Kanye West surprised students at Howard University with a Sunday Service on a Saturday for their homecoming- but not everyone was thrilled due to the rapper’s support of President Donald Trump.
West brought his famed “Sunday Service” to the historically Black university at about 8 a.m. Saturday morning, CNN reports, where he and his famed choir and a brass band performed a number of his hits, including “Jesus Walks,” “Fade,” “Beautiful Morning,” and more.
West was accompanied by wife Kim Kardashian and two of their children, North and Saint, according to TMZ. The service was lead by R&B singer Tony Williams …
The university posted video from the event on its official Twitter and it quickly drew criticism from the progressive anti-Trump crowd who called out those embracing West, considering his political views and alleged “anti-blackness.”
Howard professor, Dr. Keneshia Grant, tweeted that the “Kanye church thing makes me uncomfortable…”
This Kayne church thing makes me uncomfortable. There, I said it.
— Keneshia Grant, Ph.D. (@keneshiagrant) October 12, 2019
Twitter user @AmmonLyle wrote, “If you’re not intelligent enough to recognize that Kanye West is exploiting Black Christian culture AND Howard University to rebrand from supporting a racist, xenophobic con artist… please stay away from me.”
If you’re not intelligent enough to recognize that Kanye West is exploiting Black Christian culture AND Howard University to rebrand from supporting a racist, xenophobic con artist… please stay away from me.
— Ammon (@AmmonLyle) October 12, 2019
Several fans slammed the rapper online for selling his own merch at the event.
Columnist Tobi Oredein of Premier Christianity said in a recent article: ”As I watched these Sunday Services, I also wondered who was being glorified,” she said. “He’s employing a choir of people who are not only singing his songs, but are all dressed in his apparel. Is Christ really at the center of this gathering? I’m not sure he is.”
Greg Carr, an associate professor at Howard’s Department of Afro-American Studies, asked his followers on Twitter to send West to the school’s library to pick up a copy of The Mis-Education of the Negro. The 1933 thesis argues that Black Americans are being culturally indoctrinated in schools.
— Greg Carr (@AfricanaCarr) October 12, 2019
In addition, writer Frederick Joseph tweeted that he “can’t blame Kanye anymore,” because “he’s shown us who he is.” Joseph noted that “Black people need to stop making space for his anti-Blackness.”
Can’t blame Kanye anymore, he’s shown us who he is. Black people need to stop making space for his anti-Blackness.
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) October 12, 2019
But Twitter user Michael Menifee said, “If you truly pay attention, Kanye has shown us many sides of who he is. He is not the same person as the one we saw when he first appeared on Live TV. He’s growing and evolving like we all should be.”
If you truly pay attention, Kanye has shown us many sides of who he is. He is not the same person as the one we saw when he first appeared on Live TV. He’s growing and evolving like we all should be.
— Michael Menifee (@mmenifee26) October 12, 2019
Meanwhile, Yeezy fans seem to be divided ever since West met with Trump at the White House in 2018, and compared wearing a MAGA hat to having super powers. Later that year during his appearance on TMZ Live, the Chicago native ranted about “slavery being a choice.”
Most recently at his Utah Sunday Service earlier this month, he reiterated his support of Trump and told attendees that the “Republican party… freed the slaves.”
During his show at Howard on Saturday, the Grammy-winning artist told the crowd, “If they throwing slave nets again how about we all don’t stand in the same place.”
And with that… many have officially cancelled Kanye West. Others believe he is simply trying to “free our minds” so we’re better equipped to avoid being caught up in similar circumstances that have helped fuel the ongoing cycle of Black oppression.
Meanwhile, West has a gospel album coming out next month, “Jesus Is King” reportedly drops October 25.