When even a free-speech promoter like Elon Musk thinks you’re going too far, there may be a reason to back-pedal.
Kanye West, now known as Ye, has sparked outrage online by declaring his “love” of Nazis and respect for Adolf Hitler during a back and forth, hours-long sit-down with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
On Thursday, December 1, 2022, the rapper appeared on Jones’ ‘Infowars,’ wearing a black mask that completely obscured his face. On the show, he talked about several topics, from sin to pornography, the devil, and even Hitler.
“I like Hitler,” West said at a point in the conversation. “I see good things about Hitler also. This guy… invented highways, invented the very microphone that I used as a musician, you can’t say out loud that this person ever did anything good, and I’m done with that. I’m done with the classification, every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler. I like Hitler.”
Jones tried to interject by saying that “the Nazis were thugs and did really bad things.” But the rapper retorted: “But they did good things too. We gotta stop dissing the Nazis all the time… I love Nazis.”
He also said he doesn’t enjoy the word “evil” as a description of “Nazis,” adding, “I love Jewish people, but I also love Nazis.”
Following these comments, Twitter has been on fire with many users criticising the rapper’s remarks, further stamping his anti-Semitic tag.
The Republican Jewish Coalition quickly condemned the interview, calling it “a disgusting triumvirate of conspiracy theorists, Holocaust deniers, and anti-Semites.”
“We vehemently condemn those comments and call on all political leaders to reject these messengers of hate and relegate them to the dustbin of history where they belong,” RJC National Chairman (former) Sen. Norm Coleman and CEO Matt Brooks said in a statement. “Given his praise of Hitler, it can’t be overstated that Kanye West is a vile, repellent bigot who has targeted the Jewish community with threats and Nazi-style defamation.”
The Guardian reports that West also shared an image of the swastika over the Star of David, a symbol of Judaism yesterday. The tweet was immediately deleted. This post raised eyebrows in addition to his anti-Semitic remarks.
Ye continues to be the target of public criticism due to his persistent anti-Jewish remarks. These comments have cost him hundreds of millions of dollars in commercial losses from big firms that had previously supported his music, fashion line, and other ventures.
West’s second Twitter ban
West got banned from Twitter, shortly after his comments on Thursday. This comes less than two weeks after his account was recently reinstated on November 21, 2022, prior to Elon Musk’s $44 billion buyout of the social networking site.
The new Twitter CEO later stated that he had no part in West returning to Twitter. His account was first banned two months ago.
Many have attributed the current ban to an altercation between the rapper and Musk as West tweeted a controversial picture showing businessman Ari Emanuel spraying water at the back of the latter’s head with a hose. He captioned the picture “Let’s always remember this as my final tweet #ye24.”
Contrary to public opinion, Musk has revealed that West’s latest ban is due to the rapper’s comments inciting violence.
Explaining his reason for kicking the rapper off the platform, he tweeted, “just clarifying that his account is being suspended for incitement to violence, not an unflattering pic of me being hosed by Ari. Frankly, I found those pics to be helpful motivation to lose weight!”
I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 2, 2022
Although many people are happy with the ban, it has also raised concerns as to how true Musk is to his “Free Speech” campaign. West’s future on the platform is uncertain for now, as it remains unclear if his suspension will be permanent.