Kanye West: Apologize for Defamation of Harriet Tubman

Target: Kanye West, Public Figure

Goal: Apologize for criticism of Harriet Tubman at South Carolina rally.

Prospective presidential candidate Kanye West recently made an appearance in South Carolina where he criticized Harriet Tubman, a revolutionary historical figure, by saying she did not help free enslaved people. When speaking about the Underground Railroad conductor, West claimed she “never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people.” This comment resulted in shouts of opposition and disapproval from the crowd.

West’s monologue discussed abortion, his stance on religion and spirituality, and international trade and licensing deals. Despite his appearance, it is still unclear whether or not West is realistically seeking the presidency and if it is even logistically possible this late in the election cycle.

Harriet Tubman is a highly regarded historical figure from 19th century America. She herself escaped slavery and went on to help enslaved Black men and women travel north via the Underground Railroad. Additionally, Tubman fought for the Union during the Civil War and led troops in key battles. She also is well known for her support of women’s suffrage.

West’s slander of Tubman and minimization of her legacy at his recent event is despicable. Sign this petition to urge West to publicly apologize for his statements.


Dear Mr. West,

You hold an incredible amount of social and cultural power in the United States and also internationally. As a result, the things that you do and say are often seen by millions, if not billions, of people. Recently, at your event to promote a presidential campaign, you spoke about many different topics like abortion and religion. These are topics where there is space for debate and personal opinion. However, you also spoke about the history of slavery in the United States and Harriet Tubman’s involvement in it.

Tubman is historically a figure who is looked at as a person who worked passionately, at the risk of her own life, to end the establishment of slavery. At your event, you painted her as complicit to slavery saying that she did not free any enslaved people but instead moved them from one place to another, where they continued to work for white people.

The reaction from the crowd at your event should be enough for you to understand the hurt that you’ve caused by minimizing Tubman’s work to help end slavery. I urge you to apologize for you insensitive remarks.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: David Shankbone

One Comment

  1. Robert Ortiz says:

    Every time he opens his mouth something ridiculous comes out. I wish this guy would learn the power of silence.

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