US rapper Kanye West’s chaotic launch of his unlikely campaign to oust Donald Trump in November’s presidential election has sparked anger, concern for his mental health and questions about whether he is seriously running.
Wearing a bullet-proof jacket marked “security,” West broke down in tears during a rambling speech in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday that was supposed to kickstart his White House bid.
Instead, controversial comments about renowned American abolitionist Harriet Tubman enraged attendees, provoked scorn online and left political analysts scratching their heads about the mercurial musician’s true intentions.
For Jeffrey McCune, who teaches a course on West at Washington University in St. Louis, the topsy-turvy nature of the event was typical of the hip-hop star.
“All things Kanye are impulsive. I have never been a fan of ‘throw-your-towel-in’ political entries. However, this is Kanye’s brand completely,” he told AFP.
With “2020” shaved onto his head, West veered between several subjects during the hour-long rant, including claiming that he had wanted his wife, Kim Kardashian, to get an abortion.
But it was his comment that “Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other white people,” that grabbed most headlines.