If you thought that Kanye West’s twitter rants are controversial, wait till you hear what he had to say during last week’s live TMZ show about slavery, Trump, and freedom of thought.
The rapper stirred up the biggest controversy of his career yet after he disrespected black history and culture by making an appalling claim that the 400 years of slavery that millions of people had to endure, was a ‘choice’.
On Tuesday, Kanye West made a special appearance on TMZ Live to talk about a number of topics including his relationship with Donald Trump and freedom of thought in the music industry – but the rapper shocked everyone after he casually mused on the controversial subject of slavery and black history.
West said that he found it hard to believe that an entire race of people was enslaved for 400 years. He added that slavery sounded more like a choice, “Like, you were there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all?” He claimed that slaves were mentally imprisoned, just like most of the human race is in today’s age, which is why it took them 400 years to start a freedom movement.
Confrontation in the News Room
After making the disrespectful comment, West sought confirmation from the rest of the newsroom by asking if they agreed with his ideas and believed that he was thinking and speaking freely, to which one of the TMZ employees responded, “I actually don’t think you are thinking anything.”
Van Lathan, the unexpected hero, who was the only one in the newsroom to stand up to the rapper, said that he was ‘unbelievably hurt’ and disappointed in West’s claims about slavery.
In a video that recently went viral on the internet, Lathan could be seen confronting Kanye West in front of the entire newsroom, saying that the rapper knew nothing about the struggles of the rest of the black community that isn’t as privileged as him. The TMZ employee said that, even today, people have to deal with the consequences and marginalization that came after 400 years of slavery, which according to Kanye, was completely a ‘choice’.
Kanye West’s Controversial Twitter Posts
West, who is known for sharing controversial tweets on various personal and political topics, received backlash from a number of celebrities on his most recent comment about slavery. In the week before his appearance on TMZ Live, the rapper tweeted in favor of Candace Owens, a harsh critic of Black Lives Matter and ever shared his love for Donald Trump by posting a photo of himself wearing a hat that said ‘Make America Great Again’ and was personally signed by the U.S. President himself.
The rapper also faced criticism from some of his friends after he shared photos of himself with Donald Trump on Twitter. He posted screenshots of all the hate comments he received on his posts, explaining his actions and calling himself a free thinker. The pro-Trump tweets were nothing compared to his on-record comment on slavery last Tuesday which only showed how little the rapper understands black history.
Furious celebrities took it to social media to educate Kanye West and criticize his claims. Film director Spike Lee told Kanye West to ‘wake up’ while American writer and professor Roxane Gay accused the rapper of being an uneducated ‘free moron’ instead of a ‘free thinker’.
Fellow musician Will.i.am also shared his thoughts on the controversial slavery remark, “Kanye thinks he has free thought. His thoughts are not researched.” The Black Eyed Peas singer added that freedom of speech is particularly dangerous when it involves a person of celebrity who doesn’t have any idea what they’re talking about.
Hashtag #IfSlaveryWasAChoice also gained popularity on Twitter with many making light of the situation and sharing funny jokes in response to the rapper’s controversial remarks. Kanye defended his words only hours after his exchange at the TMZ news room in a tweet where he admitted that slaves were not shackled and thrown on slave ships by free will. In a flood of defensive tweets, the rapper shared a number of questionable quotes and even compared himself to the leader of slave rebellion, Nat Turner.