Kanye West Performing

Ye and AntiSemitism: Play For Control Or Message Skewed By Ambiguity?

By now, we’ve all heard about the rapper/producer/fashion designer called Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, publicly sharing disparaging comments about Jewish people.

More specifically, Ye was sharing his personal account of his claimed unfair dealings with people of Jewish heritage in the music business. But is the artist actually targeting Jewish people, generally, or Jewish Hollywood music execs he’s encountered, specifically?

It seems that it’s the latter, clearly. His (now deleted) tweet about going “Death Con 3” on Jewish people sounds more ominous that it actually was. Clearly, what Ye had meant to write was “Def Con 3,” and not DEATH con 3.

If you don’t remember or weren’t yet alive, back in the 80s, there was a movie called WarGames (starring a Jewish actor named Matthew Broderick) that was wildly popular at the time. We were deep in the Cold War years, and nuclear conflict was in every American’s subconscious.

WarGames: Shall We Play A Game

WarGames: Shall We Play A Game

In the movie, Broderick’s lead character hacks into a mysterious Department of Defense AI supercomputer. The ensuing chaos resulted in the nation raising it’s Defense Condition, or DEFCON, in response to the weird phantom fighters that the AI machine was simulating. This is probably where most Americans have heard the terminology in use.

There are five defense conditions, with DEFCON1 being the most severe: It’s referred to as “cocked pistol” and means that nuclear war is imminent, or in progress. DEFCON3, called “roundhouse” is described as an “…increase in force readiness above that required for normal readiness.”

The original tweet. Image Credit – Wayback Machine

Was Ye trying to say that he is assuming a defensive posture against his Hollywood Jewish associates, men whom Ye claims “screwed” him in business dealings? This appears to be the case.

However, writing about Jews and death in the same cryptic tweet could easily seem like Ye is planning (or “merely” condoning) murder, or encouraging (inadvertently or otherwise) others to commit mass murder. For a group of people who were systematically genocided in Europe in the twentieth century, this comment rightfully raised concern amongst Jewish people and, really, most people.

When asked to explain this tweet in an interview with Pierce Morgan, Ye claimed that he owed no one any explanation for his words. However, the artist’s words were unclear and seemed threatening, so some explanation was in order. If one is going to make public statements that are ambiguous, one should do one’s best to explain away any confusion, if communicating is the goal.

Kanye West Performing

Kanye West Performing; Image Credit: Rodrigo Ferrari, Licensed by CC 3

So, did Ye mean that he is planning a genocide of Jewish people or looking forward to a modern-day pogrom? It’s hardly likely; it seems that his gaffe might have conveyed this sentiment, though it’s unlikely that this was his intended meaning.

Ye’s children, all born of Kim Kardashian – a Jewish woman – are also, by Jewish law, considered Jews.  No doubt the artist born as Kanye West is well aware of this. He also recently reiterated that he loves and respects Ms. Kardashian, as she is the mother of his children, all of whom he adores.

However, these comments could easily render his ex-wife and children’s lives more difficult in future, as anti-Semitism is real and alive, and kept thriving by hateful rhetoric. One should rightly wonder if this was ever Ye’s intended result, or in actuality the result of a lack of familiarity with the term DEFCON, simply.

Was this all a publicity stunt? Presently, many are participating in a “sneaker burn,” that is to say, Yeezy sneaker owners are lighting their kicks aflame. Is this akin to a “coin burn” in the crypto world, where the total supply of coins is reduced to raise the value of remaining coins? It is, indeed, possible. In the end, we may see his sneakers increase in value due to scarcity. Such a shrewd business move, however heartless! Was it all done at the cost of his ex-wife and children’s safety? That would be heinous.

Or, did the artist formerly known as Kanye West realize he could get out from his contractual obligations by writing outrageous and unclear tweets targeting a group of people he knew would respond with their own (justifiable) defensiveness? Is Ye trying to grab a bigger slice of the pie by going around his business partners, realizing his name alone could sell anything, and that they are now merely a hindrance? Are his business associates, then, failing to realize that they’ve taken the bait and done precisely what he had hoped? It is a distinct, however unlikely,  possibility. Ye is a master marketer, clearly. But would he stoop so low? Would such actions be in keeping with the person he has shown the world to be, or would such furtive motivations seem far out of character?

