By Ben Shapiro, News Editor In an age of the monetization of pretty much everything — including clicks on a screen — financial trade-offs accompany all forms of media consumption. So, the last time you listened to any of rapper Ye’s more than 200 songs, you indirectly gave him money and supported his platform. Ye,...
By Ben Shapiro, News Editor
In an age of the monetization of pretty much everything — including clicks on a screen — financial trade-offs accompany all forms of media consumption.
So, the last time you listened to any of rapper Ye’s more than 200 songs, you indirectly gave him money and supported his platform.
Ye, formerly known as Kanye West before filing to legally change his name in 2018, has faced tremendous public scrutiny over the past couple of months after making pointedly antisemitic remarks on Twitter and in interviews for “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News and Info Wars, a far-right conspiracy theory website.
In an interview with InfoWars’ owner Alex Jones on Dec. 1, Ye declared, “I see good things about Hitler.” He also announced, “I like Hitler.”
These comments were not one-offs. According to NBC News, Ye “made a string of antisemitic comments” across social media that was followed by a demonstration on Oct. 22 in which members of the Goyim Defense League, an antisemitic hate group, gave Nazi salutes while displaying a banner over Interstate 405 in California that stated, “Kanye is right about the Jews.”
The most troubling thing about Ye’s remarks, though, is that while the media, for the most part, condemns his speech, his fan base continues to turn a blind eye to his antisemitism and support his numerous careers — producing, rapping and fashion-designing.
According to Billboard, Ye was the 25th most-listened-to artist in 2022. He has produced 20 top-10 and four No. 1 hits. In 2021, Ye’s sneaker brand Yeezy generated nearly $2 billion in sales.
These successes, while impressive, were only achieved because of public support. Before Twitter suspended his account on Dec. 2, Ye amassed more than 31 million followers on the social media platform. For a frame of reference, there are less than 15 million Jews in the world. An antisemite garnering more than double the number of followers on one social media platform than there are Jews in the world is concerning.
By streaming Ye’s music or buying his merchandise, whether you like it or not, you are giving him money. And by continuing to pad his wallet, you are little short of condoning unacceptable, antisemitic behavior.
When you stream one of Ye’s songs, you send the message that antisemitism is acceptable and that a three-minute-long track holds more value than the safety of a people; that you support a public figure who has Tweeted, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 on Jewish people.”
If you patronize a restaurant because the food is good and shop at a store because you like the merchandise, but would change your spending habits if you learned that the restaurant is infested with insects or that the store sells faulty products, the same logic can — and must — be applied to Ye’s careers.
A common defense from those who continue to support Ye is that we need to cut him some slack because he is mentally ill. While mental illness is no joking matter, it is no excuse for antisemitic comments, threats or actions.
If Ye is truly mentally ill, he deserves help. However, until he gets help, he must be held accountable for the hate and violence he is inciting. No illness justifies bigotry.
Ye is antisemitic. By streaming his music, you are supporting Ye and giving him money. By continuing to support and give him money, you are condoning antisemitism.
The only way to combat this appalling wave of antisemitism is to oppose its perpetrators. Stop listening to Ye’s music. Stop buying Ye’s merchandise. Stop shrugging off blatant antisemitism.
Ben Shapiro can be reached at [email protected].
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