Kanye West’s Comments About Harriet Tubman Spark Outrage on Social Media

It appears Kanye West’s comments have caused yet another controversy. During his first political campaign rally in South Carolina on July 19, the rapper made a few claims that didn’t sit well with too many people. But his comment about Harriet Tubman, a historical figure in American history, struck a nerve with Twitter users.

Kanye West
Kanye West | Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Kanye West’s political rally was anything but ordinary

Chaotic, shocking, and downright bizarre: those are a few words one could use to describe West’s very first political rally.

While speaking at the Exquis Event Center in North Charleston, South Carolina, where he’s seeking to qualify for the state ballot as an independent candidate, West put on quite the show which people can’t stop talking about online.

Wearing a flak jacket marked “security” and “2020” shaved into his head, West spoke about his thoughts on abortion, his relationship with Adidas and Gap, his religious beliefs, and more.

The rapper also spent time talking about political abolitionist, Harriet Tubman, who he claims never led enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad.

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“Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other white people,” he said during the rally.

Tubman is one of the most influential figures of 19th century America. After escaping slavery in 1849, she helped enslaved Black men and women travel north to freedom by following the North Star.

Since Tubman is a highly respected icon, many had a problem with West downplaying her achievements and are now slamming him on Twitter for his remarks.

Twitter is slamming Kanye West for his controversial comment

Though some didn’t see anything wrong with West’s comments, many were offended by his claims and criticized him online for seemingly throwing shade at Tubman.

“Harriet Tubman did not live through hell to become the first woman to lead a U.S military expedition just to be disrespected by a man who thinks khaki beige is an acceptable fashion decision,” one person tweeted.

“Dear Kanye, a Black history textbook is in the mail. Read it, then learn to respect Harriet Tubman’s legacy,” someone else wrote.

Even celebrities had similar sentiments to those of fans.

“What the F**k did he just say. This is all Jay Z fault, Kanye’s first rally. LOL,” Grammy winner 50 Cent penned while rapper NoName tweeted, “KEEP HARRIET TUBMAN NAME OUT YOUR F*CKING MOUTH!!!!!!!”

Though many A-listers are upset with the hip-hop icon’s claims, others expressed their concern for West’s mental health.

“Let’s completely disregard politics. Kanye is going through an episode and needs love and care from his friends and family,” Finneas, Billie Eilish’s producer brother wrote.

This isn’t the first time Kanye West’s statement has sparked backlash

Though his claim about Harriet Tubman took many by surprise, others weren’t that shocked by West’s remarks, especially since this wasn’t the first time he’s made a controversial comment about slavery.

Back in 2018, the rapper left many people livid after suggesting that slavery was a “choice” while visiting TMZ’s headquarters.

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“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.”

The provocative statement sparked major backlash, with many expressing their outrage for the rapper’s comment.

Though he soon clarified his statement and apologized for calling slavery a “choice,” many haven’t been able to let West live that remark down and have now brought it back up following his Harriet Tubman comment.