Kanye West said that black Americans shouldnt “vote Democrat” in his latest political comments.
“Own your power. Your power is not to just vote Democrat for the rest of our lives. Thats not the power,” West said while speaking at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City.
West and Yeezy designer Steven Smith were discussing how they designed the popular shoe when West said he struggled to break through in the design space.
“As black designers out of America, you cant have an opinion, you can only be the consumer, you can only be the demographic. And then a board room says, This is the black demographic.'”
“Youre not going to go a whole interview with me without me saying it,” West added. “This is who you supposed to vote on. This is what youre supposed to buy. This is your Popeyes chicken sandwich youre supposed to eat on. But it be exactly that. I have seen the board room in back. And its completely a concept of a demographic.”
West championed economic opportunities for black Americans, including encouraging them to buy land.
“I say these things out loud so I dont get killed,” West said. “Last year, I was killed by the press for having a difference—no, not having a difference of opinion, but having an opinion.”
West said theres one in three African Americans in prison right now, joining the calls to free convicted Texas killer Rodney Reed, who is slated to be executed on Nov. 20.
“For black people, Ive got to say, dont just be a demographic. Own your power. Your power is not to just vote Democrat for the rest of our lives. Thats not the power, just voting on who they told us to vote on,” he later added.
“The power is when I talk to my lawyer, and Adidas was treating me mean, and I have seven points determination, I put on my trenchcoat and said, We moving our factories to America,'” West said. He said he plans to move all his manufacturing to South and North America in the next two years.