Kanye West’s perspective on slavery didn’t go over well for everyone who sat within earshot during his appearance on TMZ Live on Tuesday, May 1. When he opened the floor up for feedback on how the office received his concept of free thought, Van Lathan reacted.
“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 four hundred years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice,” said Lathan.
Ye had spoken candidly on a number of questions pitched to him by hosts Harvey Levin and Charles Latibeaudiere. He expounded on his reason for flaunting his Make America Great Again cap, expressed agitation with the media continuing to classify him narrowly as a rapper, and delved into what has brought about his stance on people defying the way they’ve been conditioned to think. But when he eventually got around to breaking down his notion of mental slavery, he came off as dismissive of slavery and its systemic impact on Black people in America.
“When you hear about slavery for four hundred years… for four hundred years? That sound like a choice! Like… You was there for four hundred years, and its all of Y’all?” said Ye.