Melvin Taylor, Brand Marketer
On Oct. 11, 2018, President Donald Trump met with controversial musician Kanye West and retired professional football player Jim Brown at the White House. However, it can be argued that this was more of a 24-minute Kanye West speech than a meeting. Throughout the meeting, many topics were brought up by West, like bringing jobs to America, stop and frisk in Chicago, education centers and more. While some people have labeled West as crazy or ignorant for his recent outbursts, I think they deserve a better look. I feel like some of West’s points are being ignored because of specific comments he’s made that overshadow others.
The meeting started off lightly with Trump discussing Brown’s sports history and then immediately got into talks of North Korea. Trump said there will be no more nuclear testing and no missiles going up. After that, Trump later got into how Kim Kardashian spoke with him about Alice Marie Johnson and West brought up Larry Hoover, a man he’d like to get out of prison. West broke out into a lengthy speech on why a lot of African Americans are democratic, how the Make America Great Again hat empowers him and the lack of male influence in his life. He continues by getting into how the hat makes him feel like Superman and how he looks up to Trump and American industry leaders.
West talked about his comments on wanting to abolish the 13th Amendment and I did not understand his perspective on the topic. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery and West wants to abolish it because he views it as a trap. I would like for West to clarify his thoughts because right now, his perspective is just confusing.
West said, “I’ve never stepped into a situation where I didn’t make people more money.”
While I do not agree with everything said by West in this meeting, I think his heart is in the right place as he just wants to improve America or “Make America Great” as he said later. He wants to bring jobs back to America, instead of having things done in China. He went on to mention how he thinks not having more jobs in America causes people to do illegal things.
One of the most interesting things said by West was “If he don’t look good, we don’t look good. This is our President.”
This statement technically is not wrong since Trump’s actions reflect on America. West brought up liberals before this, and I think he was trying to say that people need to work with the President instead of making fun of him. It shows that the country is not unified but at the end of the day, people should be allowed to criticize those in charge if they are not happy.
West feels like liberals use the concept of racism to control African Americans. Another interesting quote he said was “So when I said I like Trump, to someone that’s liberal, they’ll say ‘Oh, but he’s racist.’ You think racism can control me? Oh, that don’t stop me. That’s an invisible wall.”
I think this one comment shows that West is not completely on Trump’s side. He does not clarify on whether Trump is racist or not. This goes with my theory that West can acknowledge issues with Trump, but also feels that he must work with him to get anything done.
While West wants to bring jobs back to America, I think one of the main reasons production is handled in China is because it’s cheaper. He even acknowledges this by mentioning that one of Adidas’ American factories is too costly and that Levi’s is producing their products in other countries. He then moved on to education and how he feels like some kids do not actually have Attention Deficit Disorder, but that school is just boring. I thought this trivialized ADD. There may be some cases where kids are diagnosed wrongly but can West really speak on this? He wants to create new ways for kids to learn such as mixing math and basketball or music and meditation which sound good, but I do not think he should have spoken on ADD.
West spoke on the topic of gun reform and said, “The problem is illegal guns.”
I disagree with this statement. The Jacksonville gunman, David Katz, obtained his guns legally and there have been other situations where people have used legal guns to commit crimes. West brings up the that some people have a problem with Trump’s slogan, but he feels the issue is that we need to focus on what is going on right now instead of the past issues with the country. He has made his own spin on the MAGA hat with it saying, “Make America Great” and wants to see Colin Kaepernick and Trump wearing the hat, uniting both sides.
I do not think West is a Trump supporter, at least fully. I think West respects Trump because they are similar in ways. When Trump was running to be President, he spoke his mind freely. West has done the same thing for quite a while. West never denied that Trump was racist and even tried to improve Trump’s hats with a new slogan. I think West has acknowledged flaws with Trump, but he feels like to improve situations with America, he has to ignore them and work with Trump.
I do not agree with all of West’s comments and I also do not think he is crazy, he just has trouble expressing some of his opinions in a straightforward way. This was a thought-provoking meeting, but it felt more like a speech by West, rather than a discussion including Brown and Trump. Trump listened to West, but is he really willing to work with West? I can see West being dropped by Trump fast if he says the wrong thing. While some may not like West’s affection for Trump, I think at least some of his comments deserve a second look.