Kanye West made his way back into the headlines over the weekend after expressing some provocative thoughts concerning Black History Month. The rapper called the annual celebration “programming” for Black people.
During an appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast with host Joe Rogan, which was published on Saturday, Oct. 24, the “Jesus Walks” rapper spoke for nearly three hours straight on a wide range of topics. West discussed his relationship with God and the music industry, his complicated presidential run, and his views on vast issues, including racism in America. Around the 44-minute mark, the rapper dove deeper into his thoughts on how Black History Month, a month designated to celebrate Black people’s achievements, has ultimately been corrupted.
“Most Black people, we don’t know where we come. We think we came from slaves. We don’t know our bloodline,” West began. He continued, “We’re given Black History Month, and we take that like it’s some gift to us. No, it’s a programming to us. Racism doesn’t end until we get to a point where we stop having to put the word ‘Black’ in front of it because it’s like we’re putting the rim a little bit lower for ourselves … We shouldn’t have to have a special box, a special month. What they show on Black History Month is us getting hosed down, reminding us that we were slaves. What if we had, Remember When I Cheated on You Month? Remember When You First Found the Text Messages? How does that make you feel? It makes you feel depleted and defeated.”
West’s remarks sparked debate on social media from critics and fans who were divided on the rationality of his comments, including one Twitter user who wrote, “Fully agree with @kanyewest I don’t want a black history month.” They added, “It’s so negative, brings me anxiety. Imagine “when you cheated month” then all the times you cheated is brought up. Too much negative connotations in black history in Oct. Let’s just change the curriculum adequately.”
Another person wrote, “Y’all’s thirst to be forward thinking is causing you to believe the shit Kanye West is saying. Adding “black” is adding prestige not lowering the bar. Black History month isn’t to wallow it’s to celebrate, forget Kanye and anyone buying that willie Lynch shit he kicking.”
A third user commented, “Kanye West said that we don’t need Black History month. The same logic that got Stacey dash cancelled yet people are defending him.”
“Kanye West is missing the WHOLE point Of black history month,” a fourth person wrote. “It’s not in just to remember the tragedies, and horrors white people put our ancestors through, but acknowledging the milestones our ancestors surpassed in the midst of racism and hate.”
Check out Kanye’s full interview with Joe below.