Kanye West talks slavery: ‘Sounds like a choice’
Kanye West just stirred up some major controversy.
On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, West visited TMZ Live and opened up about a number of topics, including his past opioid addiction and his MAGA cap. But what no one could have expected from this interview was West’s assertion that black people had a choice in their past enslavement.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice,” West said. “Like, you was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all?”
He continued, “You know, it’s like we’re mentally imprisoned. I like the word ‘prison,’ because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. It’s like slavery/Holocaust. Holocaust, Jews. Slavery is blacks. So prison is something that unites us as one race. Blacks and whites being one race. That we’re one … the human race.”
Following his appearance on TMZ Live, West faced swift backlash for his comments.
“Kanye got people believing slavery was a choice. Kanye West. Slavery. A CHOICE,” one Twitter user wrote. “Our ancestors were insulted, sold, raped, beaten, etc. all because they chose to be. I don’t usually let celebrity banter get under my skin but he did it.”
Another tweeted out, “Black men being beaten & raped, Black Women being beaten & raped, black families destroyed and broken, Black people overworked never paid, Black kids forced into illiteracy, Black people burned, dragged, whipped, hung & beaten to death yet Kanye West says slavery was a choice.”
That night, he took to Twitter to clarify his statements. “We need to have open discussions and ideas on unsettled pain,” he wrote.
“To make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will,” he tweeted, adding, “My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved.”
He shared, “They cut out our tongues so we couldn’t communicate to each other. I will not allow my tongue to be cut.”
West also attempted to explain why he brought up the topic in the first place. “The reason why I brought up the 400 years point is because we can’t be mentally imprisoned for another 400 years. We need free thought now. Even the statement was an example of free thought. It was just an idea,” he tweeted, noting, “Once again I am being attacked for presenting new ideas.”