Kanye West breaks down, makes dubious claim about Harriet Tubman at South Carolina rally

Kanye West broke down in tears, made an outrageous claim about Harriet Tubman, had a heckler ejected and claimed his brain was too big for his skull on Sunday at the first campaign event for his bewildering presidential run.

"Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people," he said at one point in a rambling speech that bounded from one topic to another with little seeming structure.

At another moment, he broke down when sharing that he and wife Kim Kardashian West had considered an abortion, and then said his own father wanted to have him aborted. "There was almost no Kanye West... because he was too busy!," West sobbed.

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Kanye West makes his first presidential campaign appearance, Sunday, July 19, 2020 in North Charleston, S.C. Rapper Kanye West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, delivered a lengthy monologue Sunday touching on topics from abortion and religion to international trade and licensing deals. Whether he's actually seeking the nation's highest office remains a question. (Lauren Petracca Ipetracca/The Post And Courier via AP)
Présidentielle américaine : le candidat Kanye West fond en larmes pour son premier meeting
People record on their phones as Kanye West makes his first presidential campaign appearance, Sunday, July 19, 2020 in North Charleston, S.C. Rapper Kanye West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, delivered a lengthy monologue Sunday touching on topics from abortion and religion to international trade and licensing deals. Whether he's actually seeking the nation's highest office remains a question. (Lauren Petracca Ipetracca/The Post And Courier via AP)
Kanye West makes his first presidential campaign appearance, Sunday, July 19, 2020 in North Charleston, S.C. Rapper Kanye West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, delivered a lengthy monologue Sunday touching on topics from abortion and religion to international trade and licensing deals. Whether he's actually seeking the nation's highest office remains a question. (Lauren Petracca Ipetracca/The Post And Courier via AP)
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are seen during halftime of the NBA All-Star basketball game Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Huh)
Kanye West arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: Kanye West attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
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<p>Talk about foreshadowing: Kim met up with her then-buddy <a class="sugar-inline-link ga-track" title="Latest photos and news for Kanye West" href="https://www.popsugar.com/Kanye-West" target="_blank" data-ga-category="Related" data-ga-label="https://www.popsugar.com/Kanye-West" data-ga-action="&lt;-related-&gt; Links">Kanye West</a> at the opening of Intermix's LA store in September 2007. </p>
***FILE PHOTO*** Music Executive, Andre Harrell, Has Passed Away at 59. Andre Harrell attends the Kanye West & Anja Rubik Halloween party at Darby in New York City. October 31, 2011. Credit: Walik Goshorn /MediaPunch /IPX
Kanye West arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Kim Kardashian, left, and Kanye West arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Kanye West arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Kim Kardashian West, left, and Kanye West arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Kim Kardashian, left, and rapper Kanye West watch during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 128-99. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Photo by: John Nacion/starmaxinc.com STAR MAX ©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Telephone/Fax: (212) 995-1196 2/5/20 Kanye West is seen in New York City.
FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2020 file photo, Rapper Kanye West watches during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Los Angeles. Drawings by West from when the rapper was a high school student in Chicago are now worth thousands of dollars, according to an appraiser. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill File)
Kanye West answers questions from Sr. pastor Joel Osteen during the 11 am service at Lakewood Church Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Kanye West answers questions from Sr. pastor Joel Osteen during the 11 am service at Lakewood Church Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
From left, Kim Kardashian West, North West, Kanye West and Joel Osteen answers media questions after the 11 am service at Lakewood Church Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Rapper Kanye West, right, answers questions from Joel Osteen, left, during a service at Lakewood Church, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West sit on the front row before the start of the 11 am service at Lakewood Church Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Houston. Kanye West spoke during a question and answer session with Sr. pastor Joel Osteen (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Kanye West attends the WSJ. Magazine 2019 Innovator Awards at the Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Kanye West, left, and wife Kim Kardashian West attend the WSJ. Magazine 2019 Innovator Awards at the Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Kanye West, left, and wife Kim Kardashian West attend the WSJ. Magazine 2019 Innovator Awards at the Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK, NY- NOVEMBER 7: Kim Kardashian West seen leaving the Ritz Carlton in New York City on November 07, 2019. Credit: RW/MediaPunch /IPX
NEW YORK, NY- NOVEMBER 7: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West seen leaving the Ritz Carlton in New York City on November 07, 2019. Credit: RW/MediaPunch /IPX
NEW YORK, NY- NOVEMBER 7: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West seen leaving the Ritz Carlton in New York City on November 07, 2019. Credit: RW/MediaPunch /IPX
Presenters Kanye West, left, and Kim Kardashian West pose with Superstar award honoree Rick Owens at The Fashion Group International's annual "Night of Stars" gala at Cipriani Wall Street on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
October 24, 2019 Kanye West attend FGI 36th Annual Night of Stars Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. October 24 , 2019 Credit: RW/MediaPunch /IPX
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Apparently wearing a bulletproof vest, West sounded off on multiple other topics, ranging from social media to his Adidas deal, during the rambling speech at the Exquis Event Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

The reaction of the crowd — "registered guests only" — ranges from sympathy to disgust at various points: After West's comments about Tubman, who is credited with freeing hundreds of slaves via the "Underground Railroad," one crowd member groans "Come on, man," while a woman can be heard saying "Okay we're leaving now."

He then segues immediately into saying that the National Basketball Association and Universal Music Group have no Black owners.

West demanded "absolute silence and absolute order" — and even asked audience members to point out anyone they heard talking — scolded the crowd for clapping at one point, and had another audience member ejected for an unclear reason.

Watch the entire thing on Facebook.

Announced earlier in the day and held in a small room before what appeared to be a couple of hundred people, all attendees were asked to sign a COVID-19 liability release form, social distance and wear a mask,

West announced on Twitter, seemingly in earnest, that he'd be running for president exactly two weeks ago on Fourth of July. Politico reports that West filed an official statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission last week using The Birthday Campaign (BDY) as his political party affiliation.

He also tweeted on Saturday evening asking his followers to sign a petition to get him on the South Carolina ballot. However, as ABC News reports, West missed South Carolina's deadline to file as an independent candidate this week, and the state does not allow write-in candidates.

West was able to get on the ballot in Oklahoma this week by paying a $35,000 fee before the cut-off deadline in lieu of getting petition signatures. The deadlines to register as a write-in candidate have passed in several states, but many extend into August and September, leaving a small chance that West could muster enough petition signatures to get him on the ballots in those states. Several thousands of signatures are required for a write-in candidate in most states.

After several reports about the long-shot candidate dropping out circulated last week, many fans were surprised to see West commit to running. According to Politico, he has not registered in any major voting polls.

- This article first appeared on Variety

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