Having baffled and irritated most of the country with his over-the-top monologues and inconsistent commentary on President Obama, Kanye West has now stoked the ire of the Anti-Defamation League with his quip that Obama isn’t as well-connected as “oil money” or “Jewish people.”
Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, tore into what he called the “age-old canard” that Jewish people are overly influential and control the country. In a press release posted at the ADL’s site Wednesday, Foxman noted that, given the comments were as reported, the claim that those who are not Jewish are somehow at a disadvantage for it in society is “classic anti-Semitism.” He continued:
There it goes again, the age-old canard that Jews are all-powerful and control the levers of power in government. As a celebrity with a wide following, Kanye West should know better. We hope that he will take responsibility for his words, understand why they are so offensive, and apologize to those he has offended.
West discussed the problems President Obama faces as a black president in America today in an interview with New York rap music station Power 105.1. Addressing criticism that President Obama “can’t make these moves or he’s not executing,” he argued that the President, and black people in general, “don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people … as oil people.” This despite the President being critical of West personally, once famously calling him a “jackass.” West has, on other occasions, said the President “used me” by attacking him to curry favor with people who thought attacking West was trendy.
As for West’s comments that Jewish presidents have high “level of connections” than black presidents, that remains to be seen. To date, there has never been a Jewish President or Vice President of the United States. But Jewish voters have supported President Obama during both campaigns. Obama won 74 percent of the Jewish American vote in 2008, and 70 percent in 2012, according to the New York Times.