Kanye West has aroused suspicion about his political leanings ever since President Donald Trump was elected. The world-renowned rapper and music producer rejoined Twitter last week, and that same suspicion became even arous-ier. Kanye West's tweets are making conservatives happy, and it's a real trip. Elite Daily reached out to a representative for West for clarification on his tweets, political leanings, and the response he's been getting from conservatives, but did not hear back at time of publication.
The latest dust-up began when West tweeted support of Candace Owens, a black conservative commentator, on Saturday, April 21. Owens has been a vocal critic of Black Lives Matter and a supporter of Trump. She has decried what she calls "black victimhood" and often speaks out against welfare programs.
West's praise of Owens was just one in a series of ambiguously political posts this weekend — and continuing into Monday, April 23. He wrote that "self victimization is a disease," in one tweet, and that "The thought police want to suppress freedom of thought," in another, seeming to echo right-leaning ways of thinking (see: conservative criticism of freedom of speech on campus and of concepts like safe spaces and microaggressions). West also began tweeting videos on Monday of Dilbert creator and Trump sympathizer Scott Adams.
The eyebrow-raising tweets from West, who had returned from a nearly one-year hiatus from the social networking site, drew criticism from his left-leaning fans, and conservatives pounced on the perceived "backlash." Owens responded to the chatter on Fox & Friends on Sunday, April 22, saying, "Kanye West is not one to fold to controversy and I thank him for supporting me and my ideas." Right-wing commentator Alex Jones apologized to West on his April 22 broadcast for having previously denounced him, and said that his tweets took "courage." Other major right-wing tweeters joined in to praise West.
West also apparently referred to the Owens backlash in another tweet, saying, "People demonize people and then they demonize anybody who sees anything positive in someone whose been demonized."
Still, the factions on either side of the political divide are doing a lot of assuming here. West has been known to make eccentric statements, but he actually hasn't actually elaborated on these. In December 2016, for instance, West met with then president-elect Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan and greeted reporters with a weird smirk after their closed-door meeting. Trump told reporters they've "been friends for a long time." West did not answer questions from reporters and simply said, "I just want to take a picture right now."
West later tweeted that the intent of his meeting with Trump was to discuss "multicultural issues" including 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," West said in a since-deleted series of tweets, per CNN.
Without clarification from West, it's impossible to understand what he hoped to achieve with these tweets. But it was certainly bizarre to see the conservative cheers when West tweeted about Owens. In stark contrast, on Monday, April 23, West tweeted that "Donald Glover is a free thinker," to which hardly anyone reacted. Glover is hardly a fan of Trump's, but few liberals seem to have jumped at the chance to praise West's praise of Glover.
What is known, though, is that West was roundly criticized for saying in a politically-charged rant at one of his concerts in 2016 that "I would've voted on Trump." West reportedly did not vote in the 2016 presidential election, but revealed after the fact that he was a fan of Trump's. He also announced that he was planning to run for president in 2020 during the same rant.
"Loved the debates. I loved his approach," West said of Trump during the California concert in November 2016. "People are racist and they feel more inspired to say how they feel, then they exposing themselves, bro!"
West added, "This is what I'm saying. It's already the beginning of change. Sometimes things that you might think are bad have to happen in order for change to f*cking happen."
It's anyone's guess how far this West 2020 political push will go. It's a safe bet to expect the unexpected with all Kanye-related matters.