The ADL tracked references to 'Ye is Right' in instances of on-the-ground antisemitic vandalism and harassment across the US.
October, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) documented at least 30 antisemitic
incidents that directly reference Ye – the influential artist, producer and
fashion designer, formerly known as Kanye West, whose antisemitic outbursts
last year made headlines.
to a new report by the ADL published on Monday, these incidents – which include
vandalism, banner drops, targeted harassment and campus propaganda
distributions – “demonstrate the ongoing influence of Ye’s conspiratorial,
following Ye’s antisemitic comments, which included inflammatory tropes about
Jewish power and Holocaust denial, the slogan “Ye is Right” surfaced online in
hashtags and antisemitic accounts. The ADL Center on Extremism tracked
references to “Ye is Right” in instances of on-the-ground antisemitic vandalism
and harassment across the United States.
become a shorthand for hate
incidents, only some of which are perpetrated by known extremists, demonstrate,
according to the ADL, how references to Ye, often paired with swastikas or
other antisemitic slurs, have become a mainstream shorthand for the hatred of,
or a desire to commit violence against Jewish people.
January, white supremacist Groypers (a network of alt-right figures; vocal
supporters of white supremacist and America First podcaster Nick Fuentes)
organized a series of “Ye is right, change my mind” events on college campuses,
where extremists peddle Holocaust denial and praised Hitler, all under the
auspices of defending Ye’s antisemitic comments and outbursts.
to the report, these events are part of a college ”road trip” organized largely
by Tyler Russell and Dalton Clodfelter, two Groypers who often espouse
antisemitic and white supremacist rhetoric. The first “Ye is right, change my
mind” event was held at Florida Atlantic University in January to endorse Ye’s
2024 presidential campaign on the basis of his antisemitic remarks.
January, the same individuals hosted a ”Ye is right, change my mind” event at
Florida State University and hosted a similar event at the University of
Alabama one day later.
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.
antisemitic comments coincided with Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter in late
October 2022, at which time the ADL noted an increase in both antisemitic
content on the platform and a decrease in the moderation of antisemitic posts.
According to the report, there have been over 9,400 Twitter mentions using or
referencing hashtags related to the “Ye is Right” slogan. These posts have
reached at least five million users on Twitter, garnering more than 19,300
likes and more than 5,000 retweets.
URLs shared by Twitter users who used or referenced hashtags related to “Ye is
Right,” as well as those related to Ye’s 2024 presidential campaign, include
links to extremist video streaming sites, online stores for unofficial YE24 merchandise
and a Google Forms survey which aims “to collect contact information of college
students supporting Ye.”
report indicated that “the impact of Ye’s words continues to be felt across the
country,” including through vandalism and harassment incidents at K-12 schools,
colleges and universities, Jewish institutions, public areas and commercial
sampling of incidents include an incident in La Crosse, Wisconsin in October.
Someone drew “Kanye was right” and “Defcon III” on a sidewalk at the University
of Wisconsin campus, as reported on local news.
Newport Beach, California a few days later, someone wrote the words “Kanye West
is right” and “Kill All Jews” alongside three swastikas on the wall of a high
school bathroom. Immediately afterwards, in Jacksonville, Florida, people found
graffiti reading “Kanye was right about the Jewish [sic]” near a river.
have also been harassment incidents. After offering Ye a tour, the Los Angeles
Museum of the Holocaust received several antisemitic phone calls and emails.
November in New York, someone texted a Jewish individual with a series of
anonymous antisemitic text messages, the first of which was, “Kanye is right.
F*** you [name redacted for privacy].” In addition, someone called a
Jewish-owned restaurant in Los Angeles, asked for “the Kanye special” and then
said, “Death to all the Jews.”
addition, members of the Goyim Defense League, a group openly professing hatred
of Jews, held a demonstration in Los Angeles in October 2022, displaying a
banner that read “KANYE IS RIGHT ABOUT THE JEWS” while giving Nazi salutes.
Jonathan Greenblatt said in response to the report on Monday that “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.”
continued: “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.”