Community leaders have their say about meeting
Boston’s black community is sounding off about rapper Kanye West’s recent meeting with President Trump.
West met with Trump on Thursday in the Oval Office, where he discussed mental health, prison reform, education and politics with the president. West, an avid Trump supporter, attended the meeting sporting a “Make America Great Again” hat and said wearing it makes him feel like “Superman.” West spoke for nearly 10 minutes straight, often jumping quickly and erratically from one topic to another.
Larry Ellison, president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, said he was not impressed by West’s speech. “It’s someone who is clearly seeking attention from someone who is an attention-seeker,” Ellison said. Ellison said West was “delusional” and he was seeking to “entertain” Trump.
“That is someone who is not in touch with reality. That performance shows maybe he should consult with someone who can diagnose him properly,” said Ellison, who added that West should have used his platform to speak about gentrification, education and high unemployment in communities of color.
William Dickerson, the bishop and senior pastor at the Greater Love Tabernacle in Dorchester, said the interaction between Trump and West was “kind of awkward.”
“Anyone who has a chance to sit down with any president and represent a group of people, they are not going to want to waste their time, they’re going to want to make sure their words resonate,” Dickerson said.
He said West used the meeting as a “photo op.” “I think that if he likes the president, tell the president the truth about how people in black communities are dealing with the economic situation and the educational situation, tell him the truth about how black men and women are disproportionately incarcerated,” Dickerson said.
After West’s speech, Trump said it was “quite something,” adding, “He can speak for me anytime he wants. He’s a smart cookie, smart. He gets it.”
Dickerson said Trump looked “like a deer in headlights.”
Trump said West “could very well” be a future presidential candidate.