Either way, it’s now obvious that his focusing more on his business partners’ shared religion, rather than their alleged egregious action as individuals, has not helped his image in popular media or spread any coherent message. Perhaps it’s more true than false that Hollywood is a weird place, and that music executives (of all backgrounds) prey upon artists? It’s possible. Actually, quite likely.

Perhaps Ye was, in fact, attempting to focus our attention only on Hollywood executives claiming Jewish ethnicity he’s specifically dealt with and had bad experiences with. Alright; it is a distinct possibility considering his telling of his experiences dealing with music execs. This is also quite different than making blanket claims about requiring a defensive posture toward all “Jewish people.” (Does this defensive posture also apply to his children? Likely not…) However, because he focused on the executives’ shared background, and not the details of their alleged “crookedness,” the world now identified Ye as an anti-Semite.

Instead of bringing unfair contractual practices to light, and thereby helping other music artists avoid the traps he was snared by, Ye has only succeeded in turning off many people to his message. It’s about time that Ye explain this tweet and stop with what is either rampant trolling of the media and the American populace for monetary gain, or a genuine disdain for Jewish Hollywood executives based on his personal experiences that has spilled over and has taken on a hateful life of its own in his thinking.

Ye also claimed that he can’t be anti-Semitic because “Black people are also Jew,” to borrow from his own words. There’s no denying, however, that Ye was not, in fact, referencing Black (in his words, Jewish) people in his tweet (definitely not referring to himself, a person identifying as a Black Jew), but rather meant the more commonly socially accepted definition of Jewish, meaning people who either practice Judaism, or at the very least, carry Jewish surnames and have a family history of Jewish ancestry. More often than not, these are not people of color. And so, this was a disingenuous response by Ye, trolling the interviewer, as it were.

If we’re to be totally honest, Ye probably meant Jewish executives in Hollywood, none of whom are actually Black. And so, this defense is without merit. It matters little whether these executives are religious or secular in outlook; either way, Ye would have been better off writing that he was going to go “DEFCON3 on Hollywood music executives,” and left it at that.

Is it true that all Black people are descended from Jews? This is a theory put forward by the Black Hebrew Israelites  and other groups. It is certainly possible that some Black people are descendants of Jewish people sold into slavery, however, Africa is an immense continent with many distinct peoples, and the Jewish nation never numbered as high, in terms of population, as the total number of Black peoples in all of Africa. (I say peoples because Africa is HUGE, in terms of land mass, and there are several distinct peoples, including the !Kung San, the African Pygmies, and several others. At one time prejudiced 20th century researchers considered these groups as distinct “races.”)

Black Hebrew Israelites Dimona Visit

Black Hebrew Israelites Dimona Visit; Image Credit: Wikipedia Entry on Black Hebrew Israelites

The “curse of Ham,” as explained by Middle Age-era Christians, was the (racist) reason commonly expounded as to why Black people have darker skin, however, in the Biblical text, race or skin color is never mentioned alongside the curse of Ham. It was a complete fabrication, therefore. (That did not stop it from gaining traction, we should note!)

There are many theories that have been put forth about how Black people fit into the Biblical accounts, however, many seem fallacious, or at the very least, inaccurate.

Finally, we have to consider that Ye is an avowed Christian, and Christians are implored to consider Jews as equals, a people blessed by the Creator. In 1 Peter 2:9 ESV we find it written, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light…Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

Other scriptural passages suggest the same. In Genesis 12:3 ESV it is written, “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” And, the last Biblical quote detailing how Christians show consider Jews follows: In Romans 11:1 ESV we read, “I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.”

In summary, it’s fair to say that Ye has been making statements that require clarification, absolutely. True; he does not owe anyone any explanation, as he emphatically stated. At the same time, he should realize that perhaps his statements are overbroad and did not quite hit the mark, and that, really, footnotes are a necessity at this time. And, so, perhaps his public explanation regarding these unclear writings should be shared, at the very least, for the benefit of his own children’s welfare, and for the benefit of a world confused by Ye’s lack of clarity.

After all, how would Ye live with himself knowing that he (unknowingly and unwittingly) contributed to making his kids’ future lives less safe from violence, hindering their hard-won equality and social acceptance as Jewish-Americans, all because he was unclear and then did not explain what he had originally meant?

