Since his return to social media, Kanye West has regained his position as one of the most polarizing figures in entertainment. The resurgence has been highlighted by a fiery exchange between West and curator, Van Lathan, following the rapper’s controversial comments during his TMZ Live interview on Tuesday (May 1).
After making excentric claims like “slavery was a choice,” West was confronted by TMZ’s Lathan who rebuked Ye with a passionate critique based around West’s oxymoronic transition from his College Dropout days to the Trump loving theatrics he now displays.
“I actually don’t think you’re thinking anything. I think what you’re doing right now is actually the absence of that… there is fact and real-world, real-life consequences behind everything you just said,” Lathan stated in response to West’s “new streams of thought” before expressing his disappointment in the “new” Kanye.
And although this exchange ended in an embrace, it made an impression on social media, forcing West to take to Twitter where he sought to defend his statements.
“To make myself clear. Of course, I know that slave did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will,” West tweeted. “My point is for us to have stayed in that position despite the numbers being on our side means that we were mentally enslaved.”
This, however, did not soothe Lathan’s sentiments which he explained on Wednesday (May 2) to the co-hosts of The Real.
“Absolutely not,” Lathan answered when asked if West’s response swayed his emotions. “And here’s why. Slavery was a multi-front war that was waged against people of color. It involved the ripping apart of families. It involved shackles. It involved all types of things. And you can’t sum it up by any one thing…When you break it down to ‘choice’ it does a disservice to the survivor that my ancestors were.”
The cast then went on to commend Lathan for how he handled expressing his opposition to West as well as describing the importance of having a diverse newsroom so that ill-informed opinions like “slavery was a choice” do not become an accepted notion.