Kanye Has Lost It and Best Sports Video
U.S. Soccer Abuses Women, Herschel Walker: Republican Lapdog, In Praise of The Beatles and Loretta Lynn, and More
I have a full slate for you today. Some very bad things happened in the past week and we should take time to acknowledge them, think about them, and figure out what we can do to change them.
Fear not, along with my usual ranting, I included a phenomenal sports video that had me on my feet cheering. And I added an homage to The Beatles and Loretta Lynn.
Social Media: Today in Antisemitism
Summary: Rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye, issued a series of antiSemitic tweets in which he threatened to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” He also tweeted: “You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.” He also accused Diddy of being controlled by Jewish people.
My Take: The major difficulty in addressing yet another outrage by Kanye West is that we are clearly dealing with a man with severe mental health issues whose wealth and fame insulate him from any fallout. Because of that, no amount of admonishment, scolding, or finger-pointing will have any effect on him or his actions. He’s not mentally capable of understanding them. The addiction to be relevant, to be in the public eye and on the public lips, motivates his actions—not any cohesive or coherent political or social philosophy. This was emphasized when he wore a t-shirt that said “White Lives Matter” at Paris Fashion Week and responded to the inevitable backlash with “my one t-shirt took allllll the attention.”
He is a dancing bear devoid of meaning. To attack him personally is to ignore his ailment.
And, yet, because of his fame—West has an estimated following on social media of 28 million—what he says can have impact of society. In his case, mostly negative. So, we are always in the position of cleaning up the vomit of a sick patient who can’t stop himself from vomiting, but whose vomit threatens to make others sick. His statement that he’s going to go “death con” on Jewish people is not just a threat of violence, it’s an endorsement of violence by his followers to commit violence against Jews. This is not an empty concern: In 2021 there were a record 2,717 antisemitic incidents across the United States, up 34% from 2020, including harassment, assaults and vandalism.
While I hope West can get past the sycophants who profit from his acting out and get the professional help he desperately needs, for now it’s time to get the mop out and start cleaning his vomit.
I abhor all forms of discrimination, but I find antisemitism particularly heinous because it requires a particularly unimaginative and illogical mind to embrace. First, antiSemites target a group because they have been historically targeted. That’s so lazy. Why not go after bodybuilders (what are they secretly planning to do with all those muscles)?
Second, antiSemitism usually requires an elaborate conspiracy system that doesn’t hold up under any intelligent scrutiny. But it does provide a comforting fantasy labyrinth to blame a villain for all problems. Understanding the complexities of the world and the many villains—including themselves for promoting hate—is beyond their comprehension and control. So much easier to just hate Jews.
This kind of illogical and immature thought process is how everyone justifies their prejudices. It’s how discrimination against People of Color and women is rationalized. That’s why I am especially horrified when a Black person spews antisemitism without the slightest awareness that they are fertilizing the ground for all racism, including against Black communities. They are the snake eating its own tail. Unfortunately, many others around them—not insulated by money—must suffer the direct and often violent consequences of their ignorance.