Controversial rapper Kanye West is scrambling to defend remarks he made during a recent interview in which he said slavery was a “choice.”
West, speaking Tuesday with celebrity news outlet TMZ about his recent outspoken support of President Donald Trump, went on a tangent about freedom, eventually stating that slavery had been an option for Blacks.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” West said in part during the interview on “TMZ Live.” “Like, you were there for 400 years and it’s all of you all? Like, we’re mentally in prison. Like, slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. So prison is something that unites us as one race, blacks and whites being one race. We’re the human race.”
Amid fierce and immediate backlash — a TMZ staffer in the room during the interview lambasted West for his comments — the rapper doubled down on Twitter Tuesday night, claiming he was “once again” being taken to task for presenting new ideas.
“To make myself clear. Of course, I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will,” he wrote. “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…They cut out our tongues so we couldn’t communicate to each other. I will not allow my tongue to be cut.”