I originally had no intent to address this, but Kanye has really out-Kanyed himself this time. If you haven't already seen his interview from earlier this month or been on Facebook ever, Kanye West did an interview in which he described slavery as a choice. I honestly wasn't much surprised by him saying this, it is Kanye we are talking about. What I did find repulsive was how many people (particular people of color) came out agreeing with this statement.
First off, he knew he tweaked as soon as this one left his mouth. I can state my own opinion all day, but I think this debate can be deaded by a few facts. So Kanye, let's just speak facts- BIG FACTS.
1. The first documented African Americans were brought over from Africa, as slaves by European Americans.
Literally meaning that these people were enslaved from the very moment their feet touched American soil. It doesn't sound like they were making many choices from day 1, correct me if I'm wrong?
Let's move along in the American timeline, it might get better.
2. Oh, wait, nope.
When slaves tried to escape or disobey their master, they were publicly brutalized. Lynchings, whippings, murders, and rape were commonly used as tactics to scare African Americans into submission. Kanye must have skipped that history class.
3. If you thought choices were abundant after slavery, you thought absolutely wrong.
Has everyone somehow forgotten about the 70+ years of the Jim Crow Era? You know, the one where laws were passed blatantly enforcing segregation. And when African Americans finally could use the same public facilities as everyone else, the white community then packed up and left (boom- the creation of suburbs). Further committing to the CHOICE to be segregated.
In this interview, Kanye then goes on to state that African Americans were mentally enslaved during slavery. Thank you, Sherlock.
African Americans were constantly denied education. And simply put, knowledge is power. In fact, education, career, even things as personal as sexual consent, are only a few of the choices taken away by masters.
As a black man in a position of power, it is so important to use your platform to speak positively about these movements and advocate for people who cannot do so themselves. Do better Kanye.