When Kanye West, a.k.a. Ye, began his antisemitic blitz late last year — threatening to go “death con 3 on Jewish people”; proclaiming his “love” for Nazis; and insisting it’s time for Jews to “forgive Hitler” — the hate didn’t just go viral on the Internet. It soon spread to college campuses and marred synagogues, and it filled the mouths of assailants attacking Jewish individuals in grocery stores and parks.
A new report by the Anti-Defamation League released Monday catalogs dozens of acts of vandalism, harassment and intimidation organized under the “Ye is right” slogan. “Kanye West’s repeated antisemitic remarks – and his dredging up some of the worst anti-Jewish tropes imaginable — are inspiring people to commit real-world acts of hate,” says Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO.
The online reach of those inspired by Ye’s hate, the ADL documents, was massive on its own. Tweets referencing the “Ye is Right” slogan reached nearly 5 million users of the platform. (The celebration of West’s hateful ideology on Twitter neatly overlapped with the takeover of the platform by Elon Musk; ADL has already recorded that the Musk era has seen a spike in antisemitic content and a decline in hate speech moderation.)
In turn, the real-world reach of “Ye Is Right” has taken various forms:
The report documents a spate of hate-speech vandalism from coast to coast. The Kanye-inspired graffitos included “Defcon III” scrawled on a university walkway in Wisconsin, the words “Kanye West is right” and “Kill All Jews” written on the wall of a California high school bathroom; a swastika and “I love Kanye” chalking at a high school in Florida, and “Kanye is Right” written on the welcome sign of an Orthodox synagogue in New York City. [Continue reading…]