The Anti-Defamation League has identified at least 30 antisemitic incidents since October that directly reference rapper, producer and fashion designer Kanye “Ye” West, including vandalism, banner drops, targeted harassment and campus propaganda distributions.
According to ADL’s new report released on Sunday, Ye’s comments have prompted the slogan “Ye Is Right” to surface online in hashtags and antisemitic accounts. Since Oct. 1, 2022, there have been more than 10,000 Twitter mentions using or referencing the “Ye Is Right” slogan. These posts have reached at least six million users on Twitter, garnering more than 22,000 likes and more than 5,000 retweets.
One Twitter account created on Jan. 16 has been promoting a “Ye is right, change my mind” campaign on college campuses. The account, which has amassed more than 1,000 followers, has been used to organize and advertise for the antisemitic events, posting clips from events and linking out to extremist sites, such as the white supremacist video streaming platform created by Nick Fuentes.
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Many of these antisemitic events have been part of a college “road trip” organized by far-right activists Tyler Russell and Dalton Clodfelter, including at Florida Atlantic University on Jan. 18, at Florida State University on Jan. 26 and other similar events at the University of Alabama, the University of Florida, and the University of Central Florida.
During these campus events, Russell and Clodfelter gave speeches on antisemitic themes, including how Jewish organizations, like the ADL, are “trying to take away” people’s bank accounts and stifling free speech. Clodfelter and Russell, who compare abortion to slavery and deny the Holocaust, encourage students to debate them on Ye’s views on Jewish power. These exchanges are filmed and subsequently posted on extremist channels online, according to ADL.
Other antisemitic incidents that have been documented in recent months include someone writing the words “Kanye West Is Right” and “Kill All Jews” alongside three swastikas on the wall of a high school bathroom in Newport Beach, California; an individual calling a Jewish business owner an antisemitic slur and referencing Ye’s comments over email in Jacksonville, Florida; a group of individuals physically and verbally assaulting a Jewish man in a grocery store, making antisemitic remarks and commenting, “Yeah do it for Kanye!” in Gaithersburg, Maryland; and someone drawing graffiti that read “YEisRight” and “America First,” alongside references to the date 1/27/23 (Holocaust Remembrance Day), on a sidewalk at the University of Alabama.
“Kanye West’s repeated antisemitic remarks – and his dredging up some of the worst anti-Jewish tropes imaginable – doubtlessly are having an impact and inspiring people to commit real-world acts of hate,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told TheWrap in a statement. “As we have long maintained, celebrities and others who engage in spreading hateful tropes need to know their words have consequences. Unfortunately, Kanye’s decision to continue to peddle hatred against Jews is only giving encouragement to people who are already infected with hate.”