By: Roni Leider  | 

Unpack with YUPAC: An Update on Kanye West

Over the years, the famous rapper Kanye West, now legally known as Ye, has gained a reputation for making controversial statements about Jewish people. Recently, he made yet another comment that has attracted a great deal of attention. This article serves to summarize those events and the significance they have.

There have been numerous instances in the past where Kanye has voiced his unsolicited and insensitive views on Jewish people. For instance, his Instagram account was previously banned due to his antisemitic comments. His Twitter account was suspended for tweeting "I'm going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE." Amid mounting criticism, he released a song titled "Stronger," in which he rapped about the criticism he faced due to his comments. One of the lines in the song reads, "Tweeted deathcon, now we past three." He has also tweeted an image of a swastika inside a Star of David and said that he has "Seen good things about Hitler." These are only a few of the many incidents in which Kanye has publicly expressed his hateful opinions on Jewish people.

As a result of his comments, Kanye has received a lot of backlash for his statements. Not only has the public condemned him, but brands he was in partnership with, such as Adidas, have dropped him as a partner. He has become reviled in many spaces, and his reputation has taken a massive hit.

Antisemitism traces back to ancient times and is still prevalent today. The rise of anti-Semitism in the United States in modern times is especially notable, as other articles in The Commentator  illustrate. In this environment, it is crucial for celebrities and other people with a large following online or elsewhere to use their power mindfully and sensitively. The Jewish community is a significantly marginalized and attacked group, and with antisemitism on the rise, Kanye's words are particularly destructive.

Recently, Kanye's appears to have had a change of heart, at least in his statements on this topic. In his latest statement about Jewish people, he posted a poster from the movie “21 Jump Street” on Instagram and captioned it, "Watching Jonah Hill in 21 Jump Street made me like Jewish people again." This statement may come as a surprise to most, as it seems Kanye has experienced a shift in his perspective on Jewish people. The question, obviously, is if there is any validity to this supposed shift in perspective, or whether it is simply some sort of crude face-saving stunt.

Although Kanye's latest comment may seem like character development, it is important to remember his history of blatant and undeniable antisemitism. Some people believe that change and growth in this area is possible and that he may have made some progress, while others say that it is challenging to know the motives or intentions of his newest comment, but that his track record of antisemitism means that we should not trust him moving forward.

Celebrities hold a lot of power and can undoubtedly impact the views of their followers. Considering Kanye's massive celebrity status, he has an influence on a large number of people. Antisemitic remarks are dangerous and instill fear within the Jewish community. Whether Kanye decides to use his power positively or negatively is up to him. It will be interesting to see if he continues to express positive sentiments toward Jewish people or slips back into his controversial ways.

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Photo Caption: Kanye West

Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan UK / Wikimedia Commons