‘If this was 148 years ago I’d have been more like Harriet or Nat’: Kanye West sparks fury by comparing himself to Underground Railroad hero Harriet Tubman, hours after calling slavery ‘a choice’ during explosive interview
- Kanye West appeared on TMZ Live Tuesday where he made a number of comments that managed to stir up controversy
- ‘When you hear about slavery for 400 years. 400 years? That sounds like a choice,’ stated Kanye during the interview
- ‘You were there for 400 years, and it is all of y’all? It is like we are mentally imprisoned,’ he went on to state
- Kanye did attempt to backtrack, tweeting: ‘Yo make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will’
- But he went on to conflate his own battle with angry fans, with the oppression faced by slaves
- ‘More when the media masses and scholars talk about what started today. Here’s a title … the overground hell road,’ a reference to the Underground Railroad
- He also compared himself to abolitionist and former slave Harriet Tubman, tweeting: ‘If this was 148 years ago I would have been more like Harriet or Nat’
Kanye West has found himself embroiled in yet another controversy after comparing himself to Underground Railroad hero Harriet Tubman following his claims that slavery was ‘a choice’ during a shocking interview.
The rapper faced a furious backlash after her appeared on TMZ Live Tuesday telling the hosts: You hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?
‘That sounds like a choice,’ he said, adding that ‘we are mentally imprisoned.’
Now, in what appears to be an ill advised attempt to stem the backlash, Kanye tweeted that he was the modern day equivalent of Tubman, a historic abolitionist who freed seventy slaves and campaigned for women’s suffrage, and Nat Turner, who also freed around seventy black men in a bloody rebellion.
Kanye West has found himself in the midst of yet another controversy after comparing himself to Underground Railroad hero Harriet Tubman following his claims that slavery was ‘a choice’ during a shocking interview (pictured smiling after the interview)
The rapper faced a furious backlash after her appeared on TMZ Live Tuesday telling the hosts:’ You hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? ‘That sounds like a choice,’ he said (pictured after the interview on Tuesday)
Now, in what appears to be an ill advised attempt to stem the backlash, Kanye tweeted that he was the modern day equivalent of Harriet Tubman
‘If this was 148 years ago I would have been more like Harriet or Nat,’ he tweeted, to the disbelief of many of his fans.
Kanye, who appeared in a happy mood when he was spotted out in LA after the interview, then shared a quote, wrongly attributed to Tubman, which stated: ‘I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.’
Kim Kardashian’s husband also tweeted: ‘Kanye vs the media is modern day Willie Linch theory’ – referring to a widely debunked speech by a slave owner urging fellow masters to control black slaves by setting them against each other.
During his explosive TMZ interview, Kanye complained that he was attacked over his recent, very public, display of support for Donald Trump, claiming that: ‘The mob tries to tell you what to think.
Kanye tweeted that he was the modern day equivalent of Harriet Tubman (left) and Nat Turner (right)
‘The mob tries to make all blacks be Democrats for food stamps and stuff. It is the mob,’ declared Kanye.
On Twitter, he appeared to equate his own fight with Twitter trolls and upset fans, with some of the slavery era’s greatest heroes.
WHO WAS HARRIET TUBMAN?
Harriet Tubman, who was born into slavery in the early part of the 19th century.
She escaped from her captors in Maryland and fled to Philadelphia but returned again and again to rescue her family.
Tubman made 13 missions to rescue around seventy slaves, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad to transport other slaves to freedom.
She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry. During the Civil War, she worked as an armed scout and spy for the Army.
After the Civil War, Tubman, who died in 1913, became active in the campaign for women’s suffrage.
‘More when the media masses and scholars talk about what started today. Here’s a title … the overground hell road,’ he tweeted, in a nod to the Underground Railroad – a secret network dedicated to freeing slaves.
He also complained that ‘once again I am being attacked for presenting new ideas.’
Kanye did attempt to backtrack on his most outrageous point, that slavery ‘was a choice’ tweeting: ‘Yo make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will.
‘More the reason why I brought up the 400 years point is because we can’t be mentally imprisoned for another 400 years. We need free thought now. Even the statement was an example of free thought It was just an idea.’
The controversy began when Kanye was invited onto TMZ to respond to a statement made by Tha Dogg Pound rapper Daz Dillinger last week in which he said that he wanted members of the Crips to assault Kanye for referring to President Trump as his ‘brother.’
‘I said wow, this is really like the Malcolm X movie. They are really going to send some black people out to me,’ said Kanye.
He then went on to say: ‘You can live through an a** whipping. Probably the idea is to beat sense into me. But when you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sounds like a choice.’
‘You were there for 400 years, and it is all of y’all? It is like we are mentally imprisoned. I like the word prison because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. It is like slavery, holocaust. Holocaust, is Jews, and slavery is blacks.
‘So prison is something that unites us as one race. Black and whites, one race. It is like we are one with the human race, we are human beings and stuff.’
Kanye tried to to move on at that point, but Harvey Levin brought the conversation back to the rapper’s comment about slavery.
‘Right now, we’re choosing to be enslaved,’ said Kanye, who spoke about a recent FaceTime conversation he had with Ibrahim ‘Ebro’ Darden and conservative commentator Candice Owens.
He said that because Owens shut Ebro down during a conversation they had, Ebro refused to allow Owens on his show.
‘So you’re stiffling her voice,’ said Kanye.
‘You’re choosing to enslave people’s minds. You’re choosing to not let the truth be free.’
