Kanye West has once again kicked up controversy on Twitter with a string of bizarre tweets in which he called the 13th Amendment ‘slavery in disguise’.
Fresh off his appearance on Saturday Night Live, the rapper wrote midday Sunday: ‘the 13th Amendment is slavery in disguise meaning it never ended We are the solution that heals.’
Minutes later he clarified the statement, tweeting: ‘not abolish but. let’s amend the 13th amendment We apply everyone’s opinions to our platform.’
The tweets have left fans scratching their heads as they attempt to comprehend what exactly West is saying about the constitutional amendment, which outlawed slavery back in 1865.
Technically, abolishing that amendment would allow states to enslave people again.
A couple of hours earlier the artist had posted a selfie on Instagram and Twitter wearing the same Make America Great Again hat that was met with boos during his SNL performance the night before.
In the caption he wrote: ‘this represents good and America becoming whole again. We will no longer outsource to other countries. We build factories here in America and create jobs. We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th Amendment. Message sent with love.’
West called for the 13th Amendment to be abolished in the caption of his MAGA selfie Sunday
He clarified his call to abolish the 13th Amendment in two tweets later in the day Sunday, but fans have still be left scratching their heads over the rapper’s bizarre comments
Many fans replied to West’s tweets with direct excerpts from the 13th Amendment, asking him to explain his musings more directly.
The amendment reads: ‘Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.’
One user @King_Yunn wrote: ‘Saying abolish the amendment that also help (sic) abolish slavery without being specific on what you mean by abolishing it…is him purposely being indirect for drama?’
Another follower @AlishaFruits wrote: ‘There’s a hundred different ways he could’ve said it without sounding like an uneducated fool and stirring up unnecessary controversy, but that’s all he’s got.’
One of the sharpest criticisms came from actor Chris Evans, who tweeted: ‘There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue.
‘The level of unapologetic conjecture I’ve encountered lately isn’t just frustrating, it’s retrogressive, unprecedented and absolutely terrifying.’
Arguably the most prominent theory posed was that West’s critique of the 13th Amendment is centered on a specific clause in the writing which says people who have been convicted of a crime can still be enslaved.
One Twitter user behind this theory, @LBS4L, wrote: ‘he’s obviously referring to the “as a punishment for crime” part. there is a reason why the US has the most prisoners total and per capita. it’s because prison labor is akin to modern day slavery. he has talked about this in his music before (sic).’
Such an explanation is supported by the fact that during his SNL performance West wore a sweatshirt with the words ‘FREE HOOVER’ written across the front.
The sweatshirt reportedly refers to jailed Chicago street gang leader Larry Hoover.
Hoover founded the Chicago street gang the Gangster Disciples. He is currently serving six life sentences in Florence, Colorado.
The sweatshirt is available for sale at $90 on Kanye’s online store.
This is hardly the first time West has shared rather eccentric opinions about slavery.
The rapper sparked outrage in May of this year when he called slavery a ‘choice’ during an interview with TMZ.
‘When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice,’ he said.
‘You were there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.’
It wasn’t until months later that West finally apologized for the outburst during a radio appearance in late August.
West told WGCI he never ‘approached or addressed the slavery comment fully’ because ‘it’s not something for me to overly intellectualize’.
He then apologized for how his tone and how his actions, including wearing the MAGA hat on several occasions, have affected his fans.
‘I’m sorry for the one-two of the MAGA hat into the slavery comment. And I’m sorry for people who felt let down by that moment,’ he said.
Fans praised what appeared to be a heartfelt apology, but were in for another let down when West unveiled his redesigned version of the red cap bearing Trump’s 2016 campaign earlier this week.
He told Fader that he had added ‘positive energy’ to the hat by flattening the brim and changing its shape slightly.