In case you haven’t heard, Kanye West is running for president — but for real this time. Just days after announcing his intentions to occupy the highest seat in the land, the rapper is laying out his plans for the country. And they make absolutely no sense.
On the 4th July, West revealed that he is running for president in this year’s high stakes election. “We must now realise the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future,” wrote the music icon on Twitter. “I am running for president of the United States.”
As antics go, West gunning for the Oval Office isn’t the most shocking thing that could happen — just look at our current Commander-in-Chief. In a new, extremely chaotic interview with Forbes, West laid out the fragmented pieces of his plan for the country should he be elected president this November. The policy is predictably scattered, marked by generalisations and conspiracy theories alike (remind you of someone?), but the part that’s most disturbing to me is his flawed understanding of T’Challa’s Wakanda.
“I’m gonna use the framework of Wakanda right now because it’s the best explanation of what our design group is going to feel like in the White House,” West told Forbes. “Let’s get back to Wakanda…like in the movie in Wakanda when the king went to visit that lead scientist to have the shoes wrap around her shoes.”
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were first able to explore the fictional country in its glory in the blockbuster hit 2018 Black Panther, with Chadwick Boseman leading the land as its proud king T’Challa and eponymous chosen warrior. In MCU lore, Wakanda is the most technologically advanced country in the world. Though a massive forcefield renders its splendour invisible to the human eye, the country boasts incredible wealth and prosperity — a result of its rulers building its foundations upon an extremely valuable mineral called vibranium years ago.
For all intents and purposes, Wakanda is not a real place. But from what we do know about Wakanda culture courtesy of Black Panther and Marvel, it’s not exactly what West thinks it is.
Many of the presidential hopeful’s policies skew on the conservative side, something that doesn’t really match up with Wakanda. West’s conversation with Forbes revealed that he is both pro-life and anti-vaccination because of his faith, stances that are not only antiquated, but also scientifically questionable.
“It’s so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralysed…so when they say the way we’re going to fix Covid is with a vaccine, I’m extremely cautious,” he explained. “That’s the mark of the beast. They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things, to make it where we can’t cross the gates of heaven.”
So...does the West actually think that the good people of Wakanda would also be anti-vaxxers? The very same people who literally fused a man with vibranium when he lost his arm in battle? The same people whose leaders ascend to power after eating a heart-shaped herb that practically makes them immortal? You’re scared of vaccines, but technology that literally alters human genetic material and gives people supernatural abilities is no problem?
Confusingly, West doesn’t seem against all pharmaceutical innovations — he’s just worried about vaccines. He says that he wants to blend the pharmaceutical industry with the grassroots energy of the holistic medicine world to make some big kumbaya healing moment for the world. Or something like that.
“Just the amount of innovation that can happen, the amount of innovation in medicine—like big pharma—we are going to work, innovate together,” said West. “This is not going to be some Nipsey Hussle being murdered, they’re doing a documentary, we have so many soldiers that die for our freedom, our freedom of information, that there is a cure for AIDS out there, there is going to be a mix of big pharma and holistic.”
If you’re having a hard time following the rapper’s train of thought, you’re not alone — he’s saying a lot at once. The biggest takeaway is that he wants to model our country after a fictional place known for its scientific innovation. But without the science that saves lives. But also some of the science can stay?
I don’t know. 2020 is a nightmare.