Kanye West’s antisemitism should not be tolerated

The famous rapper Ye West, formerly known as Kanye, has yet again been under fire for his recent controversies. From wearing White Lives Matter (WLM) shirts with conservative pundit Candance Owens to posting anti-semitic tweets, West has been banned on both Twitter and Instagram. As one of the most influential figures in the music industry, he cannot be absolved of consequences, as his harmful rhetoric negatively affects marginalized communities.


During the Yeezy Fashion Show on Oct. 7, West and Owens appeared on stage wearing WLM sweaters, bringing about immense backlash from the public. After a fellow rapper, Sean “Diddy” Combs, threatened physical violence over the issue, West implied that he was “controlled by the Jews” through his responses on Instagram.


The damage continued—after he was blocked on Instagram, West moved to Twitter. As a response to an article calling him anti-semitic, he tweeted, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” West meant to say “DEFCON 3,” an alert used by the U.S. military. 


Some media outlets fail to realize that his influence emboldens White supremacists to air similar views. All of the media attention he’s received from news station interviews stunts efforts to restrain his tirades on social media. By giving West another platform to speak on, outlets like NewsNation (NY), BBC, and Fox News  are part of the problem for implying that his ideas are worth listening to. 


There has been a spike in anti-semitic related hate crimes in recent years, with 452 reported incidents in this year only, so West’s remarks adding fuel to the fire. The rapper, having over 31 million followers (which exceeds the global Jewish population), is encouraging others to not only spread hateful views, but to also  act out in violence. 


Amy Shanler, the associate chair of the Department of Mass Communication at Boston University, reported on the issue as well. 


“Some have gone beyond words, including White supremacists who displayed messages in support of West on banners atop freeway overpasses in California and New York, and via lasers projected on a college football stadium in Florida. More recently, threats were made against synagogues in New Jersey that prompted a direct warning from the FBI.”


Despite the harm West has caused, an alarming amount of people aren’t holding him accountable on the basis of his mental disorder. West, who has been open about his bipolar disorder, has reportedly been off his medication for a few months. However, mental illness does not excuse his bigoted views. 


While cancel culture may deprive celebrities of second chances, West’s views should not be tolerated — and it’s time that fans take action. Financially supporting a man who has admitted to liking Hitler ultimately makes his audience wider, spreading his ideas of hate deeper.