Maxine Waters Says Kanye West Should "Think Twice About Politics" (And Talk Less)
While some of his fans are trying to make sense of his recent comments about politics and President Donald Trump, one popular lawmaker recently weighed in on Kanye West. California Rep. Maxine Waters called West "a very creative young man who has presented some of the most revolutionary material in the African-American community," but who sometimes "talks out of turn."
Waters was speaking alongside the Congressional Black Caucus in Oakland on Monday. Politico reported that Waters, who has been a vocal critic of Trump, also said "perhaps sometimes he needs some assistance in helping him to formulate some of his thoughts.”
It wouldn't be wrong to say that a lot has been going on on West's Twitter timeline since April 25. On that day, West tweeted, "You don't have to agree with Trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought."
Then Trump retweeted West and thanked him. Several tweets later on the same day, West tweeted a photo of a Trump-signed Make America Great Again hat and then tweeted a selfie of him wearing a MAGA cap. Prior to this eyebrow-raising spectacle, West tweeted his support for far-right conservative commentator Candace Owens.
Waters said that West should consider the magnitude of his words. "We don’t think that he actually means to do harm, but we’re not sure he really understands the impact of what he’s saying, at the time that he’s saying it and how that weighs on, particularly the African American community — and for young people in general," she said.
"And I think maybe he should think twice about politics," Waters added, "and maybe not have so much to say."
Most recently, on Tuesday, West shared his thoughts on slavery with TMZ, much to the discomfort and fury some of his observers. "When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice," he said. "You [were] there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally in prison. I like the word 'prison' because 'slavery' goes too direct to the idea of Blacks. Slavery is to Blacks as the Holocaust is to Jews. Prison is something that unites as one race." Bustle has reached out to Waters for further comment on West's controversial comments.
While Waters hasn't commented on West's latest remarks, a TMZ reporter Van Lathan directly addressed West, "I actually don’t think you’re thinking anything" and added, "while you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives."
"We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said, for our people, was a choice," Lathan said. "Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled and, brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me, that’s not real."
It's hard to say how West has reacted to Waters' gentle criticism (if at all) but it's no surprise that the California lawmaker had her own thoughts about the recent Trump-West friendship.
After all, Waters is considered one of the most outspoken critics of Trump and his administration. Her unapologetically disapproving stance on the Republican presidency has won her the title of "Auntie Maxine" among fans as well as a popular meme based on her "I'm reclaiming my time" remark to United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. Waters' comment became so popular that Elle magazine dubbed it a "power statement" of our political era.