Elmore: Kanye is antisemitic. PERIOD!

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

The “White Lives Matter” shirts at Paris Fashion week were headline-grabbing to say the least. Kanye was making news, turning heads and raising eyebrows. He should have stopped there. Now the Yeezy beast has grown, multiplied and become out of control like a Gremlin who got wet and was fed after midnight. Kanye (or Ye or whatever he’s calling himself) is now doubling, tripling and quadrupling down on his vile comments about Jewish people. Kanye must be labeled for what he is: not an iconic designer or prolific rapper, but rather an uninformed antisemite.

It started with a lengthy Tweet on October 8. “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.” The insanity continued in a litany of interviews and social media posts. The rapper was subsequently reprimanded on social media. Yet, he continued like an insolent child who regaled in the attention of his bad behavior.

After being informed that he had violated the terms of service on his social media sites, Kanye was dropped by his bank JP Morgan Chase. Twitter and Instagram should be beacons of free speech, no matter how vile. Banks should not discriminate subjectively based upon the nature of the customers’ content, after all JP Morgan Chase continued to bank with Jeffery Epstein after his initial criminal conviction.  However, these facts are ancillary to the bigger issue.  

Kanye West’s statements are antisemitic and his assertions that all black people are Jewish are largely factually inaccurate and grounded in racism and propaganda. From here, the story gets longer, complicated and requires an understanding of the Black Hebrew Israelites. 

Similar to the above-mentioned tweet, Kanye made an Instagram pronouncement that a black friend was “a Jew just like all so called black people”. This statement is an invocation of Black Hebrew Israelite doctrine. The Black Hebrew Israelites are an African American religious group who believe that they are the descendants of God’s Chosen People, the ancient Biblical Israelites and therefore are Jewish.  It should be noted that they do not call themselves Jewish, but rather “Israelite” or “Hebrew”, as they largely disdain the Jewish people. Not surprisingly, there are several subgroups within the organization, some are outwardly racist and antisemitic.

The religion was started in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1886 by Frank Cherry and William Saunders Crowdy who claimed to have received visions that African Americans are descendants of the Hebrews in the Bible. The goal was to promote African-American elevation and racial justice, but at the expense of others. The founders preached that whites were inherently evil and hated by God.

The religion evolved and splintered into more and less extreme. They only seem to draw attention for their negative actions. Even Tom Metzger, former KKK Grand Wizard commented to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “They’re the black counterparts of us.” In 2019, the Southern Poverty Law Center listed 144 Black Hebrew Israelite sub-groups as hate groups.  

Some groups preach loudly in the streets of busy areas in an intimidating and antagonistic fashion expressing ire towards Jewish and white people. The Black Hebrew Israelites were among the groups who targeted the now-famed Covington Catholic High School kids who had participated in the 2019 March for Life in Washington, D.C., where they allegedly called the students “white crackers,” “f***ots,” and “incest kids.”   

Although it is highly unlikely, from a genetic perspective, that the Black Hebrew Israelites are actual the “Chosen People”, that is largely irrelevant. This group is a relatively modern fairytale with deep ties to racism and hatred. Criticism of the Black Hebrew Israelites should be completely disconnected from the adoration and respect for the thousands of black Jews and Jews of color in the US and abroad, who are genuine members of the Jewish faith.

As to Kanye West, it is necessary for all people, including conservatives to condemn his words against the Jews. There are only 7 million Jews in America and antisemitism is on the rise.  According to the FBI, Jews are “consistently among the top three most targeted groups” in America’s largest cities. Although Kanye purports to support President Donald Trump, antisemitism should never be tolerated whether he wears a MAGA hat or not.

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.


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Erin Elmore


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