My Translation of Kanye’s Brilliant Point on Slavery
May 2, 2018
RUSH: Kanye West has done it again, folks. Kanye West has tweeted out something about slavery that is literally brilliant if you have the capacity to understand the underlying point to begin with, which civil rights racial activists do not. People like Marc Lamont Hill and some of these others that are going bonkers over Kanye do not understand his comment.
He said (paraphrased): “Slavery, 400 years? If it’s 400 years, it’s a choice.”
I know exactly what Kanye West means. Do you know what he means, Mr. Snerdley? It’s brilliant, but the problem is it’s gonna go over everybody’s head. It requires me to translate this today. Now, I think people like Marc Lamont Hill, some of these other race industry people do know exactly what Kanye’s talking about. It’s one of these things where he comes up with a brilliant turn of phrase but he could have made his point a lot simpler if he would have just gone in and said what he really means here, instead of needing translation.
I’m not trying to take anything away from him. Well, very simply he’s saying, “Slavery? Are you trying to tell me there’s still slavery, 400 years? If there’s 400 years of slavery, at some point you gotta be choosing it because we had a civil war where it ended. We defeated slavery hundreds of years ago in this country. If you still think you’re a slave, you gotta be choosing it, because there isn’t slavery in America today, and, if you want to claim that you’re a slave or if you want to claim there is slavery, that’s ’cause you want to. You’re choosing it.”
It’s brilliant, I’m telling you, but, you see, it requires someone like me who knows exactly what he’s saying. Why didn’t he say it like I just said it? Who knows. That’s how he wanted to say it. I translate it, I understand it, and he’s right on the money with it! He’s right on the money! You know, the editrix at The Limbaugh Letter sent me the monthly list of possible themes for the cover. And one of the possibilities was Kanye and what’s happening. But we don’t go to press for three weeks.
I can’t say, “Yep, let’s do a whole cover on Kanye,” ’cause they might get to him in two weeks. They might get to him and make him turn it all around and make him apologize for it ’cause they’re gonna be relentless in going after him. They cannot allow this to happen. I mean, Kanye walking into TMZ and getting into it with Harvey Levin and so forth, the big push is gonna be on.
I mean, I would love to devote a cover to translating Kanye and what he’s doing and why I think it’s important. But, what if we’re in the middle of writing it, we got our publication date, and Kanye goes on TV and apologizes and says he was on drugs and doesn’t even remember anything he said? We could still do it. (interruption) Would he change — I asked you if you thought what Kanye was doing might change people’s votes. And you said, “No, but it’s still important.”
Well, there are obviously a lot of people thinking Kanye could. So, anyway, we’re gonna get to that even though I’ve largely gotten to it here, but there’s more. There’s more. But I had to translate the slavery comment for you, ’cause I’m watching people react to it, and they’re acting dumbfounded and stupid and saying Kanye’s an idiot. And he’s not. He’s right on the money. He went for the artful turn of phrase rather than the direct hit, as I just translated it to be.
RUSH: Here’s Jeremy in Brainerd, Minnesota. You’re next, sir. Great that you waited. Thank you. Hello.
CALLER: Yes, sir. I thank you. Longtime listener, and I appreciate everything you do every day, sir.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I’m calling up about Kanye West. I was watching this show last night, and they were talking about, you know, they labeled him as a conservative, you know, and I think that by putting labels on people that support Trump, you know, they’re not necessarily conservative.
I mean, people have conservative principles, and they follow certain morals and everybody has different ways of doing that, but I think we’ve become more liberal every day. We’re sympathetic and empathetic to stuff that we never knew was out there before, you know, social media, everything, you hear stories, you hear this, and it changes your views.
RUSH: Are you a conservative?
CALLER: Yes, I try to be a conservative.
RUSH: So what is it specifically that bothers you about them labeling Kanye as such?
CALLER: The return. You know, all it takes is for Kanye to say that he’s not a conservative, and then that takes their whole argument and it shifts it somewhere else where they’re trying to have him align with somebody, when Trump himself is not a conservative. You know, I don’t think Trump’s a conservative. I think he’s a Democrat and a Republican.
RUSH: Trump’s not ideological.
CALLER: Yes. Yes, sir.
RUSH: I was the first prominent voice in America to point this out.
CALLER: Yes, you were.
