Kanye West’s Threats to Jewish People Aren’t Just Unhinged Rants – They’re Part of a Larger Problem

If you've been keeping up with the drama surrounding Kanye West, things entered a dark new chapter over the weekend.

Kanye West's Threats to Jewish People Aren't Just Unhinged Rants - They're Part of a Larger Problem

If you've been keeping up with the drama surrounding Kanye West, things entered a dark new chapter over the weekend.

No longer only blustering and comparing himself to God, West is now getting back into the kinds of dark threats he used against ex-wife Kim Kardashian's ex-boyfriend, Pete Davidson.

West was suspended from two social media platforms over the weekend for anti-Semitic rants, but it's not just about an unhinged mind letting loose. There's a deeper problem in the US and West's anger towards Jewish people is just the most recent visible aspect of it.

See: Kanye West Calls Black Lives Matter a 'Scam' and Wears 'White Lives Matter' Shirt to Yeezy Fashion Show in Paris

West Suspended for Anti-Semitic Remarks

It all started last Monday when West wore a "White Lives Matter" shirt to a Yeezy show in Paris. He was joined by conservative commentator Candace Owens, who wore the same shirt.

What has followed has been a manic, unhinged online back-and-forth between West and basically everyone. With West punching down at fashion editors and celebs, and celebrities calling West's behavior irresponsible and dangerous, things mostly seemed to be relegated to personal beef.

But West can't keep things on the downlow. He went from accusing ex Kardashian and her family of kidnapping their children to turn them against him to lashing out at the public for not showing up to support him as a Black father. Peppered throughout the stream-of-consciousness posting was references to West's faith, with dozens of posts containing references to God.

But things took a darker turn on Friday when West suggested on Instagram that artist and producer Sean "Diddy" Combs is being controlled by Jewish people. Instagram's parent company, Meta, suspended West.

West then took to Twitter for the first time since late 2020 to complain about the suspension. He posted an image of himself with Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg and asked how he could ban West – presumably given their past association.

Billionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk even welcomed West back to Twitter, but probably wished he had stayed out of it as – shortly after – West then said he planned to go "death con 3 on Jewish people." West added, "You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda." The rapper has also suggested that he can't be anti-Semitic because he's Black.

Antisemitism in Hollywood is Not a Kanye West Problem

Many people are brushing West's comments off as the product of an unhinged mind, but there's a deeper and more sinister history behind his comments on Combs.

Because what you'll hear around Hollywood and Wall Street is comments like "Jews control Hollywood/Washington/Wall Street." It sounds like a compliment on the surface, but it's actually an anti-Semitic philosophy that has seen Jewish professionals locked out of business opportunities for decades.

Because, objectively, Jewish people do not exclusively control these markets and arenas – and saying they do is a way to shut them out at best.

On-screen in Hollywood, mocking Jewish traditions, dress and speech is often seen as acceptable and witty – but the same behavior towards other minorities is seen as the prejudice it actually is.

West is only echoing what others are saying in hallways and homes – usually as a part of a larger bigoted philosophy, trying to push a Supremacist or Aryan ideal.

While many are brushing off West's comments about Jewish people and rolling their eyes – because who doesn't when West goes on rants these days – it's a stark reminder that anti-Jewish sentiment still runs deep, and there are still many who would keep Jewish people out of opportunities under the guise of "they already have too much power."

In late 2021, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) released a statement that they were troubled about "the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2020 hate crime statistics … which showed that overall hate crimes were up and crimes targeting Jews comprised 54.9% of all religious bias crimes last year."

The statement, shared by AJC CEO David Harris, read in part, "Now is the time to act. Every hate crime is heinous and unacceptable, no matter its target, and we must stand resolutely with any targeted group. Yet the fact that American Jews—who make up no more than 2% of the U.S. population—are the targets of nearly 60% of religious bias crimes should set off alarm bells. AJC’s 2020 State of Antisemitism in America report revealed that an astounding 88% of American Jews are concerned about Jew-hatred in the United States – and the latest FBI hate crime statistics illustrate exactly why. For decades, we have cautioned that antisemitism is a rising threat and that it comes from multiple sources, including the far right, the hard left, and Islamist extremists. Fighting Jew-hatred in America must become a national priority and it must be a bipartisan and cross-communal effort. Whether they carry tiki torches or placards denouncing Zionism, antisemites must be confronted no matter their background or ideology.”

Anti-Semitic ideology rises and falls in line with current events. It was up during the tenure of former President Donald Trump and during the heightened tensions between Israel and Hamas in recent years, and tends to fall during lulls in global events.

But when big names like West can trumpet anti-Semitic sentiment online and not immediately be condemned by other celebs ("welcome back," Musk – really?) it's a sign that the public as a whole isn't taking the potential for violence seriously enough.