...PAT JENKS

...hopefully I wrote this piece better than I take selfies. (Nepal) I enjoy delving into controversial subjects. Of course, I always welcome comments on my contributions to the Staten Islander.

44 Comments

  • The Liar The Liar says:

    Crazy like a FOX
    Crazy like a FOX
    Crazy like a FOX
    Crazy like a FOX
    Crazy like a FOX

    • The Liar The Liar says:

      TO CLARIFY: FOX THE ANIMAL AND NOT FOX THE MEDIA Co.

      • Avatar Kristen says:

        Kanye is not crazy he is a manipulator.

      • Avatar concerned says:

        “The Black Hebrew Israelites claim that they are the descendants of the Israelites of the Old Testament and are the true Jewish people. They depict Jews as usurpers of God’s will, a devilish people who have prevented the black man from realizing his true destiny. This incitement has led to real-world violence against Jews.

        In December 2019, two heavily armed BHI-connected individuals murdered three people at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, New Jersey. That same month, only weeks later, a BHI-inspired individual attacked a Hanukkah gathering in Monsey, New York with a large knife, killing 72-year-old Rabbi Josef Neumann.”

        -from Jerusalem Post Kanye West’s antisemitism inspired by Louis Farrakhan – opinion
        Farrakhan must be treated as a persona non grata in America. For too long, his poisonous presence and rhetoric have been tolerated.
        By ADAM MILSTEIN
        Published: NOVEMBER 25, 2022 23:57

        Updated: NOVEMBER 26, 2022 08:58

        https://www.jpost.com/opinion/article-723328

  • Silly Wabbit Silly Wabbit says:

    Silly wabbit!

    Now you lost your cabbage

    forget about marbles

    • Avatar Kristen says:

      Kanye is a sad antisemite. That is the entire story here. I mean look at his other comments. He even said to people that he admired Hitler. With all that I can say for sure it isn’t an isolated incident.

      • Satanic Imp Satanic Imp says:

        In light of all else that’s come out, I really do wonder. Perhaps one day the great Ye will provide clarity.

        Why does it seem that fanatical religiosity often coincides with the desire to crush others?

        • Avatar Anonymous Dude says:

          So here we are. It’s 2022.

          Will Kanye end up as a has-been?

          I really wonder.

          I’m not a fan, but I don’t like cancelling people, either.

          I mean, his music stands apart from him. Forget him, but love his music, if you do. Is that possible? I know it is. I am no fan of some of the actors, directors, musicians, and other entertainers, based on their personal lives. Still I enjoy what they created.

  • Avatar Kristen says:

    I think he’s just a bigot and meant what it sounds like he meant. He has been saying anti Jewish comments for years now. He is mentally ill and he doesn’t care about the cost to his family. He is a narcissist and that is why he doesn’t care about if he hurts other people in his life.

    • Satanic Imp Satanic Imp says:

      I’m not big on the “he’s crazy” routine. Most creative people are different. It’s cause to celebrate, not poke fun.

      But he seems like he really has built up some bad feelings toward “the Jews” as he says.

      Probably could use some talk therapy or psilocybin.

      • The Liar The Liar says:

        Are you kidding?

        Kanye West is just a hateful bigot spreading anti-Jewish canards and tropes. This guy is all over the place. Oh…right….YE….

        • Avatar Jessica says:

          what is a canard and a trope?

          • ca·nard
            /kəˈnär(d)/
            Learn to pronounce
            noun
            noun: canard; plural noun: canards

            1.
            an unfounded rumor or story.
            “the old canard that LA is a cultural wasteland”
            2.
            a small winglike projection attached to an aircraft forward of the main wing to provide extra stability or control, sometimes replacing the tail.

            trope
            /trōp/
            Learn to pronounce
            See definitions in:
            all
            language
            psychology
            noun
            noun: trope; plural noun: tropes

            a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression.
            a significant or recurrent theme; a motif.
            “she uses the Eucharist as a pictorial trope”

            verb
            verb: trope; 3rd person present: tropes; gerund or present participle: troping; past tense: troped; past participle: troped

            create a trope.

