Yesterday, I said this was bad.
I just had no idea just how much worse it would get by that evening. Backing up a bit though: a couple of hours after we reported on Kanye West’s first presidential campaign rally in South Carolina on Monday, reports surfaced that the rapper hadn’t submitted his petition on time in order to appear on the state’s ballot.
According to Vulture, ‘Ye was required to collect 10,000 valid signatures by noon on Monday, but his campaign reportedly didn’t submit anything to the South Carolina Board of Elections.
According to two local South Carolina political operatives who’ve met with them, the key figures were Stephen Blake Kanicka, a Grammy-nominated composer of Christian music who was the music supervisor for the anti-abortion movie Unplanned, and John Boyd, who has five children who are the members of Infinity’s Song, a music group favored by West. Boyd, who has been described as West’s spiritual adviser, was standing behind West throughout his political rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Sunday.
To date, Kanye has filed with the Federal Election Commission and is on Oklahoma’s list of presidential candidates. However, there will be no wiggle room for the rapper to secure any votes in the state of South Carolina. In fact, South Carolina Board of Elections spokesman Chris Whitmire told the Intelligencer, “the petition deadline has passed for the 2020 general election and the state election commission did not receive a petition from Kanye West. There are no exceptions to the deadline.”
That same night, things took an especially disturbing turn when Kanye began tweeting an array of statements and allegations, including claiming that his reality was the basis of the plot of Jordan Peele’s Get Out and frantically attempting to reach his wife Kim Kardashian West and his mother-in-law, Kris Jenner. Some of the tweets have since been deleted.
Trigger Warning: Some of the following tweets may contain highly disturbing and graphic language.
The tweets managed to revive a conversation around the state of the rapper’s mental health. As expressed in the previous article, I don’t believe it is my place to speculate on what Kanye needs, but I do think it’s an important opportunity to have an open and honest conversation on Black mental health in general, including the fact that there is no rigid rule as to what it may look like. Yes, Kanye is a wealthy and privileged celebrity figure with access that other Black people who live with mental illnesses, unfortunately, do not have (sometimes resulting in but not limited to disproportionate homelessness and incarceration). It’s also fair to acknowledge that it’s more likely that the community collectively sympathizes with him than say, a Black woman who experiences similar challenges in the public eye. Both are certainly glaring issues to be addressed. Still, what we’re witnessing with Kanye naturally lends itself to a larger and more general conversation and it’s important to engage in such in a healthy and informed way (which includes simply listening to those who do have the experience and range).
After the string of tweets, the rapper posted that he would focus on his music, then dropped a tracklisting for what appeared to be his upcoming album titled Donda, named after his late mother.
For more resources on bipolar disorder, please visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) website.