(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Kanye West Joins Chicago Protest After Donating $2 Million To Floyd, Arbery & Taylor Funds
The donation will also directly support the families of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
A CNN report confirms that the hefty donation will include funding for legal fees for Arbery and Taylor’s families. A representative for West also said he established a 529 education plan to cover full college tuition for Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Giana Floyd. It will also impact black-owned businesses in Chicago and other cities that have been affected in recent months.
Nine days ago, George Floyd died in an altercation with four police officers who have all been arrested and charged. Prior to his death, he complained he couldn’t breathe which was captured in a video of the incident, Chauvin held Floyd to the ground with his knee. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and third-degree murder. Floyd’s death at the hands of police captured on camera by bystanders has been the driving force behind nationwide protests and riots.
West, who has been vocal in the past about racism, slavery, and his strange affinity for Donald Trump has been quiet up until now. Arbery and Taylor died in Georgia and Louisville, Kentucky respectively prior to Floyd in separate incidents involving irreversible acts of violence.
Despite the large donation, we can’t ignore the damaging statements West has been responsible for in the past. In a recent interview with the Washington Post, West expressed he’s not registered to vote and he doesn’t follow politics. This is a strange comment given he wears a MAGA hat regularly and also has publicly supported Trump in the past.
Two months ago, West shared he’d be voting for Trump in the upcoming election for a GQ feature. He hid behind this comment by sharing, “What’s the point of being a celebrity if you can’t have an opinion? Everybody make their own opinion!”
The donation is somewhat of a Band-Aid since West seems to blindly make politically-charged statements on money, racism, and classism. Yes, the $2 million dollars speaks volumes, but we can’t ignore how he heralds Trump.
On Thursday, June 4, Kanye West made an appearance in Chicago during public protests organized following the death of George Floyd. West joined the public at a "Justice for George Floyd/CPD out of CPS" rally on the city's South Side reports USA Today.
Organizers with GoodKids MadCity shared West called them on Wednesday and said he wanted to join their protest. The rally became a bit dismantled when West emerged out of a black SUV. Following this organizers reportedly became agitated with the disarray.
Taylore Norwood, a 20-year-old representative of GoodKids MadCity then grabbed a megaphone and shared that the Chicago march was a youth-led protest. She also added she didn't want a celebrity hijacking it. West stayed for a bit longer after this and then left. Protestors continued marching after his departure.
Co-organizers of the protest included Alycia Kamil, 19 and Jalen Kobayashi, 19. The protest was organized to call for Chicago to invest in schools rather than the police.
Take a look at clips of the march below.
\u201cTaylore Norwood, 20, says that this Chicago march is a youth-led protest and that she doesn\u2019t want a \u201ccelebrity\u201d hijacking it.\u201d— Grace Hauck (@Grace Hauck) 1591315712
This article was originally published on June 4, it was updated on June 5.