Following his controversial statement in May that slavery was “a choice,” Kanye West has apologized.
“I don’t know if I properly apologized for how that slave comment made people feel, so I want to take this moment right now to say that I’m sorry for hurting, I’m sorry for the 1-2 effect of the MAGA hat into the slave comment and I’m sorry for people who felt let down by that moment,” the rapper said in an interview with Chicago radio station WGCI 107.5 on Wednesday.
“And also I appreciate you guys giving me the opportunity to talk to you about the way I was thinking and what I was going through and what led me to that and I just appreciate you guys holding on to me as a family,” he added.
During an interview with TMZ in May, West said that slavery “sounds like a choice” black people made because it went unchallenged for so long.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years?! That sounds like a choice,” West said. “You was there for 400 years, and it’s all of y’all? It’s like we’re mentally in prison.”
He later took to Twitter to clarify the statement, writing, “Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will … 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.”
Elsewhere in his interview with WGCI, West said, “I said, ‘400 years — it sounds like a choice to me, to Kanye West.”
“To me, when I hear about anything of an entire group of powerful people being held captive for 400 years, it sounds like a choice to the spirit of Kanye West, which I think is aligned with the spirit of Harriet Tubman, which I think is aligned with the spirit of Nat Turner, which, in my non-historical opinion, I feel that these are examples from the past of people who felt similar to that even if it was worded incorrectly in the white man’s tongue,” he explained. “Maybe I could have danced or maybe I could have spoken Swahili and spoken the actual language because even the fact that we’re having to have this conversation in English is a form of slavery because it’s not even our tongue, it’s not even our language.”
Watch his interview below.