Kanye West was scattered and volatile during his first campaign event.
Just when it seemed Kanye West‘s presidential hopes were being squashed by deadlines and fairly standard paperwork, the rapper appears to have found a way. In fact, at 5pm EST today, West took the stage for his first campaign rally in South Carolina. And it was nothing short of a fucking mess.
According to reports from Politico and ABC News, the rally took place at Charleston’s Exquis Event Center. Though he was quiet about the rally, West managed to gather about 100 people for his campaign starter. But they were far from devout Yeezyites. Throughout the hour-long event, West was scattered and volatile, ranting and rambling over his anti-abortion stance (“There would have been no Kanye West, because my dad was too busy… I almost killed my daughter,”) the second amendment (“Shooting guns are fun,”) Harriet Tubman (who he believes sent black people to work for other white slave owners,) and cannabis, which he admitted to smoking the night before and promised to give away for free should he be elected (silver lining?) There was lots of booing, jeering, and audible astonishment at West’s tone and messaging. At one point, he even had a heckler removed from the audience, as well as argued with others that were in attendance.
Watch how Kanye West targeted a black woman at his presidential rally. pic.twitter.com/YDexNSqqth
— gregarious (@gryking) July 20, 2020
Iesha, the woman West is talking to in the video, shared a video of her own to provide context for how her back and forth with the artist came about. First, she was brought onstage alongside other audience members to ask West a question, which was on gun reform. Following that, Iesha said West went on a rant and started making false statements, which she responded to with the correct facts “Because he has a large platform and he shouldn’t be saying incorrect things to people who look up to him.”
Then, she said West interrogated her for interrupting him (and noted how West responded much differently to a white woman who had interrupted him by bringing her onstage and giving her a hug), as well as called her a “sister soldier” and claimed she “wanted Wakanda” instead of America.
— iesha (@iesha_mars) July 20, 2020
“Please don’t vote for Kanye West, because he’s just not qualified y’all,” Iesha said as her video is about to end. “He just ain’t it.”
The event was for “registered guests only,” urging prospective attendees to sign up via a new campaign site. Guests were also required to observe social distancing protocols, (they did not,) wear masks (also, mostly absent,) and sign a COVID-19 liability waiver, prohibiting them from filing suit against West or his campaign should they contract the disease at his rally.
It’s a lot to parse through and the audiovisual quality isn’t doing anyone any favors on that front. But you can watch Kanye’s full campaign rally above.
Earlier in the week, West directed voters to a number of locations across South Carolina, asking them to request his addition to the presidential ballot. It’s unclear whether he fished his wish, but he’ll appear on at least one state’s stub in November after successfully registering in Oklahoma.
On Monday, Post and Courier political reporter Jamie Lovegrove reported (via South Carolina Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire) that Kanye West failed to submit 10,000 petition signatures required to get on South Carolina’s presidential ballot.
— Jamie Lovegrove (@jslovegrove) July 20, 2020
According to Lovegrove, the only way Kanye could end up on South Carolina’s presidential ballot would be to receive the nomination from one of 10 certified political parties in the state.