"George Bush doesn't care about black people," said Kanye West in the midst of the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina. More recently, the famed rapper has expressed adamant support for civil rights groups like Black Lives Matter, condemning white oppression in the criminal justice system and that which manifests itself in police brutality. With this, one might expect Kanye to be a fervent Democrat, vocally opposed to the anti-minority rhetoric spewed by Donald Trump along the campaign trail. Surprisingly, however, that is far from the case.
“If I would have voted, I would have voted on Trump,” he told a packed crowd in San Jose. West proceeded on a nearly 20-minute rant about the state of affairs in the country, discussing everything from the media’s influence in the election to race relations. “Specifically to black people, stop focusing on racism. This world is racist, okay? Let’s stop being distracted to focus on that as much.” He then seemed to be convinced that America’s racism was not going to be fixed by either president, Republican or Democrat. “It’s just a fucking fact. We are in a racist country. Period,” he furthered. “Not one or the other candidate was going to instantly be able to change that.”
With this recent show of support for Trump and a shift from his pro-minority positions, Kanye was invited to Trump Tower to meet with the President-elect yesterday afternoon. According to Trump’s spokeswoman, Kanye had requested a 15-minute meeting with Trump, yet the two supposedly spoke for more than an hour. When asked about the meeting, Trump explained that the two had been friends for a long time and that they had discussed “life.” Kanye later took to Twitter to provide more detail into their discussion. "I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues," he wrote. "These issues included bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums, and violence in Chicago. I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change."
While the specifics of their conversation have not yet been revealed, many pundits are outraged with Trump’s decision to have Kanye at the transition headquarters. They note that Trump has been neglecting his daily intelligence briefings, opting instead for weekly updates, while he wastes his time with pop culture figures and meaningless conversations. Trump has claimed that he is too smart for the daily briefings. "I say, 'If something should change from this point, immediately call me. I'm available on one minute's notice.’ I'm, like, a smart person. I don't have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years." Too smart for the U.S. intelligence community but not for Kanye West?
On the other hand, however, Barack Obama also made it a point to connect with relevant pop culture icons, such as Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar. This decision on behalf of the Trump team could be an attempt to follow suit and potentially connect more effectively with younger, more urban voters.
What do you think about Trump meeting with Kanye West?