Kanye West, the rapper turned presidential candidate, is currently in the midst of a very public mental breakdown. Over the course of the last few days, West has tweeted out several statements that very clearly paint the picture of a manic man in the throes of a mental health crisis.
The tweets come after an incredibly strange campaign rally in South Carolina. West showed up at the rally sporting a bulletproof vest and proceeded to trash Harriet Tubman. He also claimed he almost killed his daughter, in reference to abortion.
Since the rally, West has sent out and then deleted numerous tweets. The tweets were mostly geared around his wife, Kim Kardashian West, her family, and the couple’s children. He accused his wife of trying to have him locked up, as well as making some very odd statements about their daughter, North. West also parrotted a common joke that the movie Get Out is about him.
The tweets only god stranger from there. West continued to tweet and then delete outlandish statements to his 30 million followers.
Kanye West has a long history of mental illness. He has spent time in the hospital to treat these issues before, and for weeks rumors have swirled that he is in the midst of a bipolar episode. Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings and periods of mania followed by periods of depression.
Criticism of Compassion?
West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, spoke out for the first time Wednesday morning in regard to her husband’s condition. In a statement posted to her Instagram stories, West tried to explain her husband’s behavior and asked the public for compassion.
In response to Kim’s statement, many came out with words of support, arguing for empathy and compassion for Kanye. Others were questioning whether mental illness excuses behavior that could potentially further destabilize our already unstable country. Many claimed that what West’s wife called “genius” was in fact simply narcissism. Responders often argued that West deserved criticism as opposed to compassion.
Mental illness in the public eye is a tricky thing. Kanye West has very much put his life out there for public consumption, as has his wife. West has 30 million followers on Twitter, so each and every one of those tweets went out to a truly colossal audience. At that point, people are bound to feel as though they have the right to comment and pass judgment. However, his illness should be taken into account, especially in regard to his family. Bipolar disorder is incredibly hard to live with, and a little empathy can go a long way.
He is also currently a presidential candidate. No matter how frivolous his campaign might be, his health, both mental and physical, is of concern to the American people.