By Matthew Johnson
Rapper Kanye West made some very controversial headlines recently by stating “Slavery was not forced and it was a choice.” In an interview on Power 105 Morning Show with Host Charlamagne The God, West also stated his support for Donald Trump. “I love challenging the norm,” West said. “I love people who don’t love him. I love the fact that they’re speaking up and everybody’s just giving their opinions.”
Then Charlamagne described President Trump as antagonistic to the minorities of the world and asked West how could he support a guy like him. “I don’t have all the answers that a celeb is supposed to have,” West said in response. “But I can tell you that when he was running, it’s like I felt something. The fact that he won proves something. It proves that anything is possible in America,” West said, “when I see an outsider infiltrate, I connect with that.”
This sent the social media world into a tizzy and many have said they are so disgusted with West that he is basically dead to them and they will no longer listen to his music or purchase his shoes or clothing line anymore. Since making those comments West has also lost millions of followers on both Instagram and on his twitter account showing him that his words hold weight and the people are holding him accountable for his actions.
Many people aren’t sure what his intentions were and felt blindsided by making these statements in a random interview.
Personally, I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I could see where West was coming from because I do know the true origin of slavery, but there are many uneducated readers who do not.
In fact, I am very aware that African slaves were actually sold and traded by other Africans to the Americans. From that standpoint, I can see why he made the comments because that was a choice by one party to sell the common folk who they deemed expendable. However, on the other hand, that was only a choice from one party and I am sure if anyone had asked the people being sold what they wanted they would have chosen to stay in their homelands.
In another interview with TMZ on Tuesday, West elaborated a bit more on the subject. “When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years?” West said, “that sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all? We’re mentally in prison.”
At this point his opinions truly don’t sound very thought out and I believe he is just talking to keep his names in the headlines because he hasn’t produced or recorded any great songs recently. So I think it’s just a marketing maneuver for someone who was once so outspoken about then President Bush when he made headlines stating “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people.”
We all came from different backgrounds and upbringings but when this happens it makes me wonder how much does the beliefs of celebrities sway the opinions of the common U.S. citizen? Aren’t they entitled to their own political philosophies and views for the world. West has always been different with the things that he says and does and this is just another example of him being different from the rest. The biggest difference between him and everyone else is that he is not afraid to voice his opinion. I am very sure many actors, models, singers, rappers and athletes feel a certain way about something that we may not agree with, they just don’t say it the world– they keep their opinions to themselves.