No doubt Kanye West is a superstar. He is well-recognized worldwide. He is an entrepreneur. He is what some would call the epitome of success. So, why would someone in that position come out with such an antisemitic comment like, “Deathcon 3 to Jews”?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Tripod of Bigotry with one of the legs of the tripod being tribalism. #Antisemitism falls under that category. Prejudice and bigotry are not limited to bullies and the uneducated. They exist everywhere in all parts of life. They can be found in the wealthy and in those experiencing homelessness. They can be found in leaders of nations and in those who isolate themselves. They can be found in straight conservative people and in LGBTQ people. They can be found everywhere.
Jews make up less than .2% of people worldwide. Jews make up a little over 2% of people in the U.S. Why pick on them? Each has her/his reason, but as with all forms of bigotry the reasons stem from stereotyping, lack of education, misguided grudges, and a need to find someone to blame. No matter the reason, bigotry and hatred of any kind is WRONG. On May 26, 2016, the 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding “working definition” of antisemitism at its plenary in Bucharest.
So, what do we do with Ye? We could go cancel culture on him. We could boycott him. We could do a lot of things. What about educate him? What about using the moment as a teaching opportunity? I don’t hate him. I don’t even know him. But … I hate what he said.
First they came for the Communists And I did not speak out Because I was not a Communist Then they came for the Socialists And I did not speak out Because I was not a Socialist Then they came for the trade unionists And I did not speak out Because I was not a trade unionist Then they came for the Jews And I did not speak out Because I was not a Jew Then they came for me And there was no one left To speak out for me -Pastor Martin Niemoller
Tikkun Olam- heal the world. Leave it a better place when you leave.