RUSH: I’ve continued to point it out. But the reason they’re calling Kanye conservative, because in their minds, they are destroying his reputation by doing so. That’s why they’re doing it.
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: But notice they’re not disputing Kanye’s arguments. They’re not taking him on substantively. They’re attacking him personally: He’s insane, he’s a lunatic, he’s a drug addict –and now he’s conservative!
RUSH: And so this is how they do it. This is how they discredit people who they fear with becoming effective.
CALLER: And the same reason why they aired the end of the TMZ, you know, that gentleman talking to Kanye misinterpreting what he said or what he thought he said, instead of asking him how he meant to say, “You know, the 300 or 400 years, you know, it felt like a choice.” You know, when they aired that, they didn’t air the… I didn’t get to see the response from Kanye’s original statement.
RUSH: I don’t think anybody did. Frankly, the level of education, sophistication, and understanding —
RUSH: — the lack of it. This is why it was necessary for me to translate this in the first part of the program. ‘Cause I guarantee you — I guarantee you — the education of this country is so woefully inept that I knew what Kanye was trying to say. Plus, if you put it in context with what he said yesterday and the day before, it makes perfect sense. He’s talking about independent thought. He’s talking about breaking away from orthodoxy, breaking away from groupthink, freedom of thought, freedom of movement.
If you understand — if you remember what he said yesterday and the day before — then his remark, slavery, 400 years? He knows slavery ended here in the 1800s, for crying out loud. “What do you mean, there’s still slavery? If we still got slaves, it’s by choice.” Well, that’s a knee-jerk, “Oh, what do you mean by choice?” Especially somebody in the liberal entertainment media is gonna go bonkers with that. It’s, I think, a brilliant comment.
But they are trying to disparage him by calling him a conservative. Just because we wish they won’t doesn’t mean they’re gonna stop. But I understand your thinking about it. But how about that, folks? “Hey, look, he shouldn’t be called a conservative. It’s gonna kill us.” That’s not all that (chuckling) hot, either. Anyway, I appreciate the call, Jeremy. Thank you very much.
RUSH: “Before the last one had a chance to simmer down, Kanye West caused another stir, calling American slavery a ‘choice’ in an interview Tuesday. ‘When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years, that sounds like choice,’ West said on TMZ Live after questions on his pro-President Donald Trump posts and pictures that caused a dust-up last week. ‘You was there for 400 years, and it’s all of y’all?’ ‘Do you feel like I’m thinking free and feeling free?’ West asked the TMZ employees in the room.
“‘I actually don’t think you’re thinking anything,’ TMZ’s Van Lathan quickly cracked back at West, as many would in the ensuing hours. Lathan said while West gets to live the elite artist’s life, ‘the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats in our lives. We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was our choice.’ Symone D. Sanders, political commentator and CNN contributor, led the anti-West chorus on Twitter.
“‘Kanye is a dangerous caricature of a “free-thinking” black person in America,’ Sanders tweeted.” And there you have it! Symone Sanders, CNN. “‘Kanye is a dangerous caricature of a “free-thinking” black person in America,’ Sanders tweeted. ‘Frankly, I am disgusted and I’m over it. Also (I can’t believe I have to say this): Slavery was far from a choice.’ Others put it more briefly. ‘Slavery wasn’t a choice,’ Russ Bengtson tweeted, ‘but listening to Kanye is.'” Now, this is one of two things.
We’re either dealing with genuinely blockheaded, ignorant people — which is very likely — or we are dealing with people in a panic over what Kanye West is doing and can’t permit it to happen. Kanye West’s point is crystal clear to me when you put it in context with everything else he’s been saying recently. He has referred to the plantation. He’s referred to the requirement that all black people think the same way, the requirement that all black people support the same candidates, that all black people write the same way, vote the same way, talk the same way, hate the same things, oppose the same things.
In his world, that isn’t free thinking, and he wants to be a free thinker. He wants to be able to think what he thinks without being told he has to think this or that or not think this or that. He wants to be able to think what he thinks! To him, being told what to say and what not to say and who to vote for and who not to vote for — how to behave and how not to behave — is the equivalent of slavery! And he doesn’t want it anymore.
And in his view, people in the black community who are willing to be intimidated into saying all the same thing, voting for the same people, opposing the same stuff, they’re not free thinkers. They may as well be under the command and orders of masters, and he doesn’t want that. He thinks if you have been allowing people to control you for 400 years, that at some point you have made a choice. And he’s exactly right! African-Americans today are free to support and think whatever they want, but they’re really not.
