Kanye West says that he knows what it’s like to have “a knee on my neck.” Over the weekend, he spoke with paparazzi, and a video of that conversation has been circulating online. He addressed the end of his partnership with Adidas, as well as his critiques of Black Lives Matter.
“When the idea of Black Lives Matter came out, it made us come together as a people,” West said. “So, I said that and I questioned the death of George Floyd, it hurt my people. It hurt the Black people. So, I want to apologize to hurting them because right now God has shown me by what Adidas is doing, and by what the media is doing, I know how it feels to have a knee on my neck now. So I thank you, God, for humbling me and letting me know how it really felt. Because how could the richest Black man ever be humbled other than to be made to not be a billionaire in front of everyone off of a comment.”
But he went on to claim (without backing it up) that the Black Lives Matter organization was used to try and make Black people vote for Democrats. When asked if he was worried about his legacy, he said, “God is alive. God runs the world. God even runs Hollywood. And He’s using me right now. He chose me for such a time as now… for the media to put their knee on my neck… for Adidas to put their knee on my neck.”
He apologized for offending Black people when he seemed to question that George Floyd was killed by police, saying, “I know that police do attack and that America is generally racist.” He also compared himself to Emmett Till, who was brutally lynched in 1955 at age 14. At times, he said, he has felt like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
West addressed accusations of antisemitism, by showing a chart of executives of major media companies, and those who are Jewish are highlighted in red. He later referred to them as “the red media.” He described his “exhaustion” caused by the reaction to his wearing a red MAGA hat. He claimed that wearing the hat led to him being “misdiagnosed” with having a mental health disorder. Additionally, he claimed that his refusal to take the medication may have saved his life. Seemingly addressing a conspiracy theory, he said that one pill could have been “swapped out,” “and it would be Michael Jackson and Prince all over again.” He noted that the doctor who “misdiagnosed” him was Jewish.
He said that people have asked him to visit the Holocaust Museum. “Visit our Holocaust Museum: it’s called Planned Parenthood! Six million Jews died in the Holocaust, and I am sorry for your losses. Twenty million Blacks died to abortion. Planned Parenthood was made by Margaret Sanger of the real KKK as population control.” (Planned Parenthood have reckoned with their origins in recent years, including on their own website, saying, “We must acknowledge the harm done, examine how we have perpetuated this harm, and ensure that we do not repeat Sanger’s mistakes. We denounce the history and legacy of anti-Blackness in gynecology and the reproductive rights movement, and the mistreatment that continues to this day. We value the fundamental freedom of all people to control their own bodies, their lives, and their futures, and we will work every day until full health, dignity, and self-determination are a reality for everyone.” Planned Parenthood’s President and CEO, Alexis McGill Johnson, has also addressed this in a New York Times op-ed.)
However, he stressed, “I have no association to any hate group. If any hate happens upon any Jewish person, it is not associated [with me] because I am demanding that everyone walk in love.” He did not address the fact that antisemitic signs showing support for his recent comments have been seen in Los Angeles and other antisemitic signs have been seen elsewhere in the country, including Florida.