The talk then shifted to Kanye’s support of President Trump, for which the rapper believes he was unfairly attacked based on the fact that he is a black man.
Kan-troversy: Kanye West (above with Lyor Ciohen in a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat) appeared on TMZ Live Tuesday where he made a number of comments that are already stirring up controversy
Camera shy: Kanye also called Donald Trump his ‘boy’ and voiced his love for the president while comparing liberal attacks on him to ‘torture porn’ (pair above in December 2016, with Kanye revealing in Tuesday he was ‘f***ed up on opioids at this time)
‘The mob tries to tell you what to think. The mob tries to make all blacks be Democrats for food stamps and stuff. It is the mob,’ declared Kanye.
On the subject of President Trump however, Kanye did explain that politics has little to do with his affinity for the real-estate-scion-turned-commander-in-chief.
‘My righteous point of view is freedom of thought. I don’t have extremely strong political opinions. You can talk to John Legend if you want opinions,’ said Kanye.
WHO WAS NAT TURNER?
Nat Turner, born in 1800, led a slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia on August 21, 1831.
Rebels went from plantation to plantation, freeing and recruiting dozens of black people and killing sixty white men, women and children.
Turner went into hiding after the rebellion, while a white militia responded with mobs killing 120 black people – many of whom were not involved in the rebellion.
Two months later, aged 31, Turner was found, tried, convicted and sentenced to death, and hanged.
‘I have never been into politics. I just love Trump. That is my boy.’
Kanye then pointed out that a number of rappers felt the same way before President Trump took office.
‘It is like the media and the liberals and the echo chamber and all that is having the most soar loss of all time,’ explained Kanye.
‘We are going to keep putting out — it is like torture porn. We are going to keep showing you negative, negative, negative, negative.’
He then went on to reveal that while watching the funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush and seeing George W. Bush push his father’s wheelchair into the church he wanted to apologize for saying that the former leader ‘did not care about black people.’
Obama meanwhile was referred to as an ‘opioid’ who ‘pacified the pain’ of the country by Kanye.
On the subject of opioids, Kanye also said that he was ‘drugged the f*** out’ when he met with President Trump back in December 2016 during the transition period.
‘You know when I went and visited him the first time right after the election? I was drugged the f*** out. I was addicted to opioids,’ said Kanye,
Two days after I got off opioids, listen to this, two days after I got off opioids I was in the hospital. Everyone listen to this, please. Two days before I was in the hospital, I was on opioids. I was addicted to opioids.’
He then explained why he had been taking opioids at the time.
‘I had plastic surgery because I was trying to look good for y’all. I got liposuction because I didn’t want y’all to call me fat like y’all called Rob fat at the wedding and made him fly home before me and Kim get married,’ said Kanye.
President and pill: He described Obama as an ‘opioid’ who ‘pacified’ the country’s pain
Shocking claims: Kanye called Donald Trump his ‘boy’ and revealed that he was addicted to opioids when they met in 2016 (a photo at TMZ that West tweeted out on Tuesday)
‘I didn’t want y’all to call me fat, so I got liposuction, and they gave me opioids. I started taking two of them and then driving to work on the opioids.’
Kanye said that soon he had a member of his team obtaining pills for him, and then noted that once he got off the pills the hospital sent him even more.
WILLIAM LYNCH SPEECH
The William Lynch speech was reportedly given by a slave owner of the same name, on the bank of the James River in Virginia in 1712.
The letter is allegedly a verbatim account of the speech, where Lynch tells fellow slave owners that the ‘secret’ to controlling black slaves was by setting them against one another.
The document has since widely been dismissed as a hoax and appears to have first appeared in 1970.
‘I was taking two pills a day at that time. When I left the hospital, how many pills do you think I was given? Seven. I went from taking two pills to taking seven,’ said Kanye.
‘So the reason why I denounced, why I dropped those tweets and everything, because I was drugged the f*** out, bro. And I am not drugged out.’
Kanye later declared to the entire TMZ newsroom: ‘We are drugged out. We are following other people’s opinions. We are controlled by the media. And today it all changes.’
This all eventually became too much for TMZ employee Van Lathan to deal with, and he tore into Kanye.
‘I just don’t think you are thinking anything. I think what you are doing right now is an afterthought. The reason why I feel like that is because, Kanye, you are entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to believe whatever you want. But there is in fact a real world, real life consequence behind everything that you just said,’ explained Lathan.
‘And while you are making music and being an artist, and living the life that you have 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.’
He went on to say:’ Everyday we have to walk into that truth while you choose to say things that, to be honest with you, are nonsensical. You want to think freely? That’s fine. I will combat your free thought with my free thought, because mine is grounded in the reality that I have been given and the reality that I am going to change, but I am not going to do it by pretending that the enemies are on the same team as me.
‘And frankly, I am disappointed, I am appalled, and brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me, that is not real. That is the way I feel.
‘Stand on all the coffee tables you want to stand on. Say whatever you want to say. But don’t throw a stone and then hide your hand like the rest of us are just going to swallow it. Ye, be ye. I am off it forever. Do you, but remember, the life that I live is as a real person, an actual person.’
At that point Kanye went over to hug Lathan and show his love, an offer his detractor did not appear to be very receptive to in that moment.
‘I’m here to show love. And we are going to make it through,’ said Kanye.
‘I know I disappointed you today, brother, and I know I disappointed the black community when I wore the hat, and I am sorry for disappointing you. But just like I told J. Cole, it is a bigger plan.’
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