(July 26, 2020 / Jewish Journal) Home Secretary of the United Kingdom Priti Patel demanded an explanation from Twitter and Instagram on Sunday regarding the length of time anti-Semitic posts by British rapper Richard Kylea Cowie Jr., aka Wiley, were allowed to remain online before being taken down.
“The anti-Semitic posts from Wiley are abhorrent. They should not have been able to remain on Twitter and Instagram for so long and I have asked them for a full explanation. Social media companies must act much faster to remove such appalling hatred from their platforms,” wrote Patel.
The British rapper, a recipient of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), tweeted on July 24 that Jews “make me sick” after he was accused of posting anti-Semitic tweets earlier in the day.
Among the tweets he is under fire for is one stating that there are “2 sets of people who nobody has really wanted to challenge #Jewish & #KKK [Ku Klux Klan] but being in business for 20 years you start to understand why.” He also asked if it’s anti-Semitic “to say Jewish people have power” and asserted that “Israel is not your [Jews’] country.”
Wiley doubled down on his tweets after several people on Twitter accused him of anti-Semitism.
“I’m not anti-semetic [sic] I’m anti slippery people,” he tweeted. “There’s a difference.”
The rapper also tweeted, “Jewish people you make me sick and I will not budge hold this corn.”
According to the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA), holding corn is “is a slang expression meaning that they should be shot,” although others have said that the “hold corn” phrase is British slang for telling someone to “take the L [loss].”
Wiley also retweeted a post that read, “Im [sic] so sick of f****ing Jews at this point. You are the most vile people in the history of humanity.”
The CAA condemned Wiley’s tweets in a statement.
“Likening Jews to the KKK is a hideous anti-Semitic slur, which Wiley can add to the anti-Semitic tropes he has tweeted about Jewish power and Jews in business,” the statement read. “He joins a number of celebrities who have promoted anti-Semitic themes or individuals in recent weeks, some of whom have apologized and sought rehabilitation. Wiley must immediately do the same, otherwise no respectable label or manager should work with him ever again.”
Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard tweeted to Wiley, “You know who else shared your views of Jewish power? Clue: First name began with an A, second an H. You are a racist. Unambiguously. Don’t try to pretend you are speaking some sort of truth. You are spouting Jew hate, like neo-Nazis and the rest of them.”
He added in a subsequent tweet regarding Wiley’s tweets on holding corn: “Having spent the day tweeting virulent Jew hate, @WileyCEO is now calling for Jews to be shot. And Twitter is ignoring all reports and letting it continue. This is surely a police matter now.”
Wiley responded to Pollard with a tweet calling him an “idiot I told you lol you are the police.”
British researcher David Collier tweeted, “For 9 hours @wileyceo an MBE [Member of the Order of the British Empire] and an account with almost 500k followers has been producing vicious and non stop anti-Semitic commentary – inciting hate – violence and even containing threats. Where the hell is @Twitter @TwitterSupport [?] This crosses all your standards.”
The CAA issued a statement later in the day saying that the organization has reported Wiley’s tweets to the police.
“We have additionally asked Twitter and Facebook, which owns Instagram, to close down his accounts which have hundreds of thousands of followers, to prevent further outpouring of anti-Jewish venom,” the statement read. “Our Regulatory Enforcement Unit is contacting the Honours Forfeiture Committee at the Cabinet Office to ask that Wiley’s MBE be revoked, and we will be looking to ensure that no reputable label or manager works with him again.”
John Woolf, who is Wiley’s manager and is Jewish, tweeted, “I do not support or condone what Wiley has said today online in any way shape or form. We are going to help educate him here on this. And in 12 years he has never acted in this manner.”
According to the BBC, Wiley was later dropped by his management, and the Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “We have received a number of reports relating to alleged anti-Semitic tweets posted on social media. The Met takes all reports of anti-Semitism extremely seriously. The relevant material is being assessed.”
This article was first published by the Jewish Journal.
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