“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally in prison. I like the word prison because slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. Slavery is to blacks as the Holocaust is to Jews. Prison is something that unites as one race, blacks and whites, that we’re the human race.”
- Kanye West talking out of his ass to TMZ
I'll make this short. No Kanye, 400 years of slavery was not "a choice". It had nothing to do with blacks being "mentally in prison". It had everything to do with heavily armed white Europeans physically enslaving Africans, shipping them to foreign lands, separating them from their families, beating, killing, raping and torturing them, then selling them like chattel to the highest bidder. Blacks in America didn't go through 400 years of slavery because they didn't read enough self help books or engage in positive thinking. They went through slavery because they were trying to survive one of the most horrific acts of barbarism ever invented by the human species.
Slaves who revolted from the "mental prison" were tortured, genitally mutilated, and killed in front of their families. Their families were also butchered to death as a warning to other slaves. White Americans also resorted to many evil tactics to prevent slave uprisings including raping women so they would have more privileged bi-racial children that they couldn't revolt against, mixing them with rival tribes so they couldn't speak to one another, and beating their culture and language out of them with unthinkable cruelty.
This isn't controversial, just historical fact that any reasonably literate, moderately interested American can read in the public library.
I don't claim to speak for African Americans, but after this little outburst and his recent fawning over the birther conspiracy theorist president, the label that rhymes with "Buncle Jom" seems highly appropriate for Mr West.