Kanye West fuels antisemetic social media controversy

David Shankbone, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

By Katie Bernardo

Kanye West, who is now known as Ye, is an immensely famous American rapper, songwriter and record producer. He is known for his famous album “Yeezus” and popular songs like, “Gold Digger” and “Stronger.” 

Ye has also become a fashion designer with several successful lines including shoes and clothing.

Since Ye and his former wife Kim Kardashian have publicly split up, Ye has shown to have controversial outbursts on social media. Some of his outbursts have consisted of posts where Ye bashes Pete Davidson for dating his ex wife, along with other questionable posts. 

One of his most controversial posts took place during Paris Fashion Week earlier this month. Ye, along with Candace Owens, debuted a shirt from his brand with the phrase, “White Lives Matter.” Ye openly disregarded the opinion of his fans and followers, many of whom were offended. 

Although Ye’s clothing has stirred up controversy, recently, it is his antisemetic remarks throughout his Instagram and Twitter platforms that have really sparked the most attention. 

These antisemetic remarks have consisted of Tweets stating, “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” This is a reference to the U.S. Defense readiness condition, known as Def. Con. Many took his use of the work “death” to be threatening to Jewish people. Ye further tweeted, “You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda,” clearly referencing Jewish people. 

Twitter later removed both tweets. 

Due to these irrational posts, Ye was restricted from posting on both Twitter and Instagram. The company condemned Ye for his hateful and racist phrases and remarks. 

Once Ye got his posting ability back, he did not wait to test the social media companies. He instantly posted again regarding his “White Lives Matter” shirt. He wrote, “My one t-shirt took allllll the attention.”

Many celebrities showed anger and hatred towards Ye due to his racist outbreaks on social media. Many celebrities such as Jaden Smith and Boosie Badazz have directly called out Ye in their own tweets, condemning his remarks. 

Sean Combs, founder of Bad Boy Entertainment, criticized Ye on instagram and posted, “Don’t wear the shirt. Don’t buy the shirt. Don’t play with the shirt. It’s not a joke.” 

Ye retaliated by later posting private texts between him and Comb where Ye claims Comb was “controlled by Jewish people.” This post took the attention of many Jewish groups and fans where they claimed Ye was antisemetic in the comments of this post. Ye’s posts were later taken down by the social media company. 

Due to all of Ye’s racist and antisemetic remarks, many companies have steered away from being associated with Ye. Ye partnered with Adidas for his brand “Yeezy.” However, due to his antisemetic comments, Adidas put his brand under review and later, the company publicly cut ties with Ye. Adidas claims to, “not tolerate antisemitism or any other sort of hate speech.” 

This scandal is ironic given Adidas’ pro-Nazi German past. The company was founded by one of two brothers, one who created Adidas and the other who created Puma. Adolf Dassler, the founder of Adidas, was originally named to the second most serious category of Nazi offenders after the war. Dassler was also a part of the Hitler Youth. The company worked to sever their Nazi ties and now they’re doing so again.  

Ye plans to continue selling his brand without the Adidas-associated name. Later that week, Ye showed up to Sketchers without an appointment, but was escorted out without being seen 

Ye’s outbursts have influenced others to publicly spread antisemitism. There were people with signs, for example, on the 405 freeway saying,”Honk if you know Kanye is right about the Jews.”

“Unfortunately, we’ve been seeing these kinds of tropes and conspiracy theories on the rise across the country, which is all the more troubling because the rise of antisemitic rhetoric is directly linked to the rise in antisemitic violence,” Eric Fingerhut, president and chief executive of the Jewish Federations of North America, said in a statement, according to the New York Times.