Kanye West held the first campaign rally of his apparent presidential run at the Exquis Event Center in Charleston, South Carolina earlier today. All registered attendees to the rally, which was live-streamed through local news, were reportedly asked to wear a mask, social distance and sign a COVID-19 liability waiver. West took to the stage wearing a security vest and didn’t use a microphone, repeatedly telling the audience to be quiet and saying they would be escorted out if they made noise.
Speaking for over an hour at the uncomfortable rally, West talked on a range of topics and fielded questions from the audience, and frequently welcomed people up to the stage alongside him to share their views on issues such as police brutality.
West spoke thoroughly about the issue of abortion, talking about his mother “saving his life” by not terminating her pregnancy, and recounting a story about an old girlfriend almost getting an abortion. At one point, West broke down into tears. “I almost killed my daughter,” he screamed while crying.
West went on to say he thought abortion should “always be legal” but there should be an option of “maximum increase”, in which the federal government offered every woman a large payment (West suggested both $50,000USD and $1mUSD) to help raise her child.
Other topics discussed included American abolitionist Harriet Tubman who helped rescue enslaved people prior to the civil war. West made the dubious claim that Tubman “never actually freed the slaves”, saying she “just had the slaves go work for other white people.” The crowd erupted in groans after this statement, with one attendee heard saying, “Come on, man”.
You can watch footage from both parts of the rally below.
Oh my God, what is happening pic.twitter.com/4wWgT6tw8O
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 19, 2020
West also discussed his battle with opioid addiction, socialism, Democrats, echoing his oft-repeated stance that Black people should not be assumed to be Democrat voters.
“Democrats ain’t do shit for blacks,” West commented. “The most racist thing ever said out loud is that if Kanye West runs for president, it would split the Black vote.”
In an interview with Forbes earlier this month, West discussed his plans to run for president, saying he was done affiliating with Donald Trump. The rapper revealed he was both anti-abortion and anti-vaccination during the interview and claimed he had contracted COVID-19 back in February.
In other Kanye West news, the rapper posted and then deleted a tweet over the weekend, announcing the imminent arrival of a new album titled DONDA. The record – named after his late mother and apparently changed from initial album title God’s Country – is apparently set to drop this Friday, 24th July. His recent, Travis Scott-featuring single ‘Wash Us in the Blood’ was included in the album’s tracklist.
You can watch the rally in full below, should you be so inclined.