04 May 2018 - Kanye West Implies Slavery Was a Choice
Kanye West slavery comments spark backlash: 'He's putting targets on our backs'
Ben Beaumont-Thomas (The Guardian, 02/05/2018)
Kanye West has caused outrage among civil rights activists and fellow musicians, thanks to comments in which he implied black people were to blame for their enslavement.
In an interview with TMZ, West said: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years … for 400 years? That sounds like a choice … It’s like we’re mentally in prison.” He later clarified his comments on Twitter, saying: “To make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will ... 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.”
His comments nevertheless prompted an instant and vociferous backlash, first of all in the TMZ newsroom, where host Van Lathan told West: “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.”
The Historian Behind Slavery Apologists Like Kanye West
Blain Roberts and Ethan J. Kyle (The New York Times, 03/05/2018)
A video of the rapper Kanye West discussing slavery is a sad reminder of America’s historical amnesia about the brutal realities of that institution. “When you hear about slavery for 400 years,” he said in the clip, which was widely circulated on Twitter, “that sounds like a choice.”
Mr. West seemed to suggest that enslaved African-Americans were so content that they did not actively resist their bondage, and, as a result, they bear some responsibility for centuries of persecution.
He’s not alone in his thinking. In 2016, the former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly asserted that slaves were “well fed and had decent lodgings.” Last September, the Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore deemed the antebellum era the last great period in American history. “I think it was great at the time when families were united,” he declared. “Even though we had slavery, they cared for one another.”
This radio station’s answer to Kanye West’s remarks on slavery? Mute his music.
Eli Rosenberg (The Washington Post, 03/05/2018)
A radio station in Detroit has come up with a proactive way to address Kanye West’s series of off-the-cuff remarks this week: boycott his music.
The #muteKanye movement started as a stunt on 105.1 The Bounce’s morning show, where hosts Bigg and Shay Shay told their listeners that they planned to avoid playing any songs in which West was so much as featured.
“He has a huge platform and I just think that’s reckless,” Shay Shay said of the musician’s string of head-turning remarks this week, which included claiming slavery was a “choice” for black Americans and questioning the importance of civil rights-era leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
Kanye West Says Slavery Was A Choice
(The Onion, 03/05/2018)
In a TMZ interview with the controversial rapper, Kanye West revealed that he believes slavery was a choice, telling his interviewer, “when you hear about slavery for 400 years...for 400 years? That sounds like a choice.” What do you think?
“I’m confused, didn’t we already decide not to take anything Kanye says seriously 15 years ago?”
Ogden Moore • Saliva Collector