Continuing in 2020's proud tradition of 'Thing you never thought would actually happen is now actually happening', music and fashion superstar Kanye West recently held his first campaign event as a presidential hopeful in the 2020 elections race at the Exquis Event Center in Charleston, South Carolina. And the rally was as filled with baffling moments and bewildering proclamations as any other public event where West is allowed to unload his opinions on an unsuspecting crowd, starting with an attack on legendary American abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman.
"Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people."
From there West segued quickly and confusingly into other topics close to his heart, often breaking down in tears by the power of his own words. The rapper revealed that he and his wife Kim Kardashian West had considered the option of abortion at one point, while West's own father had wanted to have him aborted.
"There would have been no Kanye West... because my dad was too busy!"
The crowd that had turned out to support their new presidential candidate (or maybe they just wanted his autograph), were subjected to West's opinions on a host of subjects, from social media to religion, to his Adidas deal. The reaction of the attendees ranged from the curious to the disbelieving, to occasional disgust. The remarks about Tubman provoked strong dissent, with some calling West out for his words, while others declared they were leaving.
West had the sense to change the subject, unfortunately, his followup remark about the National Basketball Association and Universal Music Group having no Black owners was undercut by the fact that the latter is owned by Vivendi, a public French company.
The musician's stage performance also left a lot to be desired, from demanding "absolute silence and absolute order", to scolding his supporters for clapping, and ejecting attendees for unknown reasons. West also got into an argument with a woman onstage over an unknown matter, all of which was recorded and distributed on social media.
The rest of Kanye West's presidential run promises to be as fraught with interest as his first attempt at reaching out to supporters. and the musician is apparently completely serious about seeing the matter through to the end. Politico reported that West filed an official statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission last week using The Birthday Campaign (BDY) as his political party affiliation.
It remains to be seen how much of an impact the controversy generated by West's comments will have on his chances of getting elected. As Donald Trump has proven, making public remarks that rub people the wrong way need not automatically negate your chances of becoming president. West also has the kind of personal fan following that the other candidates can only dream of. With the right political team managing his appearances, West can go pretty far in this race.