Kanye West says slavery for 400 years was 'a choice'

Rapper under fire for series of tweets and comments, including praise for Donald Trump

Clark Mindock
New York
Tuesday 01 May 2018 22:15
Comments
Kanye was recently seen wearing President Donald Trump's signature campaign hat
Kanye was recently seen wearing President Donald Trump's signature campaign hat

Kanye West has suggested that slavery in the United States was a choice by those enslaved, prompting a black TMZ reporter to challenge him in a heated exchange for his recent comments.

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sounds like a choice!” Kanye said during an interview before the confrontation.

“Like, you was there for 400 years, and it’s all y’all? You know, it’s like, we’re mentally in prison. I like the word prison because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks,” Kanye continued.

“Prison is something that unites us as one race. Blacks and whites being one race," he continued. "That we’re the human race.”

The comments followed after the hip-hop artist reactivated his Twitter account and began posting a series of tweets that drew heavy criticism. In some of the tweets he praised President Donald Trump, and went so far as to post a picture of himself wearing a Make America Great Again hat.

“Do you feel that I’m being free, and I’m thinking free?” Kanye is shown in a TMZ video before the confrontation.

“I actually don’t think you’re thinking anything. I think what you’re doing right now is actually the absence of thought,” the TMZ reporter, Van, responded from across the room.

“And the reason why I feel like that is because, Kanye, you’re entitled to your opinion, you’re entitled to believe whatever you want, but there is real life consequence behind everything that you just said.”

Kanye admits that he was 'hurt' that Jay Z and Beyonce didn't come to his wedding

Van argued that Kanye is able to say whatever he wants in part because he is removed from the dangers that face people of lesser means in America, where the ugly history of racism still casts a shadow over the lives of many in black and minority communities.

“While you are making music and being an artist, and living the life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives,” he said. “We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice. Frankly, I’m disappointed. I’m appalled. And, brother, I’m unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something that, for me, is not real."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in