Jay Z, Diddy, Dr Dre, Eminem, Master P, Pharrell Williams… Do these names mean anything to you? Ask the young people around you. They are the richest American rappers, because Rap has long been a business and no longer a rebellion from the depths of society. But you’ve probably heard of Kanye West, who just hit the headlines, and not through his songs.
His fortune is estimated at several billion dollars; some – and him in particular – believe that he is the musical genius of the century, he was the husband of the famous Kim Kardashian for eight years, he is also a designer and claimed to run for the presidency in 2020, which had annoyed him. friend Donald Trump.
Kanye West, who today should be called Ye, as a court officially granted him the right to use a name without an associated first name, something unthinkable in France, Ye, therefore, who has more than 30 million followers, is divided with comments if anti-Semitism not in doubt.
During the fashion week in Paris, Kanye West wore a t-shirt by the brand Yeezy with the inscription “White lives matter”. Yes, I said, “White lives” “white men’s lives. This drew criticism from the anti-racist American Jewish organization ADL, who recalled that these words are a rallying cry for white supremacists; including the KuKluxKlan, in response to “Black lives matter” , the famous slogan launched after the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
Kanye West, who was criticized by an NGO that happens to be Jewish, could have been angry at “those” NGOs. He prefers to attack Jews in general, according to the process described by Jean Paul Sartre in his Reflections on the Jewish Question, and in light of the violence of his responses, Instagram blocks his account.
He was pulled back on Twitter and then posted a bizarre text, “I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE”. It is a bad pun between dead Con , dead with and Defcon, Defense Readiness condition, a term that signals the US military’s alert level, Defcon 3 being the high level it has, was set after 9/11. The violent pun set the internet on fire.
These words are followed by an astonishing sentence, of which here is the translation: “The funny thing is that I cannot be anti-Semitic, because the blacks are indeed the Jews too”.
What does he mean?
The similarities between the trials of black slaves and the Hebrews in Egypt are the theme of famous Negro spirituals. They got Jews to participate en masse in civil rights movements in the United States.
But in the history of religions, comparison sometimes leads to substitution. The parent organization of African-American Muslim groups, the Nation of Islam, led today by Louis Farrakhan, is driven toward rampant anti-Semitism linked to inheritance: The Black Nation is the true chosen people, therefore the Jews are counterfeiters. Kanye West therefore takes this line, despite being a “Born again” Christian whose references to Jesus are ubiquitous in his latest productions and statements.
He who had dared to say that blacks had “chosen” slavery has become a trophy for American supremacists who do not spare him their support. A black man who whitewashes the extreme right of his racism by offering him an alliance in hatred of the Jews, that is the icing on the cake that Jean Marie Le Pen and his friends had adored in Dieudonné…
Highly sensitive to anti-Semitism under the guise of Israelophobia, I happen to think too many American Jews are blind in their left eye, but this case reminds us that anti-Semitism on the far right is far from gone. .
The reactions were commensurate with the character’s celebrity, and Kanye West was stripped of lucrative advertising contracts. How will he react? Whether narcissistic or bipolar, with a melon like his, he has only two solutions: either he makes a spectacular mea culpa by presenting himself as a sinner engaged in a difficult battle against evil, or he takes he position as the unjustly attacked prophet. and he worsens his drift.
What will his followers do? Some will stop following him, a majority will continue to listen to him and detach the man from his music. Some will pick up on his delusions. I hope that the first orientation will prevail and that the third will remain marginal, but I am not sure.
Kanye West’s statements may be a storm in a teacup, the words of a pretentious jester mounted atop a disheveled entertainment community. They seem to me less significant than the daily hatred of Israel in the universities and the currents that are quietly drying up American Jewry. But in youth his voice carries. It was because of this generational shift that I became interested in Kanye West and rap. Even on a musical level, I didn’t become a fan, but apparently no one asked me for my opinion…