Kanye West's Antisemitism And Promotion Of 'White Lives Matter' Slogan Amplifies Neo-Nazi And White Supremacist Cause

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October 25, 2022

During Paris Fashion Week in October 2022, prominent musician "Ye," formerly known as Kanye West, wore an oversized shirt with the text "White Lives Matter" on the back. He was pictured standing alongside conservative commentator Candace Owens, who was wearing a white version of the same shirt. The shirt, which featured an image of Pope John Paul II and the words "Seguiremos tu ejemplo" (We will follow your example) on the front, was the only "message garment" in Ye's "Yeezy" fashion show, which attracted a significant amount of attention to the slogan on the shirt. When asked about the White Lives Matter message backstage, Ye responded that "It [the shirt] says it all."[1]

On October 3, Candace Owens, a conservative commentator, tweeted a photo of her and Ye wearing the "White Lives Matter" shirts.[2]

Following the appearance at Paris Fashion Week, Ye was interviewed by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. In discussing the shirt, Ye recalled a text exchange with his father, saying: "I said, 'I thought the shirt was a funny shirt; I thought the idea of me wearing it was funny.' And I said, 'Dad, why did you think it was funny?' He said, 'Just a Black man stating the obvious.'" When Carlson asked why the statement was controversial, Ye replied, "Because the same people that have stripped us of our identity and labeled us as a color, have told us what it means to be Black."[3]

In response, musician "Diddy" posted an Instagram video saying he "did not rock" with the White Lives Matter slogan, urging followers not to buy the merchandise. Ye then posted a text exchange with Diddy to his own Instagram account. The exchange included messages from Ye reading, "I'm selling these tees. Nobody can get in between me and my money... Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me."[4] As a result, Ye's Instagram account was disabled.[5]

Ye then took to Twitter, calling out and threatening Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg. He tweeted: "Look at this Mark. How you gone kick me off Instagram... I'm a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I'm going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can't be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also... You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda."[6] Ye's Twitter account, along with the tweet, have since been removed.


Ye was suspended from Twitter on October 9, following an antisemitic tweet.

The following report outlines extremist reactions to Ye's antisemitic remarks and his statements about his "White Lives Matter" t-shirt.

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Extremists Praise Ye's Statements, Liken Him To Malcolm X, Claim He Will Bring Attention To Antisemitic Cause

Prominent Neo-Nazi And White Supremacist Leaders And Groups Voice Their Support

A U.S. white supremacist political organization posted on October 12 an article to its official website arguing that Ye's antisemitic statements were correct. The article claimed that Ye's antisemitism presented a significant problem to the political establishment, and celebrated the strategic advantage that Ye's actions had given to the white supremacist movement.

On October 10, a former prominent KKK leader posted a podcast episode about Ye's comments. During the episode the host and a neo-Nazi guest claimed that Jews in the United States are not loyal to the country and that Ye's statements were good for exposing "Jewish supremacy."

A neo-Nazi news outlet posted an article on October 9 which claimed that Mark Zuckerburg removed Ye from Facebook in order to silence him.

 

[1] Nytimes.com/2022/10/04/style/yeezy-kanye-west-paris-fashion-week.html, October 13, 2022.

[2] Twitter.com/RealCandaceO/status/1577000138131656704?s=20&t=PJl7PjV2o_Vtd7hwP--8oQ, October 3, 2022.

[3] Cnn.com/2022/10/07/entertainment/tucker-carlson-kanye-west, October 7, 2022.

[4] Bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-63198991, October 10, 2022.

[5] Bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-63198991, October 10, 2022.

[6] Bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-63198991, October 10, 2022.

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