On “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Thursday, entertainment mogul Kanye West described his decision to openly express his support for Donald Trump, which he said required him to have the confidence to stand up against massive backlash from liberals, media, and the hip-hop community, who tried to promote the idea that all African-Americans must vote Democrat.
“As a musician, African-American, guy out in Hollywood, all these different things, everyone around me tried to pick my candidate for me,” West told Kimmel when asked about his decision to support Trump. “And then told me every time I said I liked Trump that I couldn’t say it out loud or my career would be over, I’d get kicked out of the black community — because blacks, we’re supposed to have a monolithic thought … we can only be Democrats and all.”
West said that after he was hospitalized, he came out lacking confidence and that it took about a year and half to finally muster the courage to openly express his opinion on Trump, knowing that the backlash would be overwhelming.
Rather than being about politics, he said, endorsing Trump “represented overcoming fear and doing what you felt no matter what anyone said and saying you can’t bully me — liberals can’t bully me, news can’t bully me, the hip-hop community, they can’t bully me — because at that point if I’m not free to be me, I’m no longer Ye.”
He added that he believed modern education keeps us all too focused on the past. “We get too caught up in the past and what everyone’s saying and what everyone’s tweeting. And sometimes you just have to be fearless enough to break the f**king simulation,” he said.
He ultimately challenged Kimmel and his audience to “try love” rather than hate. “When I see people just even … go at the president, it’s like, why not try love?” he said. “For one person to stand up against all odds and just hug somebody the way that Alice Johnson [whom Trump granted clemency] hugged her family when she got out of jail. That one by one by one, we can defuse this nuclear bomb of hate that we’re in as a society by thinking of everyone as our family.”