Local and state officials in California are speaking out after a group giving Nazi-style raised-arm salutes hung banners reading “Honk if you know Kanye is right about the Jews” from a freeway overpass in Los Angeles.
The signs reference antisemitic comments Kanye West made during a “Drink Champs” podcast interview earlier this month. (The recording has since been pulled down.) As Isai Rocha reports, California officials have challenged corporations who work with West to sever their ties to the music star:
“‘Any company—including Adidas—that continues to do business with Kanye West is party to this attack on Jews,’ California Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel wrote in a joint statement. ‘It is morally indefensible to turn a blind eye to antisemitism and to put profits over the safety of Jews or others targeted by hate.’”
Rocha also points out that MRC Entertainment, which has been working on a documentary with West, has severed ties as well. In a statement, the media company said, in part,
Kanye is a producer and sampler of music. Last week he sampled and remixed a classic tune that has charted for over 3000 years—the lie that Jews are evil and conspire to control the world for their own gain. This song was performed acapella in the time of the Pharaohs, Babylon, and Rome, went acoustic with The Spanish Inquisition and Russia’s Pale of Settlement, and Hitler took the song electric. Kanye has now helped mainstream it in the modern era.
Lies are an important part of all discrimination, and this one is no different. When well crafted, they create the illusion that the action is just, that the bigot is “punching up” at the victim. It’s critical to antisemites, who must explain why they are attacking a people that comprise less than half of one percent of the world’s population. Not a fair fight, numbers wise. But if the Jews are ultra-powerful because of secret evil plots, well, the argument is, it must be fair and OK.
California officials are also investigating whether anti-Jewish flyers that were distributed around Beverly Hills are connected to the freeway incident.
Read Rocha’s full story here. —VV editors
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