Kanye Is Right: Slavery Was (and Still Is) a Choice
An opinion based in logic.
I've seen a lot of outrage recently. A lot of hate mixed with joke telling, name calling, and meme making. I'm reading long, curse laden, and often grammatically incorrect rants every single time I'm stupid enough to log onto social media. Kanye West, a man no stranger to pissing off large sections of Earth's population, is back at it again with the controversy (Damn Kanye!). This time though, instead of white people obsessed with Taylor Swift or South Park, he's been busy earning himself a reputation as an Uncle Tom by those once considered his faithful followers.
Kanye is a Trump supporter. I'm not sure if this is new, or if it is holdover from back when it was cool in rap/hip-hop culture to emulate Donald Trump, but regardless, it isn't a popular decision in 2018 to embrace the POTUS, at least in the circles his music typically ran. To make matters worse, he has taken a photograph with a couple Republican men, one of whom is accused of making a white power hand gesture. His signed MAGA hat being flaunted on the rapper's Twitter account didn't gain him much support either, but all of that pales in comparison to what happened at TMZ and the now infamous "That sounds like a choice" line. Radio stations are pulling his music. News publications are questioning his mental sanity and quoting unsubstantiated claims that he is not taking medications prescribed by mental health professionals. A boycott is currently being organized. All because the man said slavery was a choice. So, to analyze that statement, let us put ourselves into the shoes of a slave. Imagine living in a shed on someone else's property, being forced to work the land, watching your children and wife be abused and raped by other human beings claiming to own you. Every single day you are alive, you are beaten, forced to work long hours, and beaten if you get tired, refuse, talk back, or just if someone above you on the social ladder gets bored. You want to eat a turkey sandwich because you are hungry? Too bad! You get fed what they feed you, and you eat when they tell you to eat.
I know you might make the analogy that you have a job, but really, you can quit that job and find another. You could get a loan from the government and start a business (Linda McMahon at the SBA is one of the few President Trump appointee's who has excelled and has bi-partisan approval and support), you could win the lottery and never work for the rest of your life, or you could meet a rich person who wants to marry you. There's literally limitless possibilities on how you could succeed. If you tried quitting your slavery job, you'd be hunted down and probably killed. That sort of false-equivalency belittles what slaves went through. But you still could leave your slavery, albeit the cost would be the greatest one you could pay.
You might prefer slavery to death. Many people have. Many people do. The idea of dying is frightening to most, as we don't know what will happen. Many believe they know, but nobody truly does. It is why we fight death, tooth, and nail, and historically, why humans of all races have been subjected to the most horrific conditions imaginable. Most of us would rather breathe our next breath, no matter how much humiliation or pain we faced. It is a rare breed who stands up and fights back, especially when facing certain death. But there are those who will because they choose to.
I'm not in Kanye West's head and I really can't say what he meant with his statements at TMZ. Perhaps it was just a work to bring awareness towards his new album. It is quite possible he is spouting off at the mouth due to not taking his medications, such as People has published that folks are alleging. Maybe he sees things in a different light than the variety of folk out there, and that might have contributed to his being considered a musical genius by many. I don't know, but what I do know is this: submission is always a choice, regardless of the cost. It might be the smart choice, it might be the safe choice, it might be the choice of an individual focused on self-preservation, but it is still a choice.
In my opinion, this trend of boycotting people over their political opinion, and even moreso with boycotting individuals for supporting the President, is a dangerous precedent. Is President Trump corrupt? Probably. Has he ever lied? Most definitely! I've never met a human who has never lied. You ever meet a single mother who parties all night, is hungover constantly, and puts her child off on her own parents to go on dates and do drugs who told you she was a fantastic mother? Who was that woman lying to, you or herself? Obviously both. She lied to you to help cement the lies she tells to herself. Regardless, she believes that she is a good mother as fact, but if she can convince you to believe it as well, it becomes even more true in her brain. Strength in numbers. The media treating those who attack the finances, character, and careers of those with particular political opinions, especially patriotic opinions, as heroes is McCarthyism at its most pure, and vehemently unAmerican. United we stand, divided we fall; if we treat politics like drunk Raider's fans throwing hands at someone wearing the wrong jersey, we are going to keep slipping farther and farther from where we need to be, which is #1.