Current Events and Controversies: Kanye’s Controversial Statements

Kanye and Trump 2018

Arianna Hamltion, Beat Reporter


    Kanye West; an artist and shoe designer people have looked up to forever. But now he has lost many fans and supporters due to his comments on Donald Trump and slavery especially among members of the African-American community. People think he’s losing his mind (again). Last year, only a few days after his hospitalization, he was seen meeting up with Trump at Trump Tower. The reaction from the media was hectic, and people were mad and disappointed. Now, he’s tweeting about his political opinions, and lots of people are disagreeing.

     It all started out when he tweeted a picture of him wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. After that, the media was swarming with opinions and feedback, consisting of mostly negative judgement. I think people were confused because Kanye has stated in the past that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”. But there have been several occasions of Trump being racist too. According to The New York Times, “Trump treated black employees at his casinos differently from whites, according to multiple sources. A former hotel executive said Trump criticized a black accountant: ‘Black guys counting my money! I hate it. … I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks’” (David Leonhardt, The New York Times). Another thing Kanye has done is walk into TMZ headquarters claiming “When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice”.  After watching the Interview with Mr. West I was pretty much speechless. I found it so unbelievable for someone, especially an African-American, to ever say slavery was a choice.

     When it comes to Kanye’s opinion on Trump, many of his friends and family members have supported him even if they may not agree. John Legend and Chance the Rapper have supported West even though they don’t agree. “No matter how much I may disagree with him, it’s hard for me to watch people talk about someone I love- even if opinion. But there is no excuse for his comments on slavery. I don’t think that he was really thinking about what he was saying,” but once he said there was no going back so he tried supporting his statement. So many people were offended, including many other colored artists.

     Celebrities like, Meek Mill, and Steve Harvey have very negative opinions on his slavery comments, as most of us do. Kanye later realized what he said was wrong, but still tried to back up what he had said by tweeting, “To make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will, 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.” (Emily Marcus, Us Weekly). Although this does not condone the comment., a popular rap artist, was very hurt because he had a relative that was enslaved, and having experienced that, it can leave you scarred.

     In my opinion, he does have the right to a free opinion and freedom to speech. Not all African-Americans have to be democrats, which is something Kanye has said before. However, his remarks on slavery shocked me. It was very rude and offensive. He may be rich, and not have many conflicts in his life but there are still people living through oppression and discrimination everyday, and I just don’t think he sees that anymore. But Kanye is Kanye, and even though he says some very offensive things, everything goes back to normal eventually. So, I’m sure this will all die down and he will be forgiven by the media.