            What is an example of a trope?
            In the arts, a trope is simply a common convention in a particular medium. It refers to anything that gets used often enough to be recognized. When you see a kid running around with a cape and know they’re pretending to be a superhero, you’ve recognized the trope that superheroes wear capes.

            • CRANK CRANK says:

              So Kanye is guilty of propagating “a small wing on an airplane” then? hmm…

              Perhaps that’s not the best definition..

      • TheReal KIMpossible TheReal KIMpossible says:

        Oh, I would sit down with Kanye and talk for hours. Over tequila. By the end I know we could come to some understanding about why what he said was wrong. I think Kanye would fall for me. I am full figured like Kim Kardashian and stay in shape. I would enjoy being the next Mrs. West. lol I never really got into rap music but I know Kanye is a big star. So, I know the name.

      • Avatar AintYoFrend says:

        i think u could use some talk therapy or psilocybin whatever that is

        drugs of course drugs

        get a clue halloween passed

  • Avatar ஜ۩۞۩ஜ ---10303 NASTEE N****S--- ஜ۩۞۩ஜ says:

    Ye, man…u so played…

    Why is is you making deals then breaking them in the nastiest ways?

    You is a playa…

    Still yo tracks be steady sucking haha

  • Avatar Fresno Bob says:

    I see it totally differently. He KNEW he’d be dropped like a hot Yeevy at a Sneaker convention.

    These Hollywood businessmen got him in front of an audience. They marketing him and due to their connections, Ye became a mega-star.

    But now he no longer needs them. He knows this. He also knew he could take advantage of the cancel culture lieu poll and decide toget himself freedom from his contracts.

    Did the man really write “death con 3” instead of “DEFCON3”? Didn’t he gain his fame as a rapper? Doesn’t say much for his rap being any great, poetic musing or whatever. But then again, maybe he’s really not quite literate, and so we can understand how he didn’t know how to read a contract.

    The man signed a contract. It benefited him. Now he wants out because he can make more on his own. Not to bring to market cheaper. I don’t believe him. OK, and even if it is possible, still he’ll have a bigger cut. Selling directly from his yeezy. com website.

    I see him as an antisemite because these Jews trusted him as a partner and delivered his dreams to him. At a fee. Do people generally work for free? And, it’s a specialty business. It is a tall order to get someone in front of big audiences. It takes marketing.

    So what does he do? Turns around and stabs them all in the back because now he wants a bigger slice of the pie? No, he wants the entire pie.

    He signed the CONTRACTS. GUESS THEY WERE OK TIL YE MADE IT BIG.

    Sociopath. Psychopath, maybe. Calls himself “brilliant” at every turn. Probly alot of fun in real life. haha

    The Jews worked in entertainment generations ago because they weren’t really accepted in general society. So now, generations later, after hard work and reputation building, Kanye West comes along and tries to make it seem like it is a crime to be a Jewish executive.

    And we’re not supposed to realize it’s all just a power move by this guy???

  • Avatar Who is Kanye says:

    This is my first time hearing of this guy. Who is he? A fashion designer? Is he LGBTQAI+?

    • CRANK CRANK says:

      If he isn’t LGBT does that mean we can go back to ignoring him? That’s fine with me. Seems right now only LGBT people get much attention.

  • Avatar Shaqqana says:

    Israel than went and ruined that moment when they decided to sterilize a number of recent Ethiopian Jewish immigrants without their knowledge. #The-Noticing pic.twitter.com/FXRctgWNf4— @nti Hero 🧐 (@BucksBreaking) November 21, 2022

    • CRANK CRANK says:

      Recent? As crappy as this was, it as like a century ago.
      {Not like THAT’S ANY BETTER}

      Doesn’t make it right, but calling it recent is very deceptive, don’t you think? Where was the U.S.A. a hundred years ago when it comes to blacks? Lynching them.

      Also, note that these black Jews from Ethiopia were actual practicing Jews, going all the way back to King Davi’d wife, not just black people saying they’re Jews because of woke propaganda inciting them to act the fool.

      I love black folks, but trust me, they are not Jews. It’s OK, tho. Blacks have their own thing going on and it is incredible.

      Why ignore the actual truth of the black experience to make up some nonsense? There’s already so much there they went thru.

