Several anti-fascist groups have spoken out after antisemitic groups hung a “Kanye is right about the Jews” banner over a freeway.
The demonstration took place in Los Angeles over the weekend and saw protestors give Nazi salutes behind the banner.
West has made several antisemitic outbursts in recent weeks, blaming “Jewish media” and “Jewish Zionists” for alleged wrongdoings while on the Drink Champs podcast, saying “Jewish people have owned the black voice” and that “the Jewish community, especially in the music industry… they’ll take us and milk us till we die.”
He also made similar antisemitic comments on Fox News, LeBron James’ talk show The Shop and during a recent interview with NewsNation host Chris Cuomo, where he said that he “doesn’t believe” in the term antisemitism.
“It’s not just words,” said Sam Yebri, a lawyer and former Anti-Defamation League board member. “There is clearly a connection to white supremacy and neo-Nazi movements.”
Hate in America:
Yesterday, the head of an antisemitic and white supremacist group (and his supporters) dropped banners over the 405 in Los Angeles. One banner read, "Kanye is right about the Jews.” pic.twitter.com/FQBFIm0WLX
— Oren Segal (@orensegal) October 23, 2022
“Kanye’s remarks give added air and momentum to the hate that previously was limited to the dark corners of the internet,” Yebri continued in an interview with the LA Times. “Now it’s popping up in neighbourhoods, at people’s homes and throughout Los Angeles,” with a series of antisemitic flyers apparently being distributed across the city.
This, as people hold banners over an LA highway, asking drivers to honk if the believe Kanye is right about Jews. Apparently, there's a lot of honking. https://t.co/f7U3QoE2OC
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) October 23, 2022
“White supremacists capitalising on Ye’s ongoing antisemitic tantrums is another example of how extremists find a commonality in the hatred of Jews,” added Liora Rez, executive director of StopAntisemitism.
“While the atrocious and bigoted behaviour of the Goyim Defense League (who allegedly organised the demonstration) may be protected by the 1st Amendment, this is clearly a targeted harassment campaign against the Jewish people.”
Vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, Oren Segal told the LA Times that the overpass demonstration was “the latest example of how extremists across the ideological spectrum have embraced” West’s rhetoric. Kanye’s outbursts have “helped advance the spread of long-standing hateful and false narratives shared by extremist groups,” he added.
Many artists, celebrities, politicians and organisations have publicly condemned West over his remarks including Jack Antonoff, John Legend, David Schwimmer, New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and ex-Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Balenciaga also recently cut ties with West over his antisemitic comments, while his record label Universal Music Group shared a statement denouncing antisemitism.