and his own desire to be on the board at Adidas and Gap.
The event, which reportedly required attendees to wear masks and sign a COVID-19 liability form, saw West spoke for more than an hour ad-hoc on issues without a microphone, at times struggling to speak over an unimpressed audience. His erratic and highly emotional rant is quite hard to watch, with many fans expressing concern over West’s mental health.
At once point, West broke down on-stage while discussing his anti-abortion beliefs. Sobbing near-uncontrollably, it prompted the crowd to comfort him from a distance. West thanked his own mother for not aborting him despite his father’s wishes, shared a story about an ex-girlfriend’s abortion, and revealed that he originally wished to abort his and Kim Kardashian-West’s first child, North.
“I almost killed my daughter. I love my daughter. … God wants us to create,” said West while crying.
“No more Plan B — Plan A,” he added, a reference to his anti-abortion lines on Ty Dolla $ign’s new single ‘Ego Death’, which states that abortion is a way to keep down Black population and voting numbers.
Kanye West crying on stage at his campaign event in South Carolina pic.twitter.com/GsHAnZQG1c
— STRAPPED | Hip-Hop/Rap Updates (@STRAPPEDUS) July 19, 2020
He later clarified that he believes abortion should be legal, but that the government should offer women considering it anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million to raise their child.
“The maximum increase would be everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars or something in that range,” he said.
These points were met with mixed response in the crowd, but it was West’s comments on abolitionist Harriet Tubman which saw some walk out out.
He argued that “Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people”. It’s an argument that belittles the work of one of US civil rights’ most prominent figures, aligning with his other dubious claim about slavery being a ‘choice’.
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. pic.twitter.com/nNqjUp03mu
— Toe Knee (@toekneerlynos) July 19, 2020
West also touched upon his own fashion empire, a belief that marijuana should be free, and opioid addiction. He also vehemently disagreed with the idea that his running would ‘split the Black vote’ from the Democratic party and help see his old friend Trump get reelected.
“Democrats ain’t do shit for blacks,” West said. “The most racist thing ever said out loud is that if Kanye West runs for president, it would split the Black vote.”
At one point, West yelled at a woman in the crowd for talking back against one of his points while wearing a face mask, and then walked off stage. He had previously invited women forward to discuss their views on any topic.
Kanye going off on a lady for having her face covered sounds like his buddy Trump pic.twitter.com/8OFYzaRbSL
— 🚀Untouchable🚀 (@eltragon23) July 20, 2020
West could technically still be a viable presidential candidate, though it’s unlikely. The states where he hasn’t missed the deadline to register account for 306 electoral votes, and a president needs to win 270 to take the presidency. Registering is one barrier, but winning is another fight altogether.
In other West news, this weekend he tweeted then deleted a tracklist and Friday 24 July release for a new album called Donda, after his mother. As this included the already-released ‘Wash Us In The Blood’, it’s likely this is the same as the previously announced album God’s Country. Time will tell.
If you’d like, you can watch West’s rally below.