During a live Hurricane Katrina relief telethon in September 2005, West declared that then-President “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” and said America is set up “to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible.” He defended his comments at the time, but apologized in 2010, saying he chose the wrong words and “didn’t have the grounds to call [Bush] a racist.”
In the Oval Office on Thursday, West, 41, said he has adopted a new “mentality” on the issue.
Sitting across from President Trump, 72, in the Oval Office, West told reporters that a “welfare mentality” led him to accuse Bush of racism.
“I was very emotional and I was programmed to think from a victimized mentality. Of a welfare mentality,” West said.
He went on to accuse Democrats of using the concept of racism to control voters.
“A liberal would try to control a black person through the concept of racism because we know we’re very proud, emotional people,” he said. “So when I said I like Trump to someone as liberal, they’ll say, oh, but he’s racist. You think racism can control me? Oh, that don’t stop me. That’s an invisible wall.”
West also discussed his own mental health in the monologue, saying he believes he was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder.
“What I think is we don’t need sentences, we need pardons. We need to talk to people. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was connected with a neuropsychologist that works with the athletes in the NBA and NFL. He looked at my brain,” he began.
After saying that he had a “98 percentile IQ test,” West went on to state that the doctor told him “I wasn’t actually bipolar; I had sleep deprivation which can cause dementia 10 to 20 years from now when I wouldn’t even remember my son’s name.”