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Political stunts and views
Following his infamous interruption of Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Awards, Barack Obama referred to Kanye as a "jackass" in a behind-the-scenes interview on CNBC, which Kanye took in stride, saying that he was perfectly willing to be the "butt of all of [Obama]'s jokes if it someway helped his overall mission."
In 2013, West claimed that the reason President Obama was having trouble pushing his policies in Washington was, since he was black, he wasn't as well connected as Jews were, and that black people "don't got family that got money like that." This earned criticism from the Anti-Defamation League, after which West apologized for said statements, where he claimed he meant it as a compliment.
West sold merchandise that had the Confederate flag on it in promotion for his 6th studio album, Yeezus, released in 2013. He was also seen wearing a jacket with a Confederate flag patch on the sleeve and was photographed draped in a large confederate flag. However, this was not, technically, in support of the flag, but rather a way of trolling neo-Confederates by showing them a black man sporting the Confederate flag. Considering where West stands now, this can be considered ironic… Buzzfeed have reported he has been ripe for radicalisation and that people are getting worried that Kanye is getting radicalized by the far right.
West has been an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump ever since Trump became President of the United States. Interestingly, this conflicted with his wife Kim Kardashian's support of Hillary Clinton. However, he rescinded his support for Trump in the aftermath of the Muslim travel ban.
As of April 2018, West appears to be back on the Trump Train, referring to Trump as his "brother" on Twitter and also tweeting a picture of himself wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat. He has also complimented Candace Owens, a noted far right Gamergate nut and Turning Point USA's director of urban engagement who regularly criticizes Black Lives Matter, referring to them as "overly privileged Americans" and "whiny toddlers pretending to be oppressed for attention." Whether or not Kanye's support for Owens qualifies him as full-blown wingnuttery remains to be seen.
Kanye has stated that he plans to run for President himself in 2024 after Trump's two terms are finished. Originally he said he planned to run in 2020, but changed it to 2024 when Trump won the election.
West has compared himself to almost everyone you can think of, including Adolf Hitler (an unusual case of self-inflicted Godwin's Law), William Shakespeare, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs (at the same time), Axl Rose, Jim Morrison, and Jimi Hendrix (all three at the same time), and Leonardo da Vinci, just to name a few.
Kanye West is a Christian, and once claimed that he believed that he was "like a vessel, and God has chosen me to be the voice and the connector." In addition, he has also claimed that slavery was a choice, though he has since apologized and recanted this claim. He has also stated that he wants to "abolish the 13th amendment". West later clarified that he "misspoke by saying abolish, amend is the right language." West explained:
the 13th Amendment is slavery in disguise meaning it never ended We are the solution that heals
In 1865, the 13th Amendment stated that no man is destined to slavery or involuntary servitude unless convicted of a crime. This translates to in order to make a freed man a slave all you have to do is convict them of a crime.
Kanye West is also friends with Candace Owens, an outspoken, far-right commentator, who seems to share many the same views as Kanye West on political issues.
- López G., Cristina. What to know about Scott Adams and Candace Owens, the right-wing commentators Kanye West promoted. New Media Matters, April 24, 2018.
- Jesse Singal, The Strange Tale of Social Autopsy, the Anti-Harassment Start-up That Descended Into Gamergate Trutherism. New York Magazine, 16 April 2016.
- Kanye West explains his 13th Amendment comments. CNN. October 2, 2018.
- TMZ: Kanye West Clarifies 'Abolish' 13th Amendment Remark. YouTube. October 1, 2018.