      • Avatar Kristen says:

        You shouldn’t say “blacks” and “Jews”.

        It is way more polite to say Black people and Jewish people.

        Also, you didn’t capitalize blacks.

      • Satanic Imp Satanic Imp says:

        What it was really all about was eugenics. In the 20c, white people of all religions decided it was okay to destroy people they felt were undesirable: i.e. Black people. That goes for Christians, Jews, Muslims, you name it.

        Incidentally, this is what Hitler and the Nazi party were all about. They believed themselves to be racially superior to the Jews.

        It is quite ironic that governments were fine with warehousing people they didn’t like and experimenting on them. Right here on Staten Island we had Willowbrook State School. Notorious.

        • Desiree Simms Desiree Simms says:

          “…The Eugenics Movement and racist beliefs led to the involuntary sterilization of women of color in the United States in the twentieth century. Much of this sterilization continued in many states until as late as the 1970s, showing how pervasive these racist notions were in the United States…”

          https://twu.edu/media/documents/history-government/Autonomy-Revoked–The-Forced-Sterilization-of-Women-of-Color-in-20th-Century-America.pdf

          • Gerry G. Gerry G. says:

            I cannot believe what I just read. Is this for real?

            “The
            Puerto Rico Legislature legalized sterilization in 1937 for health reasons, but
            government officials and doctors encouraged poor people into consenting to the
            procedure.23 By 1946, 6.5 percent of Puerto Rican women had been sterilized by
            government hospitals and private clinics. By 1953, almost 17 percent (one-fifth) of
            Puerto Rican women were sterilized.24 By the 1960s, these sterilization efforts led to the
            tubal ligation of about one-third of Puertorriquenas. 25”

            I am 1/4 Puerto Rican, if you can believe it. (I am a Boriqua. Shocked?)

    • Gerry G. Gerry G. says:

      Twitter has quickly devolved into a cesspool, apparently. A haven for antisemites. That was quick. *rollseyes*

      No way you’re telling me these guys are doing anything but try everything in the book to smear the name of the Jewish people. Does their intolerance stop there? Or, at some point does it cross the line into the real world?!

      Please, people, get real. Jews did die in ovens. Why? Blame and hate. Look at how Kanye has helped flame the attacks on Jewish people. Good going, there.

      And still, wouldn’t it have been better to have a YT video about how to avoid contract pitfalls for all the artists that are coming up. How to not get screwed. The moment the intersection was “Jews” by Kanye, he had already lost the script.

      Personally, I think Kanye should tell young rappers to get a good attorney and never sign anything without their approval.

      • Magnificent Zero Magnificent Zero says:

        Twitter is not that bad. I mean, you have to really look for the bad stuff. I never have seen anything like this and I use Twitter every day.

        So, I guess it’s there, but you really have to go out of your way to encounter it. I mean, if that’s what someone is looking for, they’ll find it.

        I have mixed feelings. First, this is clearly antisemitic.

        But if you watch 80s talk shows even the K.K.K. was on. The good in that is people get to counter their ludicrous arguments. Like on here. I learned that in the US, women were sterilized into the 1970s. That’s when my parents were born! W T F How did this even go on? Anyway, all that from some doofus trying to make Jewish people look bad. In the end, now I just have a lot of questions. About my own society. How did =-we-= allow that?! In the United States, no less?

  • Avatar semite says:

    antisemite

  • Avatar F*** YE says:

    F*** YE

  • Avatar gregory69y says:

    Last Friday's thwarted threat against the #NY Jewish community was not the first. It's critical to ensure proper funding is in place for our communities to protect ourselves. Call on Congress to increase funds towards the Nonprofit Security Grant Program: https://t.co/RhzS8T04kf pic.twitter.com/9XSae0QTG6— ADL (@ADL) November 23, 2022

  • Avatar GREX says:

    I was over someone’s house I met just last night. And they were telling me that repeating things over and over is dangerous. Because people buy into it. Just hearing something repeated in the news. They gave an example of the vaccine. How people believed everything from that the vaccine was fake to the opposite, that a vaccine would forever protect you against all future various.

    And of the Jews in Germany. That was his other example. He meant how the people followed Hitler and attacked and blamed the Jews. because they heard it over and over again.

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