Rapper Kanye West creates a social media storm with antisemitic outbursts
By Rolene Marks
Kanye West or rather “Ye” as he prefers to be called nowadays is one of those rappers/fashion designers/celebrities/wannabe politicians/former Kardashian paramours that is best known for generating headlines in the tabloids. If you are hooked on pop culture like I am, you are familiar with West’s eccentric exploits. Nobody could have predicted Ye targeting Jews around the world with some of the most vile (and badly phrased) threats and antisemitism seen in the public domain like he did over the past two weeks.
It has been a steady build-up of comments that would not have been out of place in Germany circa 1938.
West’s rantings cannot and must not be dismissed as the rantings of a narcissistic celebrity desperate for relevance, or someone on the verge of a nervous breakdown. His comments also cannot be dismissed as the musings of a misunderstood genius. West/Ye/Whatever he calls himself, has a newly discovered history of antisemitic comments.
Let’s make one thing abundantly clear – bipolar disorder or any other mental health issue does not cause racism or antisemitism. West’s antisemitism also should not be excused because he is a celebrity.
West poses an added danger – his Twitter following is a staggering 31.4 million. That is more than double the amount of Jews in the world – and excludes his other social media platforms.
This is not the first offence from West. Podcaster Van Lathan, an ex-TMZ (entertainment news site) worker, has recently claimed that the rapper confessed his love for Adolf Hitler during an interview with him in 2018. Lathan made the shocking revelation about the rapper during the recent episode of his ‘Higher Learning’ podcast, where he revealed that he made controversial comments during an interview for TMZ, but it was edited out and was not back then made public.
Lathan told his co-host, Rachel Lindsay:
“I’ve already heard him say that stuff before. I mean, I was taken aback because that type of antisemitic talk is disgusting. But as far as him, I knew that that was in him because when he came to TMZ, he said that stuff and they took it out of the interview, ” he alleged, as per Page Six.
Lathan continues, “If you look at what I said at TMZ, it goes from me saying, ‘Hey Kanye, there’s real-life, real-world implications to everything that you just said there.’ “What I say after that — if I can remember, it’s been a long time — was, ’12 million people actually died because of Nazism and Hitler and all of that stuff,’ and then I move on to talk about what he said about slavery,” Lathan alleged.
“The reason they took it out is because it wouldn’t have made sense unless they kept in Kanye saying he loved Hitler and the Nazis, which he said when he was at TMZ. He said something like, “I love Hitler, and I love Nazis.” Something to that effect. “
Some of West’s other bizarre antisemitic comments from the recent controversial Tucker Carlson Fox News interview also made their way to the cutting room floor but included doozies like this:
“I’d prefer my kids knew Chanukah than Kwanzaa, at least it would come with some financial engineering,” said West. Clearly while many of us are scratching our heads wondering if we missed something when it comes to the way we celebrate Chanukah, an ugly comment like this hearkens back to those revolting antisemitic tropes that Jews control the world’s financial systems.
West also appeared on the Drink Champs podcast to last week adding:
“Jewish people have owned the black voice, whether it’s through us wearing a Ralph Lauren shirt, or as all of us being assigned to a record label, or having a Jewish manager or being assigned to a Jewish basketball team, or doing a movie on a Jewish platform like Disney, and we understand this.”
“I want Jewish children to look at their daddy and say, ‘why is Ye mad at us?’” he ranted.
He also blamed “Zionist Jews” for prompting his ex-wife Kim Kardashian‘s confession that she had sex in front of a fireplace with former lover, Pete Davidson. Okay, then. Apparently we “Zionist Jews” are SO powerful we can influence people’s sexual activity! No, I am not making this up!
Oy vey Ye, maybe you should just shut up?
Many have roundly condemned West’s vile behaviour including political leaders, black personalities and leaders; and entertainment celebrities like Friends star, David Schwimmer:
Sadly, others like late night talk show host, Trevor Noah (who also has a dubious history of antisemitic comments) managed to turn it into comedy shtick for his TV show, making light of the meaning and pronunciation of “Deathcon 3”. Trevor should sit this one out. The internet keeps receipts of people’s activities and Noah should take a long, hard accounting of his:
Adding fuel to the fire is Candace Owens, a conservative commentator. Owens tweeted out that West was dumped by JP Morgan, the private bank because of his antisemitic rants. The truth is West and JP Morgan bank cut ties several weeks ago.
West has supported Owen’s documentary “BLM: The greatest lie ever sold” about the Black Lives Matter movement that has fomented racial divisions and taken in an extraordinary amount of money to fill their coffers.
In a strange twist of events, West announced he is buying Parler, the conservative social media platform. The CEO is Candace Owens’s husband. Is it just me, or do you also smell a stinking publicity rat?
West has doubled down on his vile comments saying that he is glad that he crossed the line and that his comments did “not come out of nowhere”.
Jews have been sounding the alarm over rising antisemitism, especially on social media platforms for years now. While platforms like Twitter and Instagram may deplatform some for their comments (the Ayatollah al Khameini is still able to post egregious antisemitic comments in less than 280 characters) it is clearly not enough. Don’t even get me started on the comments from people in the spaces under articles or online in response to coverage of West/ye/Whatever’s antisemitism. It is a clear indication of the groundswell of danger out there.
The Holocaust started with words. Some of you reading this may think that I am overreacting or being too dramatic. I am don’t think that I am. We have witnessed throughout our history what the consequences of unchecked hate speech are.
We cannot dismiss the damage caused as the ravings of a man with mental health issues or downplay it because comments like this bring clicks and likes to big tech and effectively more money for them. This kind of hate speech poses a clear and present danger.
Where to from here? I am a firm believer that the only way to fight this is with a sense of pride and identity. This involves calling it out wherever you see it – and using the apparatus that is available to us. Our own social media, legal channels if necessary, reporting structures and most important, educating and empowering the next generation so that they too are equipped to better deal with what they face every day on their social media.
Throughout our history there have been attempts to silence Jewish and Zionist voices. The time has come to make them heard as loud and as proud as possible. It is the only way to drown out the noise of hate speech.