When Kanye West says shocking things, it’s par for the course. But last night, during his Saint Pablo stop at San Jose’s SAP Center, West unleashed a very unwelcome opinion. The entertainer said that while he didn’t vote in this year’s election, if he had, he would have voted for Donald Trump. He also, bafflingly, urged black people to “stop focusing on racism.”
We are used to West’s outlandish statements, but these comments are particularly surprising given West donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2015, and that many racism-fueled instances of violence and hate speech have been reported since Trump won the election. And in the face of the grave injustices and systemic racism being highlighted and opposed by the Black Lives Matter movement, West’s comments are particularly troubling—and confusing. Remember: This is the guy who once said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” on national TV. Some fans reportedly walked out of the show.
Several people captured the screed on video and posted snippets to social media. In the video below, West says, “I told y’all I didn’t vote, right? But I didn’t tell you…but if I would have voted, I would have voted for Trump.”
He also alluded to a possible 2020 presidential run—something he’s mentioned before—telling the audience, “I will take position in 2020 and do it myself.”
Twitter user Brandon E. Patterson was there and posted further footage of West’s controversial comments.
Kanye West tonight speaking on racism in America. “Specifically to black people, stop talking about race so much.” pic.twitter.com/HTWlJgdq7E
— Brandon E. Patterson (@myblackmindd) November 18, 2016
West can be heard saying:
Specifically, to black people, stop focusing on racism. This world is racist, okay? Let’s stop being distracted to focus on that as much. It’s just a f—king fact. We are in a racist country. Period. Do not allow people to make us talk about that so f—king long. Let’s talk about whatever the f—k you want to talk about. Just f—king stop talking about that, yo.