Bound 2 Hate

Lara Coby ’26

Staff Writer

Until recently, Kanye West, now known as “Ye,” and antisemitism were mutually exclusive. That is until West went on an Anti-Jewish rampage over the span of a month, which may have cost him his entire career. In a tweet, Ye stated his plans on going “death con (defcon)  3 on Jewish people” and in a recorded interview and podcast with “Drink Champs,” he furthered his conspiracies about how Jewish people control the media and finance. Days after Ye’s comments had received media attention, an anti-semitic protest broke out in Los Angeles in which people hung up a banner over a bridge that read “Kanye was right about the Jews, honk if you know.” Unfortunately, there are many more layers to the instances in which Ye chose hate speech when using his platform, but it is important to understand the ways in which his words affect the Jewish community and how we can begin to move towards a more accepting society.

The first thing that everyone should recognize is the fact that there are people who believe what Ye is saying to be true. Although he has very extreme mental health issues, that is not an excuse to act hateful towards minority groups, and as a society we must start with the fact that his words are causing others with the same beliefs to speak out towards Jewish people. Just because this issue is not affecting you personally does not mean that it should not interest you. To speak metaphorically, if your neighbor’s house was caught on fire and your house was fine, you wouldn’t stand and do absolutely nothing about it. You would call the fire department, make sure everyone was safe, and could even help them escape. Just because your own house is not on fire does not mean that your help is not needed. Jewish people are your neighbors and their houses are on fire. This issue may not concern you but it still needs universal condemnation in order for it to dissipate.

Secondly, being Jewish comes with a handful of stereotypes, particularly seen in the media. Jewish people are recognized as greedy, cheap, overwhelming, we have big noses, control the media, and that all Jewish people reject the right for Palestine to exist. All of these anti-Jewish stereotypes stem from the idea of a “Jewish agenda.” The “Jewish agenda” is the idea that Jewish people control everything, from Hollywood to finances. However, no one, even if they are a part of the same ethnic or religious group, is the same. We all have a story, we all lived through different experiences, and we all come from different walks of life. Labeling and grouping is toxic in the way that it can spread false information as though it were true. If you think back to your own experiences, was there ever a time where you stereotyped someone and it was actually true? I am going to take a wild guess and say probably not. How would you feel if someone took something about yourself that you could not control, whether it be your skin color or religious background, and put you in a box for it? That would probably feel terrible. Next time you see someone make a joke about Jewish people, challenge yourself and tell them to stop.

My own personal testimony comes into play when writing about the story I want to tell. I am a mixed race Ashkenazi Jewish person who grew up in a small town in Northern New Jersey where being Jewish was like living as a needle in a haystack. My middle school’s bathrooms had swastikas in them and although I attended private school for high school, I will never forget the time I heard a girl comment about her nose in a picture, saying she “looked Jewish.” The only words I can seem to find in my head through all of the antisemitic turmoil that I have lived through is the fact that words matter. Words matter because words turn into actions and actions turn into hate. The current state of the world is leaving Jewish people more scared than ever. Even if it takes time, learn how to evaluate if the ways in which you think are embedded with nuanced antisemitism. Hold others accountable for what they say and do your research. In a world where minority groups have begun to turn on each other, the only thing that we can do is spread kindness in love. Racial, ethnic, and religious division kills the basis of what the Constitution in this country was written for, that “all men are created equal.” You may even need to ask yourself: which men?

Photo courtesy of BBC

Categories: Opinions

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