Kanye West performs "Blood on the Leaves" during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New York August 25, 2013.
Eric Thayer/Reuters

Can Kanye reclaim the Confederate flag?

Updated

Kanye West has a reputation for making controversial statements, from his infamous claim that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” during a live Katrina fundraiser, to just this week when he said his fiancée, reality star Kim Kardashian, was more influential than Michelle ObamaAnd now, he says he’s taking one of the most controversial images in the African-American community and making it his own. 

West has been selling T-shirt and other merchandise emblazoned with the Confederate flag while on tour for his latest album, “Yeezus.” Meanwhile, conservative leaders have been subject to severe criticism as Republicans and tea party supporters have been seen at events featuring or incorporating the flag.

Asked about the controversial symbol during an interview with Los Angeles’ 97.1 AMP Radio this week, West said he was reclaiming the flag as his own. 

“The Confederate flag represented slavery in a way,” he said. “That’s my abstract take on what I know about it, right? So I made the song ‘New Slaves’  so I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag.”

“It’s my flag now, now what you going to do?” he added.

West is far from the first black musician to re-appropriate a historically controversial issue. He’s one of many who regularly uses the n-word in his lyrics, which has been defended as a form of re-appropriation but also has been decried by civil-rights leaders, including Rev. Al Sharpton

What do you think of West’s latest effort to take back the flag? Vote in our poll and explain your thoughts in the comments.

Music and Racism

Can Kanye reclaim the Confederate flag?

Updated