Look what happens when any of them steps outside the plantation. Kanye West was clearly saying and has been saying for the last week or so. But in specific relationship to 400 years of slavery, slavery officially ended in this country when 500-plus thousand people gave their lives in part to end it. It was called the Civil War. Back during slavery there weren’t any Kanye Wests on the entertainment circuit. There weren’t any Oprah Winfreys.
There weren’t any of the outside successes in academics, in sports, in education. We didn’t have any black heroes. They were all slaves. But that ended, and all Kanye is saying is if you want to continue to be a slave even after slavery is over, then you have to be choosing it. You have to be choosing to support Democrats. You have to be willing to allow somebody to tell you what you can’t say and can’t think. And he’s saying, “I don’t want that anymore. I want to think for myself.”
It’s crystal clear what the guy is saying, if you’re able to put it in context with what he’s previous said and if you have a basic understanding. Why is it that 90 to 93% of the African-American vote votes Democrat every presidential election? How does that happen? Well, we all know the answer to it. Kanye is saying, it’s slavery, in the sense they’re under orders. They’re under pressure; they better follow suit. If they don’t, look what happens to ’em. And you can say, “Look what’s happening to him” as evidence. So he wasn’t saying that people back in the plantation days were choosing to be slaves. He’s talking about people today.
RUSH: Now, I got an email during the break, “I’m so glad you explained the Kanye West comment. I really had no idea what he was talking about, and I just thought he was, you know, a raving lunatic and I didn’t attach much to it. So I’m glad you explained it.” Well, we have Kanye. I’m gonna let you hear Kanye in his own words as it happened yesterday on TMZ. They have a program on the network called TMZ Live, and Kanye was the guest. And the first bite here, this is a discussion about Kanye’s recent support of Trump.
WEST: People say, “Feel free,” but they don’t really want us to feel free. I felt a freedom in, first of all, just doing something that everybody tells you not to do. For me to wear that hat means I want to make America great in my own way. They’re attacking me with these smoke screens that I’m not gonna fall for. The mob tries to tell you what to think! The mob trying to make all blacks be Democrats for food stamps and stuff. It’s the mob. By the way, you’re just talking to the emotion. When you hear about slavery for 400 years? For 400 years? That sounds like a choice. (chuckles) You was there for 400 years and it’s all y’all? It’s like we’re mentally in prison.
RUSH: So I don’t know what the original report of this was, but when you hear all of that and in context with what he’s talking about — thinking free, splitting away, being his own guy, wanting America to be great based on his own ideas for it; that’s why he wears the hat — it’s clear what he’s saying here. He wants to break away from the plantation of liberalism, which is enforcing thought and voting and behavior.
He doesn’t want any part of it — and to him, it’s modern-day slavery. And it’s a choice. Blacks do not have to vote Democrat if they don’t want to, like they had to be slaves back in the days of the antebellum. They didn’t have any choice then. They do today! So he’s simply saying (translation), “If you refuse to break away from the mob, then you must be choosing it.” I don’t see what’s even wrong about this. I don’t even see what’s controversial when you hear the whole thing in context.
Look, he may not be the most articulate guy in the world, but that’s far more articulate than he’s being given credit for. Did you have any trouble understandings what he was talking about there? Crystal clear, was it not? But of course that’s not how it was reported. “Kanye West said people have been choosing slavery for 400 years,” and of course the context of that is, “Kanye West says American blacks chose to be slaves! That’s bad. That’s…” He didn’t say that and he’s not saying it now. He’s saying there isn’t any slavery today.
But if you think there’s been slavery for 400 years, then you’ve gotta be choosing it because you don’t have to be on the liberal plantation. You don’t have to say what they tell you to say, you don’t have to think what they tell you to think, and you don’t have to vote the way they tell you to vote. And he’s simply saying he wants to feel free, but that they don’t want him to feel free or anybody else. Here’s the next bite from this interview…
WEST: (shouting) This reality has been forced upon us! It is a choice, just like when I said slavery is a choice! We can make our own reality! We can talk about history, but not too long. We need to talk about our now, because we can fix and start loving each other now. I say we have no enemies! We don’t have enemies! Black people have a tendency to focus and march when a white person kills a black person or wears a hat. But when it’s 700 kids being killed in Chicago, it’s okay! It’s okay for blacks to kill blacks!
