The Controversy Behind Kanye's Insensitive Comments Regarding Slavery
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Politics and Activism

The Controversy Behind Kanye's Insensitive Comments Regarding Slavery

Was it really a choice?

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The Controversy Behind Kanye's Insensitive Comments Regarding Slavery
Oladimeji Odunsi

As explicitly published in the media, Mr. Kanye West, has tarnished his reputation as once a lyrical genius, and perhaps one of the greatest artists of our generation, to well…the living embodiment of a modern Uncle Tom. For those who have no idea (which is highly unlikely) about Kanye’s recent appearance in the media, let me recap:

At his TMZ appearance, West made several racially insensitive comments about slavery that had a global audience scratching their heads, considering that West is in fact African American.

While discussing “free thought” in the TMZ newsroom, West stated, “When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice.”

Kanye is known for never riding the wave. He has always been known as an individual that states his mind. He is highly opinionated, and generally doesn’t seek the approval of the media or his audience when he does makes his obscene and unorthodox comments.

Yet, this particular comment has infuriated many and completely contradicted Kanye’s entire platform in many ways.

First, in Kanye’s recently released song, “Ye vs. The People,” one of the lyrics says: “Ever since Trump won, it proved I could be president.” While lyrics are normally highly subliminal, there are only so many things that one can mean when saying this, especially regarding Donald Trump. He’s either making fun of Trump’s ignorance and idiocy, or he’s implying that in order to win, he has to be a champion of white people.

But I won’t even attempt to decipher the thoughts behind Kanye’s clearly deranged mindset. What needs to be understood is that Kanye was photographed with Trump in a “Make America Great Again,” yet, you’re insulting the man that you support.

Onward to the comment that slavery was a “choice.” When I first saw this on TMZ, I honestly was not surprised that something as controversial as this came out of his mouth. However, like the masses of the African American community, I was utterly disappointed.

But first, I tried to understand his point of view, because like Kanye, I am not limited to one perspective. I thought about how he could’ve meant that the “choice” of slavery intended the imprisonment of the slave’s minds. It is a stigma in the black community, that we still have a post-slave mentality, and that we as a people are limited because white people still have the shackles on our minds. Hence why young blacks are encouraged to become leaders, to get an education, and to corrupt the system that has been built to keep us maintained.

Unfortunately, this thought, which was to ultimately give Kanye West the benefit of the doubt, failed epically because he was highly specific in his time reference, and that is irrefutable fact.

Almost everyone knows the history of slavery. They are blatantly aware that hundreds of thousands, even millions, of African Americans were forced onto ships, shackled, and kept in conditions that no one, not even an animal, should be forced to endure. They were then sent to work in a foreign land, and sense then, have not returned to their homeland. They were not able to educate their children on their true heritage because they were brainwashed into adopting their new American identity, and so African Americans accumulatively became a lost people.

Sure, all of the hundreds and thousands of black people could have had a Killmonger mindset and jumped from the ships because they refused to be a victim of bondage. But how likely was it that these people actually wanted to end their own lives?

I’ve known of one slave rebellion, which was Nat Turner’s Rebellion, that was only mildly successful. He gathered as many slaves as he could to kill the master of their plantation and his family in their sleep. Of course, he was hanged for his crimes and so were his followers, but even in these instances in where these slaves tried, they were killed for doing so.

It is almost impossible to put oneself in the position of a slave during that time, so it must be equally impossible for Kanye to understand that black’s options were limited, and that they had no true choice that didn’t result in their death, one of their friends/family’s death, or undergo some horrific mutilation, that included, but was certainly not limited to being raped, or having a limb severed.

To say the least, Kanye is obviously the one that is still a slave. To make a comment such as the one he made clearly indicates his lack of research, and to even consider commenting on something that he obviously had no prior knowledge of notes that he is also asinine.

Even more so, his image of supporting Trump despite his blatant disregard for minorities demonstrates that he is indeed a puppet. While he believes that the rules don’t apply to him because of his social hierarchy and wealth, if he goes into a suburb disguised in a hoodie in broad light, the cops will maim him as quickly as they have countless other African Americans. Kanye honestly believes he has Trump’s honest comradery, but they laugh and mock him because they have him right where they want him.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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