Confronting and combating antisemitism

After posting antisemitic hate speech on social media, rapper Ye (formally Kanye West) has left a negative, hurtful impact on the local Jewish community and Coastal Carolina University as a whole.

His recent outbursts began during Yeezy Paris fashion week on Oct. 3.

Ye first wore a shirt originating from neo-Nazi organizations and extremist groups which depicted the phrase, “White Lives Matter.” This shirt was originally adapted by white supremacists to oppose the Black Lives Matter movement and hinder minority awareness. He continued to wear the shirt to other public events.

Ye later posted insensitive hate speech on Twitter: “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”

Once the media swarmed him with backlash and called him out on his hurtful words, he defended himself by saying he cannot be antisemitic and claimed all African Americans are all Jewish.

Instagram and Twitter suspended Ye from accessing and posting on their platforms. Brands such as Vogue, Balenciaga, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and others ended endorsements with the rapper.

The community begged Adidas to cut ties with Ye through their Yeezy collaboration, one of the company’s most popular line. On Oct. 25, Adidas listened to the community and Ye lost his billionaire networth overnight.

Other celebrities spoke out against his hate speech, including his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and ex-attorney Camille Vasquez. Known for formerly representing Johnny Depp Camille Vasquez refused to continue as Ye’s attorney for the situation because he would not comply to issue a public apology.

Coastal Carolina University’s first Jewish student organization, Shalom CCU, has fought for providing a safe space for Jewish students. However, Ye’s recent attacks on the community has disheartened the campus, according to the organization.

According to Shalom CCU, discrimination has caused many to hide their religious views out of fear to hear antisemitic responses. This often goes unnoticed across campus.

“Business as usual, no one really talks about [antisemitism] except Shalom CCU or Jewish students,” Piper Danzek, a senior executive member of Shalom CCU studying National Security and Intelligence, said.

Antisemitism has always been prevalent. Executive member of Shalom CCU Brooke Gottlieb said this outburst from an influential rapper shows the importance to pay attention to social issues.

“There is the misconception that antisemitism is on the rise, and this issue with Kanye has heightened the situation,” Gottlieb said. “But this has always been a reoccurring issue and finally, at least now, it is being brought to light.”

All forms of antisemitism not only affect the Jewish community, but along with the rest of the University. This affects student perspective on religious, racial and inclusivity efforts, and how various minority groups are being treated.

“When one group is targeted, other groups know that they might be targeted as well, making more and more of us feeling unsafe,” Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Erika Tritle said.

Coastal’s campus can help combat this issue through education of how bias appears and standing up for everyone regardless of their beliefs, race, gender or sexuality. Students can also help by being aware of verbal, nonverbal language and discriminatory, stereotypical tropes.

Alan Todd, senior lecturer of Judaism and faculty adviser of Shalom CCU, said students must band together to rid of discrimination.

“We have to do something and figure how to handle this simmering hate, and we can do it through unity,” Todd said.

Project efforts are currently being planned to help combat minority discrimination and create unity in Conway.