Kanye West has been stirring the pot on Twitter of late, making proclamations that have spurred heated debate and disappointed confusion among his supporters — mainly between the new ones and the old ones who loved him before he started praising conservative pundits like Candace Owens online. His latest statement to disturb the hornet’s nest, however, took place on TMZ Live, where he and TMZ staffer Van Lathan engaged in a passionate discussion after Kanye made the declaration that slavery “sounds like a choice.” After being taken to task by Lathan over the dangerous potential of his statements, West again returned to his favorite method of communication, Twitter, to try to clarify his position.
“To make myself clear, of course, I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will,” he tweeted. “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. They hung the most powerful in order to force fear into the others.”
Although he tried to expound on his previous comments, West’s new statements don’t seem to be doing much to change the perception that he is pandering to his newly cultivated, conservative fanbase. To start, no one is actually trying to lynch Kanye West, just stop him from using his immense platform to propagate objectively inaccurate conservative talking points that have been used to justify policies that actually cause harm to already marginalized groups of people.
Candace Owens’ comments about Black Lives Matter smack of victim blame. Kanye’s “dragon energy” brother Donald Trump spent $85,000 of his own money taking out full-page ads in local New York newspapers to advocate for executing the Central Park Five, then straight-up lied to CNN 14 years after their sentences were vacated to insist that they admitted guilt — something they never did. Kanye West is supporting and promoting people who undermine efforts to equalize the playing field on a regular basis.
He can compare himself to Nat Turner all he wants, but that doesn’t change the fact that his tweets and statements are closer to Stephen from Django Unchained. While he keeps insisting he’s “freed” his thoughts, it seems he’s only becoming more and more tangled in a web of half-truths, deflections, and outright lies.