Kanye West’s celebrity gives his brazen antisemitism a more toxic power, reach. Last year Kanye West said, “There’s a lot of black people who believe, ‘Well, I’ll do what Donald Trump does. I’ll be the most racist person this country has ever seen, and I have to do it in order to protect my people,’ but that’s not how the fucking world works. You cannot be the most racist person on your motherfucking planet.” In March, while promoting the release of Yandhi, West repeated the comment and added, “So, by saying that, I’m saying I know black people who are gonna speak up and they’re going to make a lot of black people feel like, “F–k you, Kanye.” But that doesn’t mean they’re not gonna call me out when I say that. If I’m doing something that really hurts my fans in New Orleans — I don’t have a problem with a n***er coming to my show. But if you come to my show and you start screaming the f–k out, then you gonna get called out.”
West is a man with a public relations nightmare of his own making. A few weeks before the Yandhi album was released, West was arrested in New Orleans for trying to pick up two alleged underage girls in a car while dressed as a Batman-like character. (The girls were 13 and 14 years old.) He was held on a few charges and released a few days later without being charged with a crime. After being released from jail, he was also arrested for a “breach of peace” by a female fan, who accused him of harassment after he reportedly asked her to “put on [her] clothes” before a concert. West claimed that the fan was drunk and belligerent and offered him money. While the charges against him were later dismissed, two of his fans appeared on a local TV talk show to support him.
West has been known to use antisemitic language at concerts. But recently he has also taken to using Nazi rhetoric about the Jewish people, describing them as a “cancer on the planet.” According to the National Review, “According to a recent tweet from West, ‘The Jewish people have taken over the whole