Kanye West has tried to clarify his controversial tweet about abolishing the amendment that outlawed slavery, saying he misspoke.
West, scorched by an outcry that followed his call to “abolish the 13th amendment,” told TMZ late Monday that he meant to say “amend,” not abolish. And he said he was specifically addressing the 13th Amendment’s exemption for involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime.
“In order to make a freed man a slave, all you have to do is convict them of a crime,” West, quoting a friend, told TMZ’s Harvey Levin. Imprisoned African Americans are part of a modern slavery system, he suggested.
Shortly after West made a pro-Trump speech on “Saturday Night Live,” the rapper touched off a storm of reaction with a tweet about national employment issues and a photo of him wearing a red MAGA hat.
“We will provide jobs for all who are free from prisons as we abolish the 13th amendment,” he wrote.
“Captain America” actor Chris Evans and other celebrities roasted the performer’s grasp of history, along with others on Twitter.
He clarified further in his conversation with Levin.
Noting that the Constitution was written by white men, West said: “We need people to amend the 13th amendment that look like the people that the 13th amendment are talking about.”
West caught flak previously for saying slavery was a choice.