Kanye West’s comments about the 13th Amendment are confusing and bad

Then President-elect Donald Trump standing next to one of his fans, Kanye West.
Then President-elect Donald Trump standing next to one of his fans, Kanye West.

Image: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Oh no.

Kanye West took to social media on Sunday to tell everyone that he supports the messages of Donald Trump while wearing a MAGA hat. In the same tweet, he wrote that he wants to abolish the 13th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America — the one that abolished slavery.

This came right after West’s performance on Saturday Night Live which included an unaired rant about how he supports Donald Trump to mediocre applause and a handful of boos.

Here’s a quick refresher on what exactly the 13th Amendment says:

Section 1. 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.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation

It is possible that West, with his reference to prisons in his tweet, was specifically referring to the part of the amendment which allows prisons to use inmates for slave labor. (Ava Duvernay’s 2016 Netflix documentary, 13th, explores this specifically.)

West did not specify this in his message, if that’s what he meant to imply, which led to some very mixed reactions online.

West’s fan were all over the place.

While a lot of people tweeted at West asking where his next album is (it was supposed to drop Saturday but still hadn’t released at the time of his tweet), there were many people reacting angrily to West’s support of a problematic administration and his apparent support for abolishing laws against slavery.

West followed up a couple hours later with a tweet that was meant to clarify his point, and while it seems like it could be alluding to the point about prison labor, he still isn’t being specific about it.

Another half-hour after his second tweet, West dropped a third tweet saying that maybe we shouldn’t abolish the 13th Amendment but instead amend it.

Still, people brought up some good points about West and his questionable political theatrics. Remember that time he said slavery was a choice?

Some suggested the best course of action for reacting to West’s weird outbursts was to just stop following him and stop listening to him.

The only thing that’s clear is that West doesn’t really know what he’s talking about when he decides to speak or tweet, as it seems we’re watching him learn in real time what exactly the 13th Amendment is and what abolishing it would mean.

Will he be sure to research things a bit more thoroughly before his next political tweet? Evidence suggests: probably not.

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