– By Khahlil Louisy

 

Slavery Had to Have Been A Choice, According to Kanye West

I was left flabbergasted yesterday afternoon when reports began to surface that Kanye West had gone on TMZ and professed so confidently that slavery had to have been a choice. I had to head over to TMZ to see the video for myself – seeing is believing it is said. West, it seems, couldn’t quite fathom how slavery could have gone on for 400 years, with no one doing anything to break free from the shackles of captivity. The black men, women, and children who were held against their will, made the conscious decision to remain in that position. Here’s how he rationalized his thoughts:

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally in prison. I like the word ‘prison’ because ‘slavery’ goes too direct to the idea of blacks. Slavery is to blacks as the Holocaust is to Jews. Prison is something that unites as one race, blacks and whites, that we’re the human race.”

For now, let us gloss over the part where he only identifies whites and blacks as being the make-up of the human race. If you’re neither, nor, then tough luck for you, you don’t even belong. But while Kanye West has gone on about being thought controll and independent thinking in recent weeks, he demonstrates the he lacks both the mental capacity and aptitude for grasping facts and information from historical events, especially one as significant as slavery, and to process them into coherent thoughts rooted in factual information.  Perhaps West hasn’t had a moment to educate himself on the history of slavery, or maybe somewhere along the way, from West’s upbringing in Chicago to the glittering hills of Hollywood and dazzling front row seats of the luxury fashion industry, he forgot about that history. Incredulously, Kanye West continues to demonstrate the cognitive dissonance that so often lands celebrities in hot water.

What Kanye West is doing is dangerous. Such uninformed and irrational thoughts being spewed to millions of people can have serious, if not disastrous consequences for groups of people who are already disenfranchised. Only a few short hours after he made those nonsensical statements, did I hear two men speaking in hush tones saying “At least one of them gets it, they keep bringing up that slavery bullshit expecting handouts and special treatment.”

If Kanye West is spewing this garbage because he has an album being released and needs to promote it, it begs the question of how far someone will go to promote their products.  It is also time to start holding the media accountable for continuing to provide the platforms for this Kanye West to continue misbehaving. Remember back in 2009 when the E! Network made the decision not to cover stories about Heidi and Spencer Pratt anymore and they disappeared from the public’s consciousness? Why can the same not be done to Kanye West?

So, did the African-American slaves rebel? Here is an informative article from PBS that Kanye West may find useful, if he hasn’t forgotten how to read.

 

R. Kelly Will Have To Face The Music

It’s been a long time coming for R. Kelly. The same guy who made the world fall in love with him with such hits as “Step In The Name Of Love,” “Ignition (Remix),” and “Trapped In the Closet,” has also lived in the shadows of some seriously heinous accusations of sexual abuse that have span decades. Those allegations have now reached a crescendo. This week, Time’s Up has backed #MeToo in a campaign to #MuteRKelly, which has garnered support from some powerful women of color, including the almighty Shonda Rhimes, Ava duVerynay, and actresses Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, and Lupita Nyong’o. While R. Kelly has been able to circumvent any serious consequences for years, the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements seem to have reached their limits and are insisting on repercussions, including a boycott of the singer.

An upcoming performance by Kelly at this year’s Love Jam concert in Chicago has been canceled and iconic radio host, Tom Joyner, has announced that he will no longer play R. Kelly’s music on his nationally syndicated radio show. Both of these cancellations are bound to hit the singer negatively. For his part, Kelly and his team has denied all allegations.

 

Facebook is going to be Playing Matchmaker, What Could Go Wrong?

200 million single people on Facebook have captured the attention of Mark Zuckerberg and he wants to do something about it. At Facebook’s annual developer conference on Tuesday, Zuckerberg announced that the company would soon provide a service within it’s application, which would allow single people to connect with each other in a way that would lead to building long-term relationships, taking a swipe at other applications in the dating game. “This is for building real long-term relationships, not just hookups,” Zuckerberg said. Other dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Grindr, have been accused of creating a “hook-up” culture, where casual sex has replaced conventional dating and relationships.

Naturally, shares of Match Group which owns the dating apps, Tinder, Match, OkCupid, and Plenty of Fish, among others, and that of its parent company, InterActiveCorp, saw double-digit dips in the market following Zuckerberg’s announcement. InterActiveCorp’s chief Executive, Joey Levin, took a jab at Facebook following Zuckerberg’s announcement by referring to the 2016 presidential election and how Russian agents were able to hijack the social network to influence voters. In a statement to the New York Times, he said “Come on in. The water’s warm.” And “Their product could be great for U.S./Russia relationships.”

This is a very sensitive time for Facebook and Zuckerberg who have had to answer questions about privacy and data security to congress. Given the sensitive nature of personal and romantic relationships, it will be interesting to see how Facebook will address the concerns of users who may be interested in utilizing the service. Eva Galpern,  director of cybersecurity at the digital rights organization, Electronic Frontier Foundation, tweeted “This does not seem like a thing that will go well, given Facebook’s history of leaking sensitive data about users to each other.”

Be careful who you let slide into your private messages, folks!