If conservatives are going to successfully push back on wokeness, we need to be firm in standing up to actual racism.
A conservative approach to fighting racism means calling out attacks made against any individual or group on the basis of race or ethnicity. We must recognize universal values that all people can be held accountable to uphold. If conservatives fail to do so, we are no better than the woke liberals we criticize.
And that’s why I’m calling on Kanye West to repent for anti-Semitism.
Just days after his fans celebrated his victory over liberal cancel culture in Hollywood, West used his social media platforms to undo the goodwill he had built up.
On Instagram, West accused fellow rapper Diddy of being controlled by Jewish people. “This ain’t a game. Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me.” West crossed the line of decency even further on Twitter, stating “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
West’s remarks are inexcusable. And the Chicago-born rapper and entrepreneur ought to know better. His venture into political activism is predicated on the idea that Black people are not a monolith and Black individuals should be free thinkers unbeholden to the political left.
Yet, in his social media posts, West talks about Jewish people as a monolith. He doesn’t give the respect to Jewish individuals what he says he wants for Black individuals.
West tried to excuse his prejudicial comments by arguing Black people can’t be anti-Semitic. “The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also.”
It’s unclear what West means by that. He could be pointing out that there are Black Jews in Israel and Ethiopia, but that fact wouldn’t excuse his anti-Semitism. West could also be repeating some of the anti-Semitic rhetoric made popular by the likes of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Farrakhan has attempted for decades to pit Blacks and Jews against one another by manufacturing a controversy over Jewish identity. Farrakhan is on the record making hateful statements concerning “so-called Jews,” “real Jews” and who has the rightful claim to Jewish history.
But there is a beautiful history of empathy and mutual respect between Black and Jewish communities. The NAACP, for example, was born out of partnerships between Black and Jewish community leaders. The organization, which fought for African-American voting rights and school desegregation in the United States, counts a number of Jewish community leaders among its founders, such as social worker Henry Moskowitz, pioneer nurse Lillian Wald and Columbia University’s Joel Spingarn.
The beautiful history between Black and Jewish communities continues in the present when Black and Jewish community leaders come together in support of domestic and international human rights causes.
West says he is a Christian. In his music, he praises Jesus Christ. If he’s being honest, then he knows that it’s time to repent for the anti-Semitism he has put out into the world.