Rapper Kanye West, along with former football player Jim Brown, met for lunch with President Donald Trump on Thursday, October 11th in the oval office. They had a discussion mainly centered around prison reform, police reform in Chicago and employment in the African American community.
Previously, Brown had met with President Trump and Ivanka Trump to discuss issues the African American community faces in America today. West’s wife, Kim Kardashian-West had also met with Trump to discuss prison reform prior.
West, who has been vocal about free-thought and his support of President Trump, wore his “Make America Great Again” hat for this lunch meeting. Both West and President Trump declared their admiration for one another and embraced with a hug.
“I think it’s cool that Kanye [West] speaks his mind,” student Joey DiAntonio said.
This is not the first time West has made headlines for his vocal support of President Trump. As a guest on “Saturday Night Live”, “Jimmy Kimmel Show” and “TMZ”, West has held the same views he stated in this past lunch meeting.
West faced backlash for his views and the manner how the meeting was arranged. West has been very open about his struggle with bipolar disorder and opioid addiction in the past, many have been skeptical of his views given his issues with mental health.
“Everyone’s entitled to their own political opinions [In regard to West’s views],” student Chris Brady said.
There have been some members of the African American community that disagree with West’s views and disagree with how the meeting could perceive West to be a voice for the entire African American community.
“I think that Kanye West should speak only for Kanye West,” student DaQuan Ali said.
This past August, President Trump’s former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed that President Trump used the ‘n-word’ while the two worked together on “The Apprentice”. Manigault Newman also stated that there are tapes of President Trump using racial slurs, and planned to release them in October, as of now no tapes have been released.
Given these recent events, and the Mic reporting that President Trump only won eight percent of the African American vote in the 2016 presidential election. Some members of the African American community may not agree with West’s meeting this past Thursday.
After the meeting, Sky News reported that President Trump said, “Kanye West must have some power because you have probably saw I doubled my African-American poll numbers. It went from 11 to 22 in one week,” he told a crowd. “Thank you, Kanye!”