NC State professor talks to ABC11 about viral tweets on Kanye West, slavery

A North Carolina State University professor has gone viral for her tweets about Kanye West.

In a recent appearance on TMZ Live in Los Angeles, West made a reference to 400 years of slavery being a choice.

Assistant Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies, Dr. Blair LM Kelley, told ABC11 by phone Wednesday that she did not intend for her tweets to go viral.

Yeezy's comments come on the heels of his support for President Donald Trump and criticizing Blacks for being Democrats. West's TMZ Live comments have been, at the least, a breeding ground for meaningful debate, and at the worst, ignorant and offensive -- as described by some.

"I'm just glad attention is being paid to the work the slaves did," Kelley told ABC11. Kanye's comments have caused quite the stir and forced many a conversation about the impacts of slavery and the long-lasting effect it still carries today.

"It's disappointing to see a person, who has stature and a national audience...use it to say things that are not well thought out about his ancestors," she said.

Dr. Kelley declined to comment on Mr. West's mental state, as many have called into question, saying it's not her position to make that diagnosis.

West later attempted to clarify his comments in an interview with hip-hop personality Charlemagne tha God about slavery being a choice.

"I believe (Kanye) was thinking to the institution of slavery...and I don't think he misspoke," Kelley added.

TMZ employee Van Lathan quickly interjected himself into Kanye's comments by calling out the rapper for his insensitivity.

"I actually don't think you're thinking anything," Lathan chimed in. "I think what you're doing right now is the absence of thought."

Lathan continued his address to Kanye, saying: "But there is fact, and real-world, real-life consequence behind everything that you just said. And 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 these threats to our lives. We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said, for our people, was a choice."

With cameras focused on Lathan, the staffer had one final point for Yeezy to take in. "Frankly, I'm disappointed, I'm appalled and, brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me, that's not real," Lathan said.

"I'm sure (Lathan) felt vulnerable. He was respectful, well-spoken...," said Kelley. Among her last tweets that gained such attention, Dr. Kelley added, "(Kanye) denigrating their lives at this point for attention and spare change is such an embarrassment."

After's Kanye comments, #ifslaverywasachoice started trending on Twitter.
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