After declaring his belief that slavery is “a choice,” Kanye West is back with another nugget of revisionist history. In a since-deleted tweet, the rapper and incorrigible pot-stirrer posted this quote supposedly attributed to Harriet Tubman: “I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

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There is no hard evidence that the abolitionist ever actually said this. The attribution has been debunked as false by fact-checking website Snopes, and according to Milton Sernett, professor emeritus of history at the Maxwell School and author of Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History, “this is a late 20th-century quote from a fictionalized account of Tubman’s life.”

As you might expect, plenty of people have been dragging Kanye on Twitter:

In a situation like this, it would normally be advisable to just enjoy the art and accept the fact that the artist is not that great a person. But when it comes to West’s art, so much of it is tied up in who he is as a person. A completely clean separation of art and artist is never really possible, and in this case, that is especially true.

Furthermore, it is especially disappointing now because while West has always been incendiary, his outbursts have previously been inspiring and held the powerful to task, instead of tacitly excusing their transgressions. What happened to the Kanye who said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”?

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