Kanye West appeared at what was ostensibly billed as a campaign rally in South Carolina on Sunday. Though, given the bizarre tirades, admissions, and blatant disregard for social distancing, it is unclear how many voters he won over.
The embattled rapper announced earlier this month via Twitter that he plans to run for president, though bureaucratic red tape would make that exceedingly difficult at this stage in the election. West has so far been undeterred, however, as he lined out the broad strokes of his campaign in a recent rambling interview with Forbes, where the former Donald Trump supporter announced his plan to run independently as a member of the “Birthday Party.”
Taking the stage at the Exquis Event Center in North Charleston, SC just after 5 p.m. on Sunday night, West immediately drew applause from a packed crowd of supporters huddled shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the stage. He appeared wearing a bulletproof vest with “Security” printed on it with 2020 shaved into his head and spoke without a microphone.
Rather than the traditional campaign format of giving a stump speech, West opened up the floor to the audience and beckoned masked attendees to walk through the crowd to the stage and tell him the issues facing their lives. After bringing several women up to the stage to talk about their experiences facing education inequality and police brutality, West launched into what appeared to be an improvised speech, covering a wide range of topics from his own genius to his struggles with opioids to his view on abortion and marijuana and so much more.
“I almost killed my daughter,” West emotionally exclaimed at one point when talking about when he and his wife Kim Kardashian considered aborting their eldest daughter North West. “She had the pills in her hand,” West said of Kardashian. But God came to him and said, “If you f**k up my vision, I’m gonna f**k up yours.”
West continued to elaborate his stance on abortion, saying “No more Plan B — Plan A,” to a mixed response from the crowd. He then read the room and doubled back by stating that abortions should be legal, and that there should be more support for those that need it.
“The maximum increase would be everybody that has a baby gets a million dollars or something in that range,” West said.
He also discussed drug policy, stating that marijuana “should be free,” as well as opened up about his struggles with opioids after undergoing plastic surgery.
“In Europe, there’s a higher threshold for pain. I had plastic surgery to try to look young.” West said, adding “after getting the plastic surgery, that was a slippery slope to getting addicted to Percocets,” and that he would drive in Calabasas “high as a motherfu*ker.”
One of the most controversial parts of the event was when he stated that Harriet Tubman “never actually freed the slaves,” and that she only “had the slaves go work for other white people.” This drew the ire of many attendees, and saw some leaving the event after having been there for only 20 minutes. West tried to connect this historical falsehood to the fact that major companies like Universal Music and NBA teams are not owned by Black people, but rather employ Black people.
The hour-long event saw West touching on even more topics and also reaffirming his plans to run for president. While he has already paid $35,000 to get on the presidential ballot in Oklahoma, he needs 10,000 signatures to get on the ticket in South Carolina as well as many other states.
Watch footage of the Kanye West campaign rally below.
Kanye West Campaign Rally — Exquis Event Center — North Charleston, SC — 7/19/20
[Video: The Sun]
Here’s more context to what Kanye said. pic.twitter.com/Xv4mMFYqeg
— Raury (@Raury) July 20, 2020