(February 13, 2023 / JNS) Over the last four months, there have been at least 30 antisemitic incidents in the United States that directly reference Ye, the artist, producer and fashion designer formerly known as Kayne West, a report by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League released yesterday shows.
The documentation demonstrates the ongoing influence of Ye’s conspiratorial antisemitic rants throughout the country that burst out in the open last year.
The incidents cited in the Feb. 12 report include vandalism and harassment at scores of schools, synagogues, public areas and commercial locations.
Despite the public condemnation of Ye’s antisemitic comments, which included inflammatory tropes about Jewish power and Holocaust denial, the slogan “Ye is Right” began surfacing online in hashtags and antisemitic accounts, references that began appearing in on the ground vandalism and harassment across the U.S.
“These incidents—only some of which are perpetrated by known extremists—demonstrate how references to Ye, often paired with swastikas or other antisemitic slurs, have become mainstream shorthand for the hatred of—or a desire to commit violence against the Jewish people,” the ADL report states.
The “Ye is right” campaign in which extremists peddle Holocaust denial and praise Adolf Hitler, held its first event at Florida Atlantic University on January 18, followed by one at Florida State University eight days later, with similar subsequent events at the University of Alabama, the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida, the report says.
Ye’s October 2022 antisemitic outburst—which coincided with Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter—spurred a huge increase in antisemitism on social media, the report notes.
Since then, there have been more than 10,000 Twitter mentions using or referencing the “Ye is Right” slogan, posts that have reached at least six million users on the platform, garnering more than 22,000 likes and 5,000 retweets, the report finds.
The impact of Ye’s words continues to be felt across the U.S., with vandalism and harassment reported in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, Jewish institutions, public areas and commercial locations.
The instances of vandalism cited in the report are cross-county and include various incidents in Wisconsin, California, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, North Carolina and Texas, while harassment was reported in California, New York, Virginia, Michigan, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida and Maryland.
In addition, a variety of known extremists and antisemitic groups have embraced Ye’s racist statements, leveraging his comments to further their agendas and promote antisemitic claims and conspiracy theories, the report says.
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