On Tuesday, in an interview with TMZ Kanye West has been criticized for his comments on slavery. During the interview, he expressed his love for President Donald Trump and said slavery "sounds like a choice."
Kanye said in the interview, "When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice. Like, you were there for 400 years and it's all of you all? You know, it's like we're mentally in prison. I like the word prison 'cause slavery goes too -- too direct to the idea of blacks. So prison is something that unites us as one race, blacks and whites being one race. We're the human race."
After the statement about slavery, Kanye stood and asked the staffers if he was 'thinking free'. The TMZ reporter Van Lathan shot back and called West's comments the "absence of thought."
Kanye West stirs up the TMZ newsroom over TRUMP, SLAVERY and FREE THOUGHT. There's A LOT more that went down ... and the fireworks are exploding on @TMZLive today. Check your local listings for show times. pic.twitter.com/jwVsJCMPiq— TMZ (@TMZ) May 1, 2018
Lathan said, "I think what you're doing right now is actually the absence of thought. 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 fact, and real-world, real-life consequence behind everything that you just said."
He continued, "And 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. We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said, for our people, was a choice."
The reporter also explained how much he was "disappointed", "appalled," and "unbelievably hurt" that West had "morphed into something, to me, that's not real."
After the explained, Kanye tried to clarify his comments by saying "we need an open discussion and ideas on unsettled pain." He insisted his comments were "free thought" and "just an idea."
we need to have open discussions and ideas on unsettled pain— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 1, 2018
to make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 1, 2018
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— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 1, 2018
They cut out our tongues so we couldn't communicate to each other. I will not allow my tongue to be cut— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 1, 2018
On Tuesday, Tanisha Ford, associate professor of Africana studies and history at University of Delaware joined CSBN to discuss the impact of his remarks.
She said, "Those comments show how completely out of touch Kanye is at this moment in time, and I think they would have his mother Donda West, a former college professor, enraged."
"It's a far-cry from the Kanye West we knew who made the song 'Crack Music,' which made a link between slavery, the prison industrial complex and the rise of crack cocaine used in the black community."
I don’t have the energy for nonsense but Kanye saying slavery was a choice reiterates my previous statements about how dangerous his trite, shallow ramblings are. He is not a free thinker. He is a free moron who doesn’t read. Do not @ me.— roxane gay (@rgay) May 1, 2018
Kanye is a dangerous caricature of an “free thinking” black person in America. Frankly, I am disgusted and I’m over it. Also (I can’t believe I have to say this): Slavery was far from a choice.— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) May 1, 2018
me in 2005: im so proud of kanye for telling the truth abt george bush not caring about black people. it needed to be said.— Tracy Boomeisha-Ann Clayton (@brokeymcpoverty) May 1, 2018
me in 2018: im so proud of the black tmz dude for telling the truth abt kanye not caring about black people. it needed to be said.
Kanye’s rhetoric continues to fuel the racist right-wing folks who believe that black people are responsible for their oppression.— deray (@deray) May 1, 2018
On Tuesday, West expalined what he felt a freedom in sharing the photos.
"It was really just my subconscious. It was a feeling I had, you know. Like, people -- we're taught how to think. We're taught how to feel. We don't know how to think for ourselves. We don't know how to feel for ourselves. People say 'feel free,' but they don't really want us to feel free. I felt a freedom, first of all, in doing something that everybody tells you not to do."