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Kanye West took a break Tuesday from making controversial declarations on social media to make a controversial declaration on television.
Appearing on TMZ Live, the rap superstar said slavery “sounds like a choice.”
He added: ”When you hear about slavery for 400 years ... like, you was there for 400 years and it's all of y'all?! It's like we're mentally in prison.”
Not surprisingly, the comments sparked strong reaction on social media.
Ontario politician Mohamed Salih tweeted: "SLAVERY. WAS. NOT. A. CHOICE.” followed by “Time to mute Kanye West.”
Author Roxane Gay opined: “I don’t have the energy for nonsense but Kanye saying slavery was a choice reiterates my previous statements about how dangerous his trite, shallow ramblings are. He is not a free thinker. He is a free moron who doesn’t read.”
A tweet from Randy Kennedy read: “For Kanye West to say slavery was a choice is an insult to his race, to those who suffered through it , to the whites and blacks who fought and died to stop it and to all those who are still fighting to end racism . He's a disgusting human being.”
West took to Twitter late Tuesday to attempt some damage congtrol.
“To make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will,” he tweeted. “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.
“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.”