RUSH: Oh, no, no, no! He didn’t go there? This is why he’s a target, my friends. This is what breaking away from the plantation looks like, and it isn’t permitted. That’s why Auntie Maxine is talking about he’s gotta get his mind right, that Kanye is stepping out and he needs to be brought back in. And I’ll tell you what, this is why the Crips put a hit out on the guy yesterday. The Los Angeles Crips, the street gang — and now maybe the Bloods are gonna get in the deal too. Why should the Bloods leave it all to the Crips? If there’s gonna be glory in takin’ out Kanye, then the Crips and the Bloods are gonna want to split some of the credit here. He’s exactly right in all of this.
Here’s one more bite. Let’s see what this one is…
WEST: It’s like, the media and the liberals and the echo chamber and all that is having the most sore loss (sic) of all time. “We’re gonna just keep putting out…” It’s like torture porn! “We’re gonna keep showing you negative, negative, negative, negative when these are human beings. Even like with George Bush, people said, “Don’t apologize.” Wait a second! I just saw George W. Bush pushing George Bush Sr. as a wheelchair and he just lost his wife. Do you know how bad I would want to go to George Bush and say, “I said something in the moment, but when I look at you as a dad and a family member, I’m sorry for hurtin’ you”?
RUSH: Oh, no! If you remember, Kanye West had something really horrific to say about George W. Bush, essentially called him a racist, “doesn’t care about black people.” I think it was after Katrina. Remember that? I think he said, “George Bush, he doesn’t care about black people,” something like that. Now he sees George W. Bush pushing his dad in a wheelchair at his mom’s funeral, and all of a sudden sees him as a human being and now wants to apologize. This is not gonna be permitted.
We have one more. Let’s wrap this up…
WEST: I have never been into politics. I just love Trump. That’s my boy. Obama was our opioids and made us feel like everything was good. Trump is a human being also. And he is doing a lot of things to actually help business owners be able to go past all these fake laws and rules. Einstein says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. I believe that Kim Jong-un didn’t believe that Obama was crazy enough to come at him. Sometimes you need some some crazy [bleep] to change something. Steve Jobs is crazy. Now we all on Steve Jobs’ phones. They say Trump is crazy. They say I am crazy.
RUSH: Yeah, they do. And the reaction to Kanye West from the civil rights community is verifying and confirming everything he’s saying. For example, this morning on CNN’s New Day, Fredo Cuomo spoke with former NAALCP president Cornell William Brooks and Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill about Kanye’s comments about slavery on TMZ. And Fredo said, “Marc, what is your take on the situation and the response from the TMZ host?
HILL: What Kanye said was inaccurate. It’s disrespectful to our ancestors. It’s disrespectful to everyone who resisted every single day. Slaves resisted every day, not just people who jumped off ships, not just people who killed their masters, not just people who ran away, but people who had endured this peculiar institution for centuries. And what Kanye said was something that was just completely wild and inexcusable, but part of a pattern that we’re starting to see. I don’t want to dismiss the mental health of piece of this. There’s some significant questions within his camp about his stability right now.
RUSH: Right. Right. This guy is obviously threatened by what Kanye said. Kanye wasn’t talking about the slaves that jumped off ships or killed their masters. Kanye’s talking about people today who choose to think that they are under the same kind of control with lack of freedom as there was 200 years ago. Kanye West is simply saying that if you’re gonna conform to what a bunch of people tell you you have to say, think, and do, you are choosing it! And that he’s done choosing it! He wants to think free.
That’s Marc Lamont Hill. (imitating Hill) “Kanye, there’s some serious discussion of mental health here. I don’t want to go too deep into this, of course, but there’s some talk in the Kanye camp about his stability right now.” Yeah. And here is the former president of the NAALCP, Cornell Williams Brooks.
BROOKS: The young people who are in the streets today resisting police misconduct and voter suppression are literally the moral heirs of their slave forbearers, they stand in the same lineage and legacy. And so when he understates their resistance, he’s not only insulting the past, but insulting the present. Kanye is in effect betraying the very art form that made him rich. Hip-hop and rap represents a musical tradition of rage and resistance, not compromise, accommodation and commercialization. Can you imagine Public Enemy embracing Ronald Reagan?
