Kanye West has an ego almost as big as Donald Trump’s, but he’s not above apologizing when he sticks his foot in his mouth about a touchy subject like slavery. He apologized today to “anyone who may have been offended” by his comment that “slavery was a choice.”
You may recall, West, 41, touched off a firestorm of criticism when he said earlier this year that 400 years of slavery only happened because slaves chose to be enslaved.
Actually, slaves were kept in servitude by harsh beatings, shackles, other deprivations, and oh, yes, by lynching runaway slaves. Somehow Kanye missed all that.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years – for 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” he said during an off-hand interview in February with gossip site TMZ.
He compounded his problems when he tried to explain his remarks on Twitter.
“To make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will,” he wrote. “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.”
But wait there’s more. West made the remarks in conjunction with an interview about President Trump, who has been widely accused of racism in his statements and policies.
“I just love Trump,” West said. “Trump is one of rap’s favorite people.”
His statements also played into narratives by white supremacist groups. But what a difference a few months of reflection makes.
“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,” he said in his latest comments. “I’m sorry for the 1-2 effect of the MAGA [Make America Great Again] hat into the slave comment and I’m sorry for people who felt let down by that moment.”
West also feared that wife Kim Kardashian might cut and run on him. (Gotta’ protect the brand!)
“There was a moment where I felt like after TMZ, maybe a week after that, I felt like the energy levels were low, and I called different family members and was asking, you know, ‘Was Kim thinking about leaving me after TMZ?‘ So that was a real conversation.”
West and Kardashian were married in 2014 and have three children together, North, five, Saint, two, and seven-month-old Chicago.
For the record, they started dating in 2012, six months after Kardashian split from NBA player Kris Humphries.
North was eleven months old by the time of the ceremony.