We don’t talk about Ye (but we really need to…)


Michelle Batres

Antisemitism ramps up after Kanye West posts hateful comments on Twitter.

Everyone knows Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. He is one of the most influential people in the music and fashion industry. Ye has recently been in the headlines (not really a surprise) for some problematic comments, so I am going to dive into what he said and share my opinions on them. 

So first, let’s talk about the antisemitic comments he made.  Ye keeps spreading conspiracy theories and antisemitic stereotypes. Ye repeatedly accused “Jewish media” and “Jewish Zionists” of being responsible for a number of alleged wrongdoings during an interview that was broadcast on Revolt TV’s Drink Champs’ series on October 16.

Ye claimed that “Jewish people have owned the Black voice,” and that “the Jewish community, especially in the music industry…[will] take us and milk us until we die.” He said that he was “#MeToo-ing the Jewish culture,” in reference to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Ye continued by claiming that “Jews toyed” with him and “tried to blackball anyone who opposes” their “agenda.” Later, Twitter removed this message in which Ye ominously threatened to “go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” raising the possibility of violence.

(Courtesy of adl.org)

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; we might not always agree with what people say, yet a line has to be drawn when people use their opinion to perpetuate hate crimes on groups of people. In my opinion, the “death con 3” comment, which actually was supposed to refer to “Defcon 3,” was completely disgusting and unnecessary. 

National security dangers are categorized into five levels, with one being the highest and five being the lowest, thus Defcon 3 would be in the middle.  Therefore, it appears from Ye’s post that either he was preparing himself for danger from Jewish people or that he was planning to personally harm them. Now whether this was literal or simply a metaphor, here lies my issue.

People with a high stature like Ye forget that they hold a level of social power and influence, but this means that they have to be very careful with what they say. People are going to misconstrue or take what Ye said quite literally and commit acts of terror against Jewish people.

As a matter of fact, it already happened.

On October 22—just a mere three days after his antisemitic remarks—a banner proclaiming “Kanye is right about the Jews” was hung above a busy Los Angeles freeway, according to watchdog organizations. Behind the flag and another placard that said, “Honk if you know,” many others lifted their arms in the Nazi salute. A third advertised a network of antisemitic conspiracy theorists called the Goyim Defense League’s video site, which streams antisemitic material.

(Courtesy of cnn.com)

Also, people tend to forget that Ye has more than double the number of Twitter followers than there are Jews in the world. He has over 32 million followers, yet there are only about 15.2 million Jews worldwide.  If anyone were to put themselves in a Jewish person’s shoes, they would be scared.

Imagine feeling the need to hide your identity because an enormous group of ignorant people, including some Ye fans, believe in typical Jewish stereotypes to the point where any harmful thing they do to you is “justified” because they think they are doing good for their community.

To sum it up, his comments are problematic and dangerous. Also something that people are forgetting is that Black and Jewish people have the same common enemy: the white supremacist. So, instead of these unnecessary comments, we should get together and understand that this bickering is only further benefitting the white supremacist that have always oppressed us.

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