RUSH: Yeah. So you see these people are quite bothered by this, and they are purposely not getting it. They’re not getting the point. What Kanye is in effect saying is that people like Marc Lamont Hill and this guy, William Brooks, are the modern-day masters. And they’re the ones demanding that every African-American do what they think, say what they want ’em to say, vote the way they say.
And he doesn’t want it anymore. He wants to break free, be a free thinker and live his own life. He doesn’t want to be on their plantation. And I have to think they know that. They’re just using this talk about Kanye doesn’t understand our forebears, Kanye doesn’t understand that people protesting in the street today are every bit the slaves that their forebears were and still engage in the resistance. Kanye says if they’re doing that and thinking that, they’re choosing to, ’cause they don’t have to be anymore.
RUSH: Okay. So a smart aleck in the email said, “Where does this 400 years of slavery come from?” Easy. Easy. And Kanye obviously knows it. Here’s how it works out. The beginning of slavery, as it relates to the New World, has been traced to 1619. Don’t doubt me. I don’t have time to give you the history of this, but when you look at slavery in the U.K. and then in the New World as it was — remember the Pilgrims and Columbus. Well, Columbus 1492. The beginning of the slave trade in the New World was 1619, okay?
In 1865, the 13th Amendment, slavery ended, 1865. That’s 246 years. You with me so far? Kanye is adding the 150 years to the 246 to get to 400 years. He’s adding the years after the 13th Amendment to include that there are some people who are still choosing to be, think, whatever, like slaves. And the resist movement is made up of exactly people like that.
You can’t miss it. Look at these guys, Marc Lamont Hill. The black experience in America today is no different than slavery or has its roots. They haven’t graduated from it. They haven’t moved on from it. Reparations movement, forebears, slavery, still the defining element of black life in America. It isn’t unless they want it to be! There isn’t any slavery in America today, and there hasn’t been since 1865.
This isn’t complicated. Unless you have been brainwashed by the civil rights community, which wants African-Americans to believe that slavery essentially never ended, that the life experience of an African-American is essentially no different today than it was 50 years ago, a hundred years ago, 200 years ago.
And they do that and they say that to keep these people under their control and to keep them in victim status and to keep them dependent! And therefore to keep them voting Democrat! It’s pure politics.
RUSH: Michael in Largo, Florida, great to have you, sir. How you doing?
CALLER: Thank you, greetings from Largo, Florida. Dittos. I just want to ask you one question. Now that Kanye West is breaking open the free thinking thing with black people, do you think it’s still appropriate for the news and everybody to reference the black community as if they all think alike and they just have to ask one person to know what everybody else thinks?
RUSH: Naw. That’s gonna continue for quite a while.
CALLER: Yeah. Appreciate it, Rush. That’s all I wanted.
RUSH: You bet. No. It’s gonna continue because that’s what Kanye is breaking away from. He doesn’t want to be in that group that is monolithic thinking, acting, behaving, but it’s a political construct. Look, I’ve mentioned this I don’t know how many times. The Democrat Party, not so much — I guess it’s still true of the modern Democrats. This bunch is just a collection of radical leftist extremists now.
But not that long ago, the Democrat Party literally was made up of different coalitions who were very different, but they at least had two things in common: They believed in Big Government, and they hated Republicans. And that’s what kept ’em unified. And there was the black community. And then there was the feminist community and the gay community and the whatever else community, Big Labor. And all these coalitions vied for a seat at the table of power at the Democrat Party.
For the longest time, the Reverend Jackson occupied the seat of power for the black community. How did he keep it? He had to keep delivering the black community to the Democrat candidates every election. The Reverend Sharpton began to compete with the Reverend Jackson. And then, you know, when Obama came along, that threw a monkey wrench into things, because Sharpton didn’t go along with the fact that Obama was authentically black.
The coalition had some trouble but they unify around their hatred of Republicans and their belief in big, socialistic government. And that’s what kept that coalition together. And that’s how you kept your seat. And so Kanye breaking away threatens the people who have the seat of power at that Democrat Party, and that’s why he’s gotta be kept in line and every other malcontent does too.
RUSH: Okay. So Kanye’s now tweeting out what he really meant to say. He’ll eventually come across what I said about it and, well, let’s just see. I don’t want to prejudge anything here or jinx anything, but this will get straightened out, you’ll see.