Ye’s actions fuel the rise in antisemitism

By Lia Klebanov

If anyone has power over the media and people’s perspectives, it is celebrities. Influencers such as Kim Kardashian and Emma Chamberlain can start a worldwide internet trend through a single Instagram post. Due to this, it is crucial for celebrities to understand the influence they hold and promote inclusivity which Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, consistently fails to do. 

In October Ye posted on Instagram claiming his fellow rapper, Diddy, was being controlled by his Jewish colleagues. CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, shut down the account resulting in Ye shortly after tweeting, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” according to The Week

When I opened up my Twitter on that fateful day and saw the tweet, I audibly gasped.

Ye needs to realize the power of his platform or we are doomed to repeat history’s tragedies. (Photo courtesy of Jewish Unpacked)

It is absolutely appalling that anyone on the internet can bring themselves to tweet such a hateful statement, but he did so with over 30 million followers, all being easily influenced by what they see. Ye tweeting he will kill Jews is not only referencing the Holocaust but overall antisemitic attacks which have a profound impact on the group’s treatment. As someone who identifies as Jewish, seeing this comment truly felt like we, as a society, are taking three steps back in terms of racial equality. Inciting violence against a minority is never acceptable especially since the problem of antisemitism was only further fueled.

Following this, a banner was hung by antisemitic hate groups on a Los Angeles freeway that included phrases from Ye’s comments in October, according to The Week. In a world already full of hatred, everyone should be actively working to reduce detrimental accompanying effects, not promote them. As seen by these events, Ye’s actions have consequences, meaning he needs to be held responsible. Once he made it acceptable to be antisemitic, others believed they could be as well, which is completely untrue. 

Since these tweets, Ye has lost his partnership with Adidas, Balenciaga, Vogue and Gap, while being fired from his talent agency, according to CNN Business. I applaud these well-known companies for stepping up and supporting the Jewish community. More often than not, antisemitism is swept under the rug and not considered to be a prevalent issue. For example, Whoopi Goldberg was merely suspended in February 2022 after claiming race did not influence the Holocaust, according to NPR. Those consequences are meager in comparison to the harm she caused and ideally, should have included a termination, similar to Ye’s. Everyone must be held accountable for their actions, even celebrities, and know there are repercussions for spreading hate. Simply because Ye has high status and is a respected musician and entrepreneur does not mean he has the capability to act ignorantly.  Due to his large platform, he has an even greater responsibility than most to be mindful of what messages he spreads. 

When no one thought it could get any worse, it did. In a podcast with Alex Jones, Ye proclaimed his support for Hitler stating “I love Jewish people, but I also love Nazis” and calling the Holocaust a conspiracy theory, according to NPR. The Holocaust is one of the darkest times in the world’s history and should not be treated as a by-the-way statement. Ye’s comments are undermining all the 6 million lives lost which is horrifying. The same exact hate occurring today is what led to the Holocaust and it is crucial we, as a society, do everything in our power to prevent repeating the tragedy.  

As seen by Ye’s unruly actions, antisemitism is a major issue that continues to grow in today’s world. In fact, antisemitism has been on the rise nationally with an increase of 167% in related antisemitic assaults, 43% in related antisemitic harassment, and 14% in antisemitic-related vandalism making it an all-time high record, according to ADL.

For those regretting their Ye-related tattoos, a parlor in London, NAAMA, has been offering free removal services, according to CBS. Small businesses like NAAMA are sacrificing their own success to aid others in realizing the impact their support for ignorant celebrities can have. This is contributing to the process of taking away Ye’s platform, which is key to preventing any more spread of misinformation. Only those who understand the capacity of social media should be allowed to sway public opinion. 

Ye being named ‘Antisemite of the year’ by StopAntisemitism.org is a deserving award, according to The Hill. The idea that a prominent figure in society can even be nominated used to be an unfathomable thought, but now it is a reality. For the sake of Jewish people around the world, Ye needs to stop his uncalled-for harassment and truly reflect on the power his words have on others.