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Ye’s anti-Semitism gets much higher

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

By Jay Li Dec. 15, 2022

American rapper Ye—formerly known as Kanye West—is no stranger to controversy, having criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, referred to slavery as a “choice” and sporting clothing promoting white supremacy. Currently, Ye’s string of anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi comments are facing intense backlash, bringing attention to his celebrity influence as a whole. From dropped brand deals to directly influencing anti-Semitic activity, Ye’s actions have had significant repercussions, making it clear that celebrities like Ye must use their power responsibly.


In a leaked interview with Fox News, Ye theorized that Jared Kushner, former senior advisor to President Donald Trump, arranged peace agreements between Arab nations and Israel “to make money,” perpetuating the anti-semetic stereotype of Jewish people being greedy. In response to rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs’s condemnation of his statements Ye suggested on Instagram that Combs was being controlled by Jewish people. Ye’s increasingly problematic behavior was highlighted by a tweet threatening to go “death con three on Jewish people,” referencing the term U.S. military term DEFCON: defense readiness condition.


The consequences were immediate. Twitter deleted the tweet and Ye was suspended. However, when Elon Musk bought Twitter, Ye’s account was reinstated, only to be banned shortly after for inciting violence by tweeting an image of a swastika.


Additionally, Adidas dropped Ye’s brand deal, which was reportedly worth over $2 billion—according to Forbes—costing Ye his billionaire status. Adidas also ended Ye’s Yeezy sneaker line, which had generated 10% of the company’s revenue.


Harry Kang Art

“Companies do not want to be associated with controversial figures such as Ye to preserve their reputation, as customers may perceive a brand deal as an endorsement. Because many celebrities gain significant attention and revenue through promotions, companies cutting ties both removes their spotlight and forces them to reconsider their actions,” Senior Natalie Gao said.

Instead of apologizing, Ye doubled down on his anti-Semitism during an episode of the “Drink Champs” podcast, ranting about how Jewish people control the media and “have owned the Black voice.” He defended himself by claiming that he cannot be anti-Semitic because Black people are also Jewish. Most recently, in an interview by alt-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the rapper stated that he sees good traits in Nazis and Adolf Hitler.


Ye’s words emboldened a Neo-Nazi group to hang banners over a Los Angeles (LA) freeway overpass reading “Kanye is right about the Jews.” The same message was projected in a stadium during a football game between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia. After inviting Ye to a private tour, The Holocaust Museum in LA was flooded with threatening anti-Semitic messages.


“While Ye suffers from bipolar disorder, it is not an excuse to spread hate speech. He has access to medication and should take it. However, if Ye insists to stay off his medication, he should avoid social media altogether because his massive popularity means that anything he says will be heard by hundreds of millions of fans,” Sophomore Taro Bergan said.

Ye is pouring gasoline into the wildfire of anti-Semitism. Ye’s continuous remarks have created a ripple effect, providing bigots a basis to push their agendas. Many conservatives claim that Twitter is censoring Ye; however, there is a clear distinction between censorship and stopping hate speech. When influential figures such as Ye use their platforms to spread prejudice, they must have their access to these platforms taken away.


 

About the Contributors

Jay Li

Staff Writer


Jay Li is a sophomore at Leland and a writer for The Charger Account. In his free time, he enjoys reading and sleeping.










Harry Kang

Artist


Harry Kang is a sophomore at Leland High School currently working as an artist for The Charger Account. During his free time Harry likes to listen to Frank Ocean and procrastinate on school work. Occasionally he breathes oxygen and sometimes consumes H2O

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