Op-ed

Ye’s Antisemitic Remarks

By Isabella Schwartz 285

It’s disappointing when an icon with a fan base of millions worldwide has a downfall, and everything they share with fans goes down the drain. Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has done it all. Creating the catchiest songs of the century and designing some mainstream fashion trends, Ye’s name is everywhere and anywhere. However, due to racist comments, openly spreading antisemitism, and being problematic throughout his career, there had to be consequences for his actions. Across the media, people are reacting to Ye’s scandalous behavior. The idea of Ye’s brand going unseen is unbelievable, and so many Central students are a fan of his. Hannah Rubin (285) says, “The issues that Kanye West has caused are horrible and disgusting. Antisemitism has always been an issue, but now it is becoming a greater one. I think that with everything Kanye has done, people are starting to be more aware of antisemitism, but there still needs to be changed in society. Kanye’s actions have affected me in many ways. Kanye was my favorite artist to listen to but after hearing he’s done my perspective has changed. As a Jewish woman, I should not have to be afraid of my religion. Since there’s been a rise in antisemitism, I do not feel as safe.”.

From Balenciaga to T.J. Maxx, brands across the industry cannot tolerate Ye’s actions. Some of Kanye West’s comments have caused viewers to believe he has internalized racism. At Paris Fashion Week, Yeezy (Ye’s footwear brand) was featured and had its runway show. At the Yeezy runway show, Ye and the models were wearing a t-shirt that stated “White Lives Matter”, a slogan connected to the Ku Klux Klan and supporting White supremacy. Kanye has also mocked slavery, saying, “slavery was a choice.” People were highly defensive when they saw people whom Ye would be partnering with. It did not matter to Ye when people were openly racist: he would still respect and work with them. Ye stated, “ ‘Oh, but he’s racist.’ You think racism could control me?”. Instead of fighting and standing up against racism, Ye’s reactions represent support for this unreasonable behavior.

Can you believe that Adidas dropped Ye? After almost 9 years of partnership and popular products, Adidas decided it was time to let go of Yeezy. Adidas says that its brand, “does not tolerate antisemitism or any other sort of hate speech”. On October sixth, Ye was featured in an interview with Tucker Carlson and shared his antisemitic views. Additionally, Ye has made antisemitic comments on the livestream with Drink Champs, on Twitter, in podcasts, and more.  Ye has been coming up with conspiracy theories about the Jewish community, wanting to spread incredibly offensive “Jewish Business Secrets”. One of Ye’s tweets is, “I’m going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE”. Along with that, he compared Planned Parenthood to the Holocaust. What is even more disappointing are reactions of agreement to Kanye’s statements. On the 405 in Los Angeles, California, people put up a large banner stating “Kanye West is right about the Jews”. As a part of the Jewish Ye fan base and while speaking to a lot of Jewish Ye fans, it truly upsets us that one of the most iconic people of the century does not want to have anything to do with us. Antisemitism is an issue all over the world that is not taken care of as much as it should, and Ye is only perpetuating the conflict. 

There is no question that Ye’s fan base is used to him being problematic. Regardless of his opinions or what the situation is, Ye has no shame in sharing his beliefs when it is unnecessary. Ye has a strong reputation for interrupting award shows and speeches. In 2009 at the MTV Music Awards, Ye barged into Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech when she won Best Female video. In September 2020, Ye made a scene with Nick Cannon and made statements about Beyonce. Along with more offensive actions, Ye called Kris Jenner “Kris Jong-Un” which went viral on Twitter. Ye’s never-ending rollercoaster of controversy has led him to lose support from fans and brands all over the world. 

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