By Lily Nussbaum | Staff Writer
I’ll preface this by saying that I’ve never been a fan of Kanye West, now known as Ye. Time and time again, he has shown a lack of respect and decency toward other human beings. Besides the occasional song popping up on a playlist, I don’t listen to his music.
Regardless of my previously held opinions on the man, everyone can and should agree that no one should be supporting him after his statements and actions this past month.
On Oct. 8, Ye tweeted “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”
“Death con 3” refers to the military term “defcon,” describing the level of threats the country faces from other nations, which then determines readiness for any potential response. It is followed by a number one through five to rate the danger.
Ye’s tweet suggests either that there was a threat from Jewish people or that he would inflict some level of violence on them. Twitter removed his tweet and suspended his account for violating community guidelines.
Additionally, in unaired portions of his interview with Tucker Carlson that were released on Oct. 11, Ye made antisemitic comments, including the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jewish people control financial institutions. This came up when discussing holidays celebrated at his children’s school.
You’re wrong if you think someone with 18.4 million Instagram followers and 31.7 million Twitter followers making a statement on social media has no effect.
The streets of Los Angeles were filled with antisemitic posters just days after the rapper’s comments. One truly horrific sight occurred on a bridge over Interstate 405. Supporters held their arms up in Nazi salutes as they stood behind a banner reading, “Kanye is right.”
To anyone who says words have no power — wake up.
According to Pew Research Center, approximately 5.8 million adults are classified as Jewish. Ye’s Twitter following, who would have seen his initial tweet, is more than five times the adult population of Jewish people.
Thankfully, people have morals and can recognize hate speech and not contribute to it. Still, the reality is that everyone who saw or interacted with the tweet as a follower could have believed just what the people on that bridge thought: “Kanye is right.”
Additionally, Ye’s fanbase contains young people whose views are still being formed. A lack of consequence will make them believe his words are acceptable. If hateful speech and remarks aren’t stopped, they become violent. Around 80 years ago, what began as hateful words turned into genocide.
By continuing to support Ye, you are actively saying it is OK for people to spew hate speech without consequence. It’s proven time and time again not only that words hurt but also that they incite violence.
Major brands like Gap, JPMorgan Chase, Balenciaga and Vogue have already dropped him. Additionally, Adidas, which distributed his Yeezy line, is suffering a $246 million loss by ending its association with Ye.
Big businesses are doing their part to condemn Ye, so individuals need to do the same.
Let’s prioritize denormalizing discrimination against Jews over streaming “Ultralight Beam” or “Flashing Lights.”