The Descendant of a Slave Explains the Roots of Kanye West's 'Very Flawed' Claim that Slavery Was a 'Choice'

News & Politics

After alienating many of his fans by voicing support and affection for President Donald Trump, Kanye West made the brazen remark this week that American slavery of Africans and their descendants might have been a "choice" on the part of the slaves.

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice," West said to TMZ. "You was there for 400 years, and it’s all of y’all? It's like we're mentally in prison.”

Maxine Crump, the CEO of Dialogue on Race Louisiana and a descendant of a slave, appeared on CNN Wednesday to explain exactly why this kind of rhetoric is so prevalent and damaging.

"It sounds like he stands only in the immediate, and for some reason, doesn't want to deal with the past," Crump said. "I am concerned that there would be people who would be influenced by his thinking and think, 'Well, maybe he has a point.'"

She continued: "If they believe he has a point, it would be someone... because they haven't had that education in K-12 education. ... There were generations of people who came through that system [of slavery.] It was an American system. And it was legal, a legal system. Never right — but legal. And there were ways of keeping this construct that was beyond those individuals' resources about. They did everything they could."

West's view of slavery is "very flawed and very surface," she said.

"What I would want is for everyone who's been through K-12 education, and anyone who's involved in K-12 education at any level — administrators, those who write textbooks — any level of education level needs to be concerned about hearing that," Crump added said.

Watch the clip below: 

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