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Kanye West Offends Jewish Community with Antisemitic Comments

Rapper suspended from Twitter.
Photo by Axel Antas-Bergkvist
Kanye West performs at one of his concerts in 2015. The rapper has lost support from much of his fanbase after his making antisemitic comments.

Rapper Kanye West, also known as Ye, has become a controversial figure after posting antisemitic tweets where he stated that he was “going to go Death Con 3” on Jewish people.  

Defcon levels are what the military uses in order to determine how intense a threat is against America. There are five levels in the defcon scale, one being the least intense and five being the most. Therefore, when West tweeted this, he was threatening to inflict a midlevel act of violence or threat against Jewish people. 

West has been a well respected rapper in the community but his recent behavior, including running for president and making inappropriate comments towards most minorities, has lost him respect from much of his fanbase.

The Jewish community has faced discrimination and hatred for hundreds of years. The amplification of antisemitic rhetoric by West has caused Jewish communities to feel unsupported. 

“It makes me feel uncomfortable and unsafe because antisemitisim has killed millions of people in recent history,” senior Eli Rapheal said. “As a Jewish person, hearing similar rhetoric to that used in the Holocaust makes me feel nervous,”.

People in the Jewish community not only find his comments derogatory and offensive, but they find it shameful for someone with as much status as West to say as well. 

“With someone that has such a big platform, it is embarrassing that he feels the need to say it to millions of people who at one point or another supported him,” junior Emma Walters said. 

Many believe that West’s behavior is a result of mental illness, including Bipolar Disorder. He states in his song “Yikes” that being Bipolar is his superpower. Because of this  history with mental illness and erratic behavior, Rapheal states that he does not take West’s offensive comments personally.  

“If it was someone else who said it I think I would be a little more hurt, but I think the majority of people know that Kanye is mentally insane, so I usually take his comments with a grain of salt,” Rapheal said. “It’s still dangerous to think about, [though].”

Because of West’s large fanbase, some worry that his antisemitic tweets will influence others to follow and agree with him. 

“He is a huge influencer and he does have so many followers,” junior Jillian Miller said. “When people see other influencers do certain things, people assume that it is okay and they say or do the same thing,”. 

In fact, people have already started to follow his footsteps and make antisemitic comments of their own. Yahoo Sports states that Celtics star Jaylen Brown is sticking with West despite derogatory actions. 

With someone that has such a big platform, it is embarrassing that he feels the need to say it to millions of people who at one point or another supported him,

— Emma Walters

As a consequence of West’s tweets and recent actions he has lost all of his brand deals including his long standing partnership with Adidas. His lack of brand deals caused West to lose millions of dollars, making him no longer a billionaire. Walters feels as though this was a necessary and justified consequence that West needed to face. 

“Yes, absolutely. It doesn’t look good for other brands and it puts a negative light on them when they support someone who says stuff like that,” Walters said. 

West posted another tweet in attempt to make right for his comments stating that he was sorry for the people he hurt, but that it was impossible for him to be antisemitic because he is black. This apology was not only declined by some in the Jewish community, but it was seen as offensive as well. 

 “No, definitely not a good enough apology,” Raphael said. “Even if the real nation and tribe of judaism are africans, it still does not excuse being antisemitic.”

However, not along after making an apology statement, West took to Twitter once again to post a photo of the Star of David inside of a swastika, the symbol synonymous with the Nazi party. He was then suspended from the platform.  

Despite all West has said, Walters does not support his suspension. 

“I think people need to speak up to him and say ‘that is not okay’, but I don’t think they should take away his platform because that is taking away his freedom of speech,” Walters said. 

Though Rapheal agrees, he also believes that there should be some sort of limitations in which West can use his platform. 

“I do think he should be limited with how he uses his platform. If Twitter could create some sort of way to monitor what he says, I think that would be helpful,” Raphael said. 

Students agree that West’s comments are as confusing as they are harmful. Regardless of their views on how the situation should be handled, students say that remarks like the ones West made should not be tolerated. 

“He had so many followers and so many supporters and then he makes comments like that,” Miller said. “It is so inappropriate to the minority ofJewish people to make those types of comments.”

About the Contributor
Libby Howell
Libby Howell, Features editor
What are you looking forward to on the staff this year? Being able to make new friends with the staff! Who are your favorite music artists? Drake, The Lumineers, and Zach Bryan What causes are you passionate about? Gun control and women's rights