Kanye West is scrambling to do damage control following his controversial interview with TMZ — in which he claimed slavery was a “choice” for black people.
“We are programmed to always talk and fight race issues,” West tweeted on Tuesday night.
“We need to update our conversation,” he said, noting how he “knew” the TMZ interview “would be awesome.”
“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 rapper went on to claim that he was “once again” being “attacked for presenting new ideas.”
“In school we need to learn how magic [sic] Johnson built his business not always about the past. Matter fact I’ve never even heard of a high school class that presents future ideas,” West said. “When the media masses and scholars talk about what started today. Here’s a title … the overground hell road.”
During his TMZ interview, West had been talking about his recent support of President Trump when the topic of slavery and freedom came up.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice,” West said. “Like, you were there for 400 years and it’s all of you all? Like, we’re mentally in prison. Like, slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. So prison is something that unites us as one race, blacks and whites being one race. We’re the human race.”
The comments caused an uproar on social media, with countless people — of all races — blasting West for his views.
“Kanye got people believing slavery was a choice,” wrote one Twitter user. “Our ancestors were insulted, sold, raped, beaten, etc. all because they chose to be. I don’t usually let celebrity banter get under my skin but he did it.”
Another person said, “He has clearly lost his mind.”
But West didn’t care, and continued to defend his stance Tuesday night.
“To make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will,” he said. “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.”
Referencing a famous quote that’s long been attributed to Harriet Tubman, but is actually a fake, West later added: “I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”