Kanye West told TMZ that the slavery of black people for hundreds of years sounded like a choice to him.
West was in the TMZ newsroom giving an interview in which he defended President Donald Trump, reports Rolling Stone:
I just love Trump. That’s my boy … So many rappers – you’ll look at a video of like Snoop Dogg, loving Trump, but then he gets into office and now [Snoop Dogg] don’t love him. Trump is one of rap’s favorite people.
West went on to say that 400 years of black people being enslaved sounded like a choice:
When you hear about slavery for 400 years: For 400 years, that sounds like choice. You was there for 400 years. And it’s all of y’all?
Later, during West’s visit to TMZ, he asked the staff: “Do you feel like I’m thinking free and feeling free?”
TMZ employee Van Lathan responded, notes The Root:
I think that what you’re doing right now is the absence of thought. And the reason why I feel like that is because Kanye, you’re entitled to your opinion. You’re entitled to believe whatever you want, but there is fact and real-world, real-life consequence behind everything that you just said.
And while you are making music and being an artist and living a life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives.
We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice.
Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled, and brother—I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something to me that isn’t real.
West apologized to Lathan for offending him.