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400 years a slave! Kanye West trolled for saying 'slavery was a choice' on TMZ

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 2 May 2018, 12:45 IST

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."

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."

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."

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."

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First published: 2 May 2018, 12:45 IST