The fallacy of choice

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By Arlene Jones

Columnist

Kanye West is a fool. I have some other unkind as well as choice words that I'd like to call him, but fool fits him most appropriately right now. The College Dropout has permanently cemented his ignorance by claiming that 400 years of slavery suffered by black people on this side of the world was a choice!

I watched the entire 30-minute segment where Kanye babbled and offered certain other opinions. It was only when he asked for others' opinions that Van Lathan, a reporter at TMZ, responded. It was a brilliant response because Van didn't have to use any profanity to slice and dice Kanye to shreds.

What Kanye failed to acknowledge is that slavery was an institution, supported by laws and Supreme Court cases, including one of the most famous: The Dred Scott decision.

What is most egregious about Kanye's spewing of stupidity is that he is using modern-day knowledge versus pre-1865 ignorance. In order for those who were enslaved to have a choice as to their enslavement, they would have to have knowledge that there was a choice. Their grandparents were slaves, their parents were slaves, and they were slaves. Keeping enslaved people ignorant of any kind of choice was at the foundation of slavery.

 They knew only where they lived. The world beyond their immediate surroundings was a complete mystery. It was all by design.

If a slave made any conscientious choice, it was the choice to survive. One of the main reasons the original Native Americans didn't make good slaves is because they knew the land, and they also died. The testament to their choice is their low population numbers today. The testament to enslaved Africans' choices are our numbers today!

I, like many others, know what chilling effects will come from Kanye having spewed that nonsense. It buys right into the nonsense of the slaveholders and the current day Alt-Right Movement. Since spewing that thought process on TMZ, Kanye has back-stepped and tried to clean it up. But it isn't working well. A lot of people are coming down on him hard. As well they should!

I hope in the year 2018, people who are offended by Kanye's choice of words also make a choice. A choice not to listen to him. A choice not to financially support him. A choice to turn their backs on him whenever he tries to communicate.

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