Slavery was a choice
Before I actually write what I want, I want to make clear that I used to be a big fan of Kanye West. And I saw the title of what he said a few times but I didn’t want to view it, because I was scared of him actually saying something that stupid. There is no way that he said that “Slavery was a choice”.
But I caved in and watched the video because I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. And perhaps it was another trick of the media, where they take words out of context and blow them up way beyond proportions. But then I watched the video and well … sigh … that’s all I could say. I had to lower my head and shake it while closing my eyes. Because how in the world did Kanye West go from “Bush doesn’t like Black People” to “Slavery was a choice”?
For 400 years, that sound like a choice…
I am somewhat a conspiracy theorist, but this I can’t explain away with stuff like drugs or mind manipulation. If I could it would be so much easier, but for now, I just have to accept the fact that Kanye West is experiencing reality a very different way from the rest of us. I feel like he has extracted himself from society to such a degree that he actually forgot what it means to be a part of a certain culture.
While I do agree with some of the stuff he said, like how we should use love to deal with each other, I can’t get on board with the “Slavery was a choice” train of thought. I get how people who we have deemed “genius” are allowed to say some outlandish stuff. But when they use their powerful voice to say harmful stuff like this, they need to be held accountable for their words.
But Kanye West has the freedom of speech, so he is allowed to say whatever he wants, but we then need to at least try to educate him on his flaws or mistakes. And that’s what I tried to do here. My weapon of choice is always poetry and spoken word. So I wanted to at least try to give him some insight into what he was implying.
Kanye West might need some help.
The strategies our oppressors used to control us were extremely effective. Not only because of their violent nature but because of the fact that they encompassed every aspect of the slave’s lives. Took away the slaves religion and pushed Christianity to take its place. Tortured the strongest men to show everyone that being strong is not enough to save you from this. They gave power to a few so that can be hated by the ones who have nothing. They put the light-skinned ones near the house and the dark-skinned ones far away from the house. They made the young hate the old and the old hate the young.
I can keep going, but I think you get the gist of what they were doing to control them. And these methods were in place for many years in an effort to break the slave down mentally, to such a degree that they actually believed the world was what it was and how it will remain.
That is not choice, that is what you call “slavery”.
And while we are on the topic … Lincoln didn’t free the slaves because it was the right thing to do, but because it was the right economic move to make for the country. I feel like if I keep going I will actually start to bash Kanye West for his comments and saying “For 400 years, that sound like a choice”, so I’ll stop right here and let you watch the video.
If you liked this spoken word poem I am sure you will enjoy the rest of the poetry on my Youtube channel as well. And don’t forget that I also have a poetry book you might like to try. Thanks for coming and make sure to come back for more.