Toni Fulton captured the moment that demonstrated why many say Kanye West should reconsider running for the nation’s highest office.
On Sunday, July 19, 2020, West held his first campaign rally in Charleston, South Carolina. Fulton, who attended the rally with her younger sister Nicole Fulton, recorded West when he made the historically incorrect statement, “Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other White people.”
Fulton appeared Monday, July 20, on an episode of rolling out‘s “A.M. Wake-Up Call,” where she shared her thoughts about the bizarre experience.
What made you decide to attend Kanye’s rally?
My sister went online and saw that Kanye was going to be in Charleston, which is about two hours away from where we live. So, she saw that, and then she sent a group text to our family and said, “Who wants to go to the circus?”
I decided to go, and it was a pretty simple day at first. He started to talk and began to give an explanation on why he was wearing a MAGA [Make America Great Again] hat. He then went into a tangent about Jay-Z, and then from there, he went to Harriet Tubman. During that entire time, my blood was boiling, and I was rolling my eyes the entire time. And when he talked about Harriet Tubman, we knew that it was time to go. If we would have stayed as Black women, it would have looked as if we agreed with him, and that’s something we didn’t want to do at all.
What do you remember most about the crowd at the rally?
From my perspective, I would say it was a lot of younger college-aged kids, lots of the 19- and 21-year-olds and sneakerheads. It was his concert crowd. Once he started talking, their response was mostly silent. But I heard one of the few Black young men behind me say, ‘He’s right, though.’ And that’s what happens when you have a figure like Kanye saying something so outrageous. If you’re going to follow someone, make sure when they’re saying something that it’s true.
Do you think anyone in that crowd would seriously consider voting for Kanye?
Initially, they wanted him to play music. The kids were looking for a concert, so this was a free meet and greet for someone that you adore, so that’s fair. As far as voting, I don’t think so. Initially, people were screaming when he came out. The moment he began to kind of tell them what to do and don’t do this and you can’t do that. Those kids don’t like that. They won’t stand for someone trying to be a dictator to them, so once he began to show narcissism and dictatorship, things didn’t go so well. They were no longer in love with him. They were watching him from afar. So, I think that’s positive that these kids will not be persuaded.