Kanye, If Slavery Was A Choice…

Written by Patience Adamu

I have been listening thoughtfully about what Kanye West has been saying about racism. I watched the interview with Charlamagne in full, as well as the interview with TMZ in full, and I continue to follow Kanye West on Twitter.

Personally I feel…
Kanye West is a creative genius. Geniuses are, by definition, more capable of thinking more concretely about that which others feel is impossible. But the issue at hand here is the following:

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years… For 400 years, and its all of y’all, it’s like we’re mentally in prison.”

What we are witnessing is someone who does not know the difference between interpersonal racism (also known as hurt feelings) and a structural racism (oppression).

But I have questions…

  • Where is Kanye’s father? Black parents have the added responsibility of educating their children on the history of their ancestors and the American slavery/Jim Crow experience. Now that Donda (formerly a professor at a HISTORICALLY BLACK UNIVERSITY) has passed on, where is Mr. West. Kanye stated that he’s “out here in Hollywood, and my mom passed and I don’t know who I can trust”.
    • Footnote: Dr. Donda West, spent her life working at a Historically Black University, a university that was created during the Jim Crow era in the United States, when Black students were not allowed to attend universities (because those universities were all-white). Dr. Donda West is rolling in her grave right now – as is Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman.
  • Why is Kim Kardashian silent? As a public figure, I feel she should get her PR team together and write a carefully worded piece that supports her husband and his struggles. Kanye West is not “media trained” he just said what he feels “in love” but causes an immense amount of pain to the community of people who actually lived through this trauma and continue to be affected by it.
  • Did Kanye West live through slavery and not let anyone of us know that reincarnation is real? Real question. Why did he think he could quote that nonsense Harriet Tubman quote?
  • Does Kanye West realize that slavery did not just occur in the United States, but slavery existed for centuries in other places including the Caribbean and in Africa (by the Arabs)? His comments have consequences for formerly enslaved peoples around the world.

Ignorance is bliss…
This is why it is so important to teach history and teach it ‘no holds barred’. Kanye West has no idea (excuse my French) what the fuck he’s talking about. His ignorance has been exacerbated by an environment that does not (excuse my Ebonics) check him, and put him in his place.

Power…
Kanye West’s power is an interesting phenomenon. I find that he simultaneously overestimates and underestimates his power.

He overestimated his power when he stated in the Charlamagne interview that the “powers that be” impacted his ability to get back on the radio after the Taylor Swift incident at the MTV VMAs in 2009.
Again, when he showed up 45 minutes late to a fashion show and was Lebron’d (read a bit about what happened to Lebron when he left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010). This was a wake up call to Kanye West that he was tolerated, not celebrated. This is an instance where he overestimated his power in assuming that showing up to a show 45 minutes late would be okay.

He underestimates his power every time he states that he has been — and hates being — controlled. He does not state who is controlling him, but I think it might start with Kardashian and end with Empire.

Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed with

More footnotes:

Why did the Black homeboy with the dreads (from TMZ) not react to the slavery comment? Even the white TMZ owner/host guy was disgusted, confused and flabbergasted.

Kanye West lacks respect. However, it is still not okay for us to say that we want the old Kanye back. He’s gone. People change and evolve, and living through the death of your mother, almost losing your wife (Paris robbery) and becoming a father to three children is enough for a total evolution.

Chance the Rapper has done more for the City of Chicago in the few years that he’s been famous, than Kanye has. So please stop talking about Chicago, and be about it.

Shout out to TMZ’s Van Lathan.

I appreciate the ability of Kanye to bring the transnational Black community together – even if it is together against him.