Kanye West Sparks Outrage by Claiming Slavery Was a ‘Choice’

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Kanye West has upset and alienated his fans, again.

The rapper stopped by TMZ on Tuesday, May 1, for a sit-down interview about his fondness of President Trump, his recent tweets and slavery.

It was when the 40-year-old rapper described slavery as a “choice” that he sparked outrage both outside and inside the TMZ newsroom in Playa Vista, Calif.

“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 y’all? You know, it’s like we’re mentally in prison. I like the word prison because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks,” he said in the interview. “It’s like Slavery, holocaust, holocaust Jews. Slavery is blacks. So, Prison is something that unites us as one race, blacks and whites being one race. That we’re the human race.”

West then turned to TMZ staffers working in the newsroom and asked if they thought he was “thinking free,” which he has said is the reason for his recent barrage of controversial comments.

While one employee shouted “yes,” reporter Van Lathan shot back at West, saying the hip-hop star wasn’t making any sense.

“I think what you’re doing right now is actually the absence of thought,” Lathan stated. “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.”

Lathan then said West was being “nonsensical.”

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The rapper’s comments made headlines around the world with many fans and fellow celebrities criticizing his take on slavery.

“Kanye’s rhetoric continues to fuel the racist right-wing folks who believe that black people are responsible for their oppression,” tweeted civil rights activist Deray McKesson.

“There has NEVER been a moment in history when Black people didn’t resist slavery. Some did it by jumping off ships. Some killed masters. Some ran away,” author, activist and CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, The Wire star Wendell Pierce tweeted that West of “being sensational for the sake of publicity.”

West’s comments came after a series of tweets in recent days where he shared political opinions.

West has tweeted support for right-wing commentator and Black Lives Matter critic Candace Owens. He heaped praise on Trump, and shared photos of himself in a Make America Great Again hat autographed by the president.

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When fellow music artist John Legend texted him to disagree with his comments, West tweeted screenshots of Legend’s private messages.

The rapper’s comments and recent behavior have prompted some people to question his mental state.

Meanwhile, with an album on the way, others have suggested he is simply being provocative to garner attention.

You can watch West’s full interview with TMZ below. A warning, it contains profanity.

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