In the last week and a half, Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, has appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, been photographed with far-right provocateur Candace Owens wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt, and tweeted that he was going “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” (which landed him in social media jail). Redacted footage from the Fox interview revealed that Ye made a number of antisemitic comments there too, referring to Hannukah as a vehicle for “financial engineering” and casting Black people as the real Jews, with non-Black Jews as imposters. In the wake of these comments, Jewish organizations have raised the alarm about worsening antisemitism; meanwhile, tensions have been rising online between some Black and Jewish people, playing out familiar grievances about acknowledgement and allyship. What, if anything, can we learn from this instance of high-profile antisemitism and this latest round of Black–Jewish discourse? And is there any path to solidarity between those targeted by Ye’s anti-Black and antisemitic ideas? Jewish Currents contributing writer Rebecca Pierce, Atlantic staff writer Adam Serwer, and Currents editor-in-chief Arielle Angel discussed Ye’s antisemitism.
Note: This episode was taped on Friday, October 14th, before it was announced that Ye plans to buy the right-wing social media platform Parler. Stay tuned at the end of the episode for a postscript from Pierce and Angel on this new development.
Articles and Tweets Mentioned:
“Watch the Disturbing Kanye Interview Clips That Tucker Carlson Didn’t Put on Air,” Anna Merlan, Vice
“Musk and West, Inc.,” John Ganz’s Substack
“What Kanye Can Teach Us About Anti-Semitism,” Yair Rosenberg, The Atlantic
“Black Antisemitism Is Not Inherently ‘Left Wing,’” Rebecca Pierce, Jewish Currents
“Beyond Grievance,” Arielle Angel, Jewish Currents
Sarah Silverman’s Jewish grievance tweet
“Kanye West to acquire conservative social media platform Parler,” Brian Fung, CNN Business
“An Antisemitic Judge, a White Supremacist System,” Rebecca Pierce, Jewish Currents
Thanks to Jesse Brenneman for producing and to Nathan Salsburg for the use of his song “VIII (All That Were Calculated Have Passed).”