In a concert in California Thursday night, Kanye West told the crowd that he didn't actually vote in the U.S. presidential election — which, let's be honest, is totally lame. But then, in a pretty surprising admission for someone who once proclaimed on live television that former President George W. Bush "doesn't care about black people," Kayne West said he would've voted for Trump if he had actually voted, and that did not exactly go over well. According to BuzzFeed, the crowd booed following West's statement, but that didn't keep the ever-opinionated West from trying to explain his position. West said that his support of Trump "[doesn't] mean that I don't think that black lives matter, that don't mean I don't believe in women's rights, [or] that don't mean that I don't believe in gay marriage," but said he liked Trump's debate style (not all that different from his own, actually), and then went on to reportedly tell his black fans to "stop talking about race so much."
Despite the fact that, according to CNN, hate crimes against black people, Muslims and the LGBTQ community have spiked as a result of Trump's election win, West seemed to argue that racism in America is inevitable no matter what. He told the crowd,
This world is racist, ok. Let’s stop being distracted to focus on that as much. It’s just a f***ing fact. We are in a racist country, period. Do not allow people to make us talk about that so f***ing long. Let’s talk about whatever the f**k we wanna talk about.
Of course, Kanye seems to revel in saying things that shock people, so, on second thought, it's perhaps not entirely surprising to hear this stuff coming out of his mouth. But West has also traditionally supported Democrats: according to New York Magazine, he donated $1,000 to President Obama in 2012, and gave $15,000 to the Democratic National Committee before the last midterm election. And then there's also the fact that his wife, Kim Kardashian, publicly endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a post on her website in September. After numerous media reports that Kardashian was uncertain about who she'd be voting for, she wrote,
[Without] a doubt, I stand with Hillary. I'm with her. I believe Hillary will best represent our country and is the most qualified for the job. This year, I'm not just voting for myself, but also for my children, and I took that into careful consideration when I made my decision. Now that I have made my choice I want to be clear ... I would never judge anyone based on their political or religious beliefs. I believe that both candidates have the intention of making the country a safer and stronger place for every American, they just have different ideas about how we get there.
Kardashian and West even met with Clinton earlier this year, during which time Clinton and Kardashian took a selfie (naturally!) — with West sneaking in the shot behind them.
So where does West stand on the political spectrum, then? It's not exactly clear. Despite having announced in 2015 that he intends on running for president in 2020 (something he reportedly confirmed during Thursday's concert, according to The Washington Post), West doesn't seem to align with any particular political ideology, and his views on a lot of issues are confusing. In fact, the only thing that seems certain is that West will no doubt be a candidate who feels comfortable saying things that make a lot of people feel offended and angry. And given the fact that America's current president-elect literally just won after running a campaign that did exactly that, it's no longer an outlandish idea to think that a Kayne West presidency could actually happen.
Many of West's fans were solidly unimpressed by his mid-concert political rant though, and some even left the show as a result:
It may have been a rough night for West thanks to his unpopular perspective, and it may have left a lot of fans totally disappointed. But if there's one thing that's almost guaranteed where Kayne West is concerned, it's that this likely won't be the last time something shocking comes out of his mouth. And if he does still intend to launch a serious bid for the White House? We should probably all brace ourselves for what's to come.