West tweeted hours after making the comments on “TMZ Live,” that he knows “slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will.”
“My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved,” he added in a follow-up post.
“The reason why I brought up the 400 years point is because we can’t be mentally imprisoned for another 400 years,” the rapper added. “We need free thought now. Even the statement was an example of free thought. It was just an idea.”
Still, Lemon said the remarks made West start “embarrassing himself.”
“He’s embarrassing himself actually. He doesn’t know history. He should read,” the anchor said on “CNN Tonight” Tuesday with guest Ebro Darden of “Ebro in the Morning” radio show, who said Ye’s brain and mouth “are not working in concert.”
After Darden remarked about Ye proudly declaring he doesn’t read, Lemon tore into the rapper’s “free-thinking” mindset.
“He doesn’t know what free-thinking really is, because people are free to criticize him. And just because people feel a certain way about slavery and the African-American experience in this country, there is a reason why there is a consensus around that. It’s because of facts. It’s because of history. It’s because people know what happened in the past and what affects that continues to have on people even in the present now.”
Darden reminded viewers that West is “part of a marketing machine” that the radio host thinks has begun “spiraling out of control.”
“Kanye has allowed himself to be used as a tool for people who align themselves with hate groups, and white supremacy in this country,” Darden added. “That’s the problem.”
The two then praised Van Lathan, the TMZ photographer who confronted West after his tirade.
“While you are making music, and being an artist, and living the life that you’ve earned, by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with the threats in our lives,” Lathan said in part. “You gotta be responsible.”
Lemon agreed and expressed uncertainty about West understanding his platform. However, Darden believes West knows how powerful his words can be “even though he doesn’t know how to connect his words to actual, clear, factual thought.”
“The conversations Kanye wants to have have been happening,” Darden says. “He hasn’t been a part of them because you’ve been in your bubble. It’s not new, bro. It’s been happening. You just haven’t been involved. And, matter of fact, I don’t think that Kanye wants to come down and get involved. He doesn’t want to get his hands dirty.
“He just wants to say some stuff from his Calabasa, [Calif.], mansion studio, make some records, do his touring, put out his clothes,” he adds. “He doesn’t want to talk about a collective greater good. He just wants to say things from the mountaintop.”