Rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West joined Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for an exclusive, wide-ranging interview on Thursday where addressed the controversy arising over the “White Lives Matter” T-shirt he wore alongside friend and commentator Candace Owens.
West, now legally known as Ye, caused an uproar particularly on the left after showcasing the shirt. Carlson noted liberal media branded him as “legitimizing extremist behavior” and that the decision was inexcusable.
West responded that he was privately warned that people wearing the shirt would be “greenlit” (vernacular for being assaulted) like some Americans who wear Donald Trump’s signature red trucker hats emblazoned with his “Make America Great Again” mantra.
“[They] said that I like Trump, that my career will be over, that my life would be over. They said stuff like people get killed for wearing a hat like that,” he said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
West also explained why his lanyard-borne credential for Milan Fashion Week featured a photograph of a baby’s ultrasound.
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Candace Owens posted a photo of her and Kanye West wearing “White Lives Matter” shirts
(Candace Owens Twitter)
“It just represents life – I’m pro-life,” he said, adding that believing in the sanctity of life, just like supporting Trump or wearing his White Lives Matter shirt, unduly causes concern among the elites and “influencers.”
“I don’t care about people’s responses. I care about the fact that there’s more Black babies being aborted than born in New York City at this point, that 50% of Black Death in America is abortion. So I really don’t care about people’s response.”
“I perform for an audience of one and that’s God,” West continued, adding that Black Americans should take the issue seriously because Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was an avowed eugenicist and a member of the Socialist Party.
West said he began thinking more about expressing his true beliefs during Trump’s 2016 campaign, when – despite his own favorable view of the mogul – his friends in Hollywood and ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s family warned his political support was ill-advised.
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President Donald Trump hugs rapper Kanye West during a meeting in the Oval office of the White House on October 11, 2018.
West cited the biblical Book of Samuel, wherein David, son of Jesse, would kindly tend sheep – later being underestimated for such by the Philistine giant Goliath – suggesting the importance of faith and believing in oneself no matter how one is viewed by the masses.
“[Goliath] thought because he was a sheepherder, that he didn’t have the skill set to take down Goliath,” West said. “And the thing that I have is the position I have, my heart. But the number one thing is we have God on our side. And for the people, even if you don’t believe in God, God believes in you.”
The hip-hop artist was reportedly criticized by the mother of Ahmaud Arbery – the Black man murdered in Brunswick, Ga., while jogging – who told Rolling Stone through an attorney that his White Live Matter shirt “legitimizes extremist behavior.” West however also received some public support from controversial NFL star Antonio Brown – captioning a social media post “All Lives Matter.”
West went on to say a main foil to this dynamic is the media, which he described as having a “godless agenda.”
Margaret Sanger (1883-1966), American leader of Birth Control Movement. Undated.
(Bettmann / Contributor)
He spoke glowingly of his father, Ray – a former Black Panther and retired award-winning photographer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper. West cited his father’s past, but added that he is one of the most informed, caring and intelligent people he knows.
When West texted Ray about the shirt, he said his father replied it was “just a Black man stating the obvious.”
He explained how his father had faced racial discrimination throughout his life, including in business and when he was living in Delaware as a young man in a military family. That discrimination, he suggested, led him to be well-versed in the United States’ overall sociopolitical dynamic.
“The same people that have stripped us of our identity and labeled us as a color, have told us what it means to be Black and the vernacular that we’re supposed to have,” West said, adding that when his dad lived in the First State, his was one of few Black families there.
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Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from Kanye West in February after nearly seven years of marriage.
(Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
“[Ray] would be discriminated against because he was Black. So by the time he got into college… they said he talked too White.”
West criticized the fact his father was reportedly barred from most contact with him when his parents divorced and he moved with his mother Donda to Chicago.
“She told my dad, ‘if you come for us, you’ll never see [Kanye] again’,” adding that that memory came to mind when he was criticized for paying close attention to Kardashian’s relationship with Staten Island comic and “SNL” player Pete Davidson, as his children were often living with them.
West later said that he has realized that when a celebrity like himself goes against the accepted company line, “liberal Nazis will go up and attack you.”
He accused some in the fashion and journalism sectors of intentionally criticizing his “White Lives Matter” shirts, calling it a “set-up.”
West compared the dynamic to a scene from Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” where “Jamie Foxx[‘s Django] sat on that horse and Samuel L. Jackson[‘s character] said he’s not allowed.”
Charles Creitz is a reporter for Fox News Digital.
He joined Fox News in 2013 as a writer and production assistant.
Charles covers media, politics and breaking news, and has covered the annual CPAC conference for Fox News Digital.
Charles is a Pennsylvania native and graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism. Story tips can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.