If you’ve been on the internet recently, you will have likely come across Kanye West’s name. This rap artist is often in the spotlight, whether it be for publicly attacking his ex-wife’s boyfriend at the time Pete Davidson on Twitter, or for the current controversies surrounding his antisemitism and white supremacist comments.
Kanye is currently trending on Twitter, and in the last few weeks, he has been at the centre of many news sites. He has been locked out of Twitter for the antisemitic statement he put out on the platform:
“I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”
Along with these claims being completely false, Kanye’s blatant antisemitism is alarming coming from such a public figure with a devoted fanbase. While many of those who listen to his music have spoken out against what he has done and the harm he has caused, having such a large platform will cause at least a few to adopt his antisemitic opinions.
This isn’t the only instance this month that Kanye has received backlash for such extreme prejudice. On October 3rd, images started circling online of models from Yeezy Paris Fashion Week wearing shirts with the text “White Lives Matter.” Kanye was found wearing the same shirt to his daughter’s basketball game, and again later with republican Candace Owens. His reasoning for wearing the shirt was that he simply thought it was funny.
Like the phrase “all lives matter,” the term “white lives matter” is in opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, but this term takes the prejudice a step further, as it is a saying commonly used by many white supremacists. The promotion of such a harmful ideal is not only bad for Kanye’s image, but is dangerous and potentially life-threatening to many people around the world.
This is where the media is partly at fault. Kanye is currently locked out of both Twitter and Instagram, but the damage has already been done. Giving someone such a large platform and such influence worldwide can either be a blessing or a curse. The internet isn’t all bad; it is what allows us to keep up with global affairs and rally together without having the limitation of distance. However, it can also be detrimental, as is the case with Kanye.
Without such a large social media presence, Kanye’s comments would’ve reached significantly fewer people and wouldn’t have had such a large impact. Giving people this kind of power is incredibly dangerous when those such as Kanye will do anything to get into the spotlight, even if that means jeopardizing the lives of his family and many Black and Jewish people around the world.
Kanye has said in the past that he is mentally ill, but this has never and will never excuse the comments he has made towards both the Jewish population and Black population, which are both already targeted and marginalized groups. Here is what Malynda Hale had to say on Twitter in regards to people using Kanye’s mental illness to dismiss his actions:
“Stop telling Jewish people to get over what Kanye said and that he’s mentally ill and not serious. Stop telling Black people his t-shirt was a joke. Antisemitism is real. Anti-Blackness is real. Words matter. Words are what start unwarranted hate towards people.”
Whether or not he will rejoin Twitter and Instagram remains to be seen, but for the sake of all parties involved, we can only cross our fingers that Kanye won’t be at the centre of any more controversies for a while.