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What Experts Say About the Real History in Kanye West's Tweets on Republicans, Democrats and Race

When Kanye West resumed tweeting this month after a social-media break, his fans and followers embraced his stream of thoughts on fashion and other topics. But, when he began focusing many of his tweets on his appreciation for President Donald Trump, the reaction was quite a bit more divided. While Trump himself thanked the Grammy Award-winning rapper and Kim Kardashian West defended her husband, others pushed back against West’s ideas. Some of his friends and professional associates, such as John Legend, attempted to get him to change his mind about Trump and U.S. politics — prompting West to share screenshots of the conversations.

Then, on Monday, West shared the historical basis for his views by tweeting screenshots of text-messages with someone named Steve:

West is right that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican who was instrumental in freeing people who were enslaved in the United States and in supporting their equality during the Reconstruction period, and that the Democratic Party supported the Southern slave owners — and later had a central role in undermining the expansion of equality. However, the story of Republicans, Democrats and race in America is more complicated than that. Which is exactly what Legend and radio personality Charlamagne Tha God told West in subsequent texts shared by the rapper:

The Republican Party was founded in the run-up to the Civil War and was the party of racial justice and equality during the Civil War and Reconstruction in the late 19th century. As Kanye West and Steve discussed in a conversation that the artist tweeted later on Monday, the Republican Party in the executive branch and in Congress undertook serious efforts to gain rights for African-Americans.

Read entire article at Time Magazine