“I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
― S.G. Tallentyre
Kayne West is under fire for comments he made about slavery during a sit-down with TMZ on Tuesday. During the interview, the 40-year-old rapper touched on his love for President Trump, his recent tweets, and one point said slavery “sounds like a choice.”
“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,” he said in the interview. “So prison is something that unites us as one race, blacks and whites being one race. We’re the human race.”
After the interview, West stood up in the TMZ newsroom and asked staffers if they thought he was “thinking free.” TMZ reporter Van Lathan shot back and called West’s comments the “absence of thought.”
“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,” Lathan 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.”
In a series of 16 tweets, West attempted 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, 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 once again I am being attacked for presenting new ideas
Regardless of your views on Kayne West or President Trump or any other outspoken person today, it is always good to remind ourselves of that First Amendment that we still hold in high esteem.
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prevents Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or to petition for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.