Kanye West is no stranger to controversy.
In 2014, the rapper singled out two physically disabled audience members who stayed seated during a show. In May of this year, he called slavery a choice on TMZ Live. Most recently, he posted on Twitter about the 13th Amendment of the Constitution.
“We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons, as we abolish the 13th Amendment,” West tweeted.
After receiving backlash on social media, West deactivated his Twitter and Instagram accounts. Then, on Oct. 1, he appeared on TMZ to clarify what he said.
“‘Abolish’ was the wrong language,” he said. “I misspoke by saying ‘Abolish.’ ‘Amend’ is the right language.”
He went on to say that the amendment was flawed becausem in order for someone to become a slave, they could just be convicted of a crime. He also said that there should be a diverse and intelligent group of people who work to amend the constitution.
Though West’s clarification helped me better understand the message of his original tweet, I believe that it was very irresponsible. He was wrong in saying that we should get rid of the 13th Amendment.
West also has a history of stirring up controversy on Twitter. Some people believe that these statements are another example of being a “genius.” Others just believe that he’s trying to build his brand and stay relevant. Regardless, with the amount of influence he has on people, he needs to be more careful with what he says.
Before he deleted his Twitter account, he had millions of followers. These are millions of people he had influence over. For many of them, he has a say in how they act and how they feel about certain subjects. When sending out these tweets — especially with a topic as touchy as slavery — he needs to show more caution, or there could be consequences.
Many people who don’t think for themselves look to their favorite artists and celebrities to see what they should believe in. This means that West needs to make sure that his tweet is being interpreted correctly. If West sends out the wrong message, people could start supporting something very dangerous.
The 13th Amendment is an important part of our Constitution. It abolished and ended slavery, which was a huge problem in our country’s history. Kanye’s interpretation was irresponsible, as people who misinterpret this tweet may begin supporting the abolishment of the amendment, which could lead to problems such as racial prejudice.
We have seen fans of celebrities storming the streets and rioting in support of what a celebrity has said. Kanye has this power, and he must use it in a more responsible manner. Instead of writing something that could be interpreted as pro-slavery, he should write something that would promote something else, such as human rights.
As a public figure, West has an obligation to set a good example for his followers. Failing to set this example could have terrible consequences. Remember, words have power. Use them carefully.