Seriously, Kanye? Ignorance on Hanukkah

Today is Hanukkah, a special day for Jews.

So it’s a particular shame that Kanye West has doubled-down on ignorance this week in comments pertaining to Jewish people.

West stated: 

We [black people] don’t got it like that. When I tell you only seven black billionaires, look at marginalization, and we feel like we happy because me and Rick Ross got it made, or I got a spread outside, a couple of us, or they put a black president. Man, let me tell you something about George Bush and oil money and Obama and no money. People want to say Obama can’t make these moves or he’s not executing. That’s because he ain’t got those connections. Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people. Black people don’t have the same connection as oil people. You know we don’t know nobody that got a nice house. You know we don’t know nobody with paper like that we can go to when we down. You know they can just put us back or put us in a corporation. You know we ain’t in situation. Can you guarantee that your daughter can get a job at this radio station? But if you own this radio station, you could guarantee that. That’s what I’m talking about.

While it’s a stretch to refer to his remarks as anti-Semitic, they are the kind of remarks that are actually more damaging and disturbing than an ordinary slur. Why? Because they draw upon and support the prevailing anti-Semitism theme: that of ‘Jewish control.’

When Kanye says “black people don’t have the same connections as Jewish people,” it furthers the Henry-Ford-like critique of so-called Jewish control in key areas. Really? Jewish people all tend to have connections? And why wouldn’t he just say “black people don’t have the same connections as rich white people”? 

Second, notice Jewish people is followed up by “oil people” and, in MSM / liberal philosophy at least, “oil people” denotes a monopoly of control and/or shrewd, ethics-challenged individuals. This subtly ties into the age-old caricature of Jews. 

I understand West was trying to simply state that most black individuals do not have access to the same opportunities as privileged Americans (that is certainly true) but why the need to call out Jews specifically? C’mon, Kanye — you’ve said some dumb things but this may be the dumbest one yet.

h/t to Newsbusters

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