Kanye West said what about Harriet Tubman?! We all know Kanye for his rants, especially when it relates to the black community, but his most recent statement have definitely ruffled some feathers. Kanye held a presidential campaign rally in North Charleston on Sunday, June 19th and said some things that has shocked the internet. The topics that were discussed were good topics like health care, education, police brutality and abortions to name a few. Kanye allowed the audience to address topics that they felt strongly about to get the dialogue going.
To kick it off a young lady, named Summer, started the conversation regarding our current education system and police brutality. While Kanye was introducing her she was asking if her topics were okay with the audience. He then goes to say that “it does not have to be okay with y'all because he presented this platform and if he says it is okay then y'all should be too.” He states that social media has "brainwashed us by controlling our opinions." The only way that we interact with each other is being influenced by people who present themselves with a certain power but are not really trying to help. Summer finishes her regards about how education has failed us as a society and that the police are out here killing us; once again the system has failed us. Now while the youth and attendees are expressing their thoughts on certain subjects. Kanye ensures that his opinion is known.
As he throws out more thoughts and statements, without explanation he asks another young African-American lady to come on stage. She was talking about growing up in Charleston, with majority of the population being white people, and how there are different perspectives among the two demographics. Also, how those perspectives go hand in hand with the healthcare system. If there isn't proper education being distributed how can we grow as a nation while still being stagnant. After her statement, Kanye chimes in on her topic to discuss how 4 years ago when he made the shocking decision to wear the MAGA hat. It caused friction within the black community. Not only was Kanye wearing the hat but news of him running for President also began made headlines.
Now we all know Kanye for speaking his mind, saying what he said, and standing on that. But last night he said another triggering statement (as if the slavery was a choice statement wasn’t enough). “Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other white people.” (20 second silence) And it wouldn’t be Kanye for always speaking out of emotion, but you can see on his face that the energy in the room had shifted. He always uses the mic drop moment as the opening statement and he loses people every time. Interesting enough though he goes on to speak about having real power as an African American. He starts to list off companies that are heavily influenced or associates themselves with African-Americans but there are no black voices on the board or no one has any type of ownership within the companies. Any celebrity that we see/look up to is not showcasing real power. Because the real power is from the people that we don't see. We don't know/see ourselves who is ahead of the internet where they’re tracking us, we don't know/see ourselves in the Forbes headquarters. There is no representation. Which goes back to how we have to be influenced by someone who is being paid by these billionaires in order to buy or feel a type of way.
The brainwashing of social media and how phones are set up for targeting certain demographics and individuals are really becoming an issue and if we don't have a voice within that we are continuing the same cycle. Having African-Americans on boards and in rooms that are beneficial because these companies are benefited off of us are in high demand. Though Kanye’s articulation with what weighs heavy on his heart is always aggressive; the point of making sure that we are benefiting from what we do naturally needs to be addressed and changes need to be made. He also stated that change needs to be made today or he walks away. After a few more statements that involved abortions, he had an audience member who was displeased with his statement. Though it was a tangent, it was heartfelt because he talked about his personal experiences about how he felt when Kim Kardashian West was pregnant with North West. He was still in his rapper bag and was not fully ready and abortion was an option for him at the time. He stated that "God spoke to him and let him know that wasn't in his plans." "It wasn’t the right move because his Dad didn’t want him either at first because he was too busy" Kanye stated as he began to cry. Kanye does not believe in them because creating a little human is always a blessing because you never know who that child can turn out to be.
A young women came on stage to talk about abortion because in a previous
discussion Kanye said that abortions aren’t natural. And this young lady, who clearly is a
Kanye fan, did not like his statement and she spoke her peace. Being that she recently
just had one and is being paid $9 an hour she felt that bringing a child in this world right
now isn't the best idea. And that it’s her choice to choose what she wants to do with her
body and shouldn't have anyone, let alone a man’s opinion, dictate that. Kanye further
explains that he doesn't want women to have the option but wants us to have an option. You can take Plan B if necessary but here’s Plan A if you don't feel comfortable with the 2nd option. He does not want to make abortions illegal he wants to provides options so that these babies can have a chance at life. Kanye's approach may put his words and actions in contradicting positions, but it does create a type of dialogue that can be uncomfortable to some. After reviewing all of the videos, seeing Kanye's progress as an artist, I think for him, the conversations/ideas that come out or from his tangents/episodes is what he really wants.
Eyeconic Writer: Stevee Rae