The Fall of Ye

Gracie Cox, Editor-in-Chief

Known for his forever status as “controversial rapper and designer,” Kanye West, also known as Ye, seems to have finally placed the straw that broke the public opinion camel’s back, with that straw being antisemitism. After tweeting that he would go “defcon three on Jewish people” in late October, West was dropped by Adidas shortly after, signaling that his time of getting away with inexcusable behavior was over. For the lack of a better term, West was canceled. Or was he? And what makes this most recent incident so groundbreaking compared to his long history of bad behavior? To answer these questions, let’s examine the current situation closely.

Let’s start with why West’s October through November blowup resulted in such greater consequences than any of years past. For a little bit of context, remember that West has been criticized by the Black community for years now because of his anti-Black sentiments. For a recent example, earlier this year, West was spotted wearing a shirt with the hate slogan “White Lives Matter” at Fashion Week, directly connecting him to the white supremacists that first popularized the slogan in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. A similar incident occurred in 2018, when the singer shared in an interview that the 400 years of slavery that Black Americans endured “sounds like a choice.” Time and time again, West has exhibited a deep, internal hatred for his race. When commented on by fellow Black Americans, this hatred was ignored, or even worse, laughed at by the general public.

This flippant response is at least partially explained by the fact that West’s hatred was internalized. He was a Black man disrespecting Black history and the Black American experience. To some extent, people knew how to respond to a public figure’s internalized racism. Many white fans didn’t see it as their place to do so; West is a Black man, so why doesn’t he deserve to critique Blackness as a whole? This is a valid question, but it ignores the reality of West’s comments. Instead of merely criticizing Black America, he undermines it entirely. Actively supporting white supremacy is not permissible for any public figure, no matter their race, and the public failed to see this.

Coming back to the present day, there’s an obvious difference between the comments West is currently making compared to those of years past. Instead of communicating his internal hatred, it is now external. My apologies for stating the obvious, but West is not Jewish. So, as he professes his willingness to harm Jewish people, in the public’s eye, he now deserves to face the consequences. We know how to respond to public figures attacking an identity group they don’t belong to, making West an easier target than before.

Now, it’s time for the big question – is West gone forever, wiped from the public eye like a stray tear? To be frank, it’s impossible to answer this question so early on, but my prediction is no. Despite how much has been recently taken from the singer (dropped by Adidas, temporarily banned from Twitter, etc), it’s already clear that he is going to bounce back, but with an even more tarnished image. This leaves him one place to go – far right media. As chaos ensues, many members of the far right have reached out to the star in his time of need. There’s Nick Fuentes, known Holocaust denier and white supremacist along with former president, Donald Trump and infamous political commentator Tucker Carlson. I suspect that with new, far right allies at his side, Ye will become more and more powerful in their sphere. 

And for those who continue to side with West due to his “musical genius,” I encourage you to reevaluate your decision. Know that by supporting a Nazi sympathizer, you become one yourself. We are long past the days of chuckling at the rapper’s antics, so grow up, and stand up against antisemitism.

West and former president, Donald Trump, meet for dinner at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.