Trump supporter Kanye West silently gives to families of Floyd, Taylor and Arbery
Rapper Kanye West has reportedly donated $2 million to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery in their ongoing fight for justice, a marked turn for the pop superstar who most recently generated headlines for his ardent support of Trumpism.
Though the “Jesus Is King” artist has been silent on social media in the wake of Floyd’s killing, TMZ reports West started a college savings fund to cover tuition for Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna, and has taken care of legal costs for the families of Arbery and Taylor.
A representative for West did not immediately respond Friday to a request for comment.
West was recently seen protesting with demonstrators in his hometown of Chicago, where he has reportedly been donating to various black-owned businesses.
Among the other celebrities who have taken to the streets in support of the Black Lives Matter movement are John Boyega, Michael B. Jordan, Keke Palmer, Tessa Thompson, Nick Cannon, Ariana Grande and Kendrick Sampson.
Kanye West joins protest in Chicago yesterday— B/R Kicks (@brkicks) June 5, 2020
📹 __bu/Instagram pic.twitter.com/9JSupdxqou
After news broke of his donations and footage surfaced of him walking alongside Chicago protesters, some praised West on social media for letting his activism speak for itself.
“Kanye opened his purse and stayed silent,” wrote Affinity Magazine Editor in Chief Evelyn V. Woodsen on Twitter. “I want to thank him for respecting our wishes.”
“Don’t donate for fame. Donate to make a change,” replied a Twitter user with the handle @dorkmobile888. “Kanye did the absolute right thing. If you have the money and platform to spread awareness and make a change, do it.”
Kanye opened his purse and stayed silent. I want to thank him for respecting our wishes. https://t.co/WEYxr24E0L— OBJ said ask about him (@evelynvwoodsen) June 4, 2020
Others, however, were quick to point out West’s recent turn to conservative and divisive stances, and the fact he’s seen as one of the most vocal supporters of President Donald Trump in the entertainment industry. The musician also has a history of racially insensitive remarks that have offended members of the black community.
In 2018, he drew sharp criticism for saying slavery was “a choice.” And while on tour in San Jose in 2016, West declared his support for Trump in a 25-minute onstage rant that reportedly included this comment addressed “specifically to black people”:
“Stop focusing on racism,” he said. “This world is racist, OK? Let’s stop being distracted to focus on that so much. ... We are a racist country, period. ... And not one or the other candidate was going to instantly be able to change that because of their views.”
“I DON’T SUPPORT IT,” a Twitter user with the handle @MalPoppington wrote on Friday in response to those hailing West as a hero. “UNTIL HE IS MAN ENOUGH TO BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS SLAVERY COMMENTS AND HIS TRUMP EMBRACEMENT. HE HAS TO APOLOGIZE TO US AND ADMIT HE WAS WRONG THEN. THIS JUST A PHOTO OPP.”
Other famous figures who have donated to the Black Lives Matter cause include Chrissy Teigen, Ben Platt, Seth Rogen, Steve Carell, the Safdie brothers, Abbi Jacobson, Rae Sanni and Ben Schwartz.
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