By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – just because someone is a famous actor, or athlete, or musician, doesn’t mean they have a clue about anything outside their area of expertise.

The current case in point – rapper Kanye West, making news this week for political statements that are leaving many of his biggest fans anywhere from puzzled to outraged.

But for a guy who once trashed President Bush for alleged indifference to African-Americans, Kanye’s statement that “when you hear about slavery for 400 years…that sounds like a choice” takes the prize for outright stupidity.

kanye Keller @ Large: Kanye West Proves Celebrities Aren’t Worth Listening To

Kanye West (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

I hope it isn’t breaking news to you that slavery in America was not an ad-hoc arrangement passively submitted to by black people. This was the product of a racial caste system, enshrined in law, enforced by police power, justified by organized religion, protected by the political establishment. There were hundreds of slave rebellions that were brutally repressed. “Choice” had nothing to do with it.

Is Kanye West a fool, a nut, or a combination of both? Maybe he’s crazy like a fox; he has new records coming out soon, and the publicity he’s getting from his antics is potentially worth millions.

Let this be a reminder that celebrities aren’t necessarily wise or sane because they’re famous. And let’s leave the final word on Kanye to then-President Obama, who had this comment on Kanye’s famous drunken crashing of Taylor Swift’s award presentation.

“The young lady seems like a perfectly nice person, she’s getting her award, what’s he doing up there? He’s a jackass.”

Your opinion is welcome. Share it via email at, or use Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

  1. Funny, Jon, that you have chosen not to comment when all of the anti-Trump celebrities have been flapping their gums on matters well outside their expertise.

    Could you tell us why?

    As for West’s comments on slavery. isn’t he really questioning why there weren’t more Nat Turner rebellions from the enslaved blacks?

    In my studies of the Civil War and the conditions and events that lead to it, that was a question that was always in the back of my mind.

    And it is the same question that attends to the Jews in Germany, and, indeed, the 1930’s Germans themselves, for going along with Hitler’s inhumane tyranny, isn’t it?

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