Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and Kyrie Irving are two very successful and influential black men. Recently, one of my close friends asked me to share my thoughts on all that is going on in the media surrounding them. I knew they were being labeled anti-Semitic by the media. But, I didn’t know the full story.
I knew Ye made some public comments about wealthy Jewish people in the entertainment industry. And, I knew Kyrie was suspended for sharing a social media post about the Hebrews to Negroes documentary. So, in order to properly share my opinion I needed to do some research.
Ye and Kyrie are among the most financially successful and famous African-American men in the world. So what they say publicly or may share on social media will garner much attention.
They are living the dreams of men like myself. As a young adult it seemed like the only pathways to financial success was either through professional athletics, music and entertainment or maybe I would be lucky enough to get an opportunity to work for an oil & gas company.
Ok, let’s dive into the discussion.
Why Should I or Anyone Else Care About Any of This?
Despite what some may believe, I believe Ye and Kyrie meant no harm towards anyone in the Jewish community. Yet, they were both publicly judged as anti-Semitic and penalized financially for what they did. It is presumed that Ye lost between $1-$2 billion dollars due to his anti-Semitic remarks. And, Kyrie has lost around $20 million dollars due to his 8-game suspension, fines, and suspension of his Nike contract.
Many successful people, regardless of race/gender, will not earn in their whole lifetime what they lost in a manner of days. This is all over what has been labeled as anti-Semitic remarks.
The world has now put every successful black man on notice. You will not be able to publicly share any personal opinion on the Jewish community (if it is unapproved by the Jewish community) without facing some sort of scrutiny or monetary punishment.
I personally believe they are being treated harshly by the powers that be. Anyone with eyes can clearly see they are being judged differently than others who have done or said similar remarks. Plus they are successful black men. They are leaders in my community, whether if I agree with them or not. So I feel compelled to gain a true understanding of what is going on.
What Does Anti-Semitic mean?
Anti-Semitism refers to prejudice and/or discrimination against Jews as individuals and as a group. Anti-Semitism is based on stereotypes and myths that target Jews as a people, their religious practices and beliefs, and the Jewish State of Israel. (link to additional information)
Anti (against) Semitic (people who speak ancient Middle Eastern languages in the Afro-Asiatic family like Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, Phoenician, etc.)
As I study anti-Semitism, I begin to see a different perspective when it comes to racial or ethnic prejudice. Prior to today, when I thought about prejudice against the Jewish community, the main thing which came to mind was Hitler and the Holocaust. World War II and the Holocaust is taught in every middle or high school History class.
I would’ve never imagined the Jewish community faced so much persecution or discrimination throughout history. To me Jewish people were essentially white people who weren’t Christians. And, in Louisiana, the deep south, you have white, black and creole or mixed. For those of Asian or Hispanic ancestry in Louisiana, you either need to culturally identify with whites or blacks, or move to another state.
Plus, I thought all Jewish people were white. That’s not true either. There are Jewish people who identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian, or Mixed Race. Society somehow created a narrative that all Jews are European Jews and white.
In Europe during the Middle Ages, some Jews became prominent in trade, banking, and moneylending, and Jews’ economic and cultural successes simultaneously created widespread resentment among various European countries and regions.
Even one of the most respected people in history, Martin Luther, actually wrote an anti-Semitic pamphlet called “On The Jews and Their Lies” in 1543.
Throughout history, there have many people who have openly made disparaging comments regarding the Jewish community. Even our former President, Donald Trump, has made varying comments over the years, which have been labeled as anti-Semitic. However not all have received the same measure of scrutiny.
Nevertheless, after seeing the backlash from the Jewish community and Anti-Defamation League (ADL) towards Ye and Kyrie, it’s easy to see they were not judged the same as others.
I don’t remember anyone ever being asked by the ADL to apologize to the Jewish community, except Ye and Kyrie. Was former President Trump ever forced or financially penalized for making offensive comments towards a community before or after he took office? His Twitter account was taken away only due to how he handled the insurrection at the U.S. capital.
How is it that only a black man can lose over a billion dollars (in a manner of days) just because of an offensive comment? Especially when rich white people say and do racist things all the time and are forgiven, or don’t face judgment at all.
Whoever controls money has the power to influence.
This isn’t about right and wrong. I don’t support hate at all.
Just like I don’t support the prejudice, disrespect, dishonor and unjust treatment black men are forced to endure. The media and powers that be unfairly judged Ye and Kyrie. They forced harsh financial penalties upon them and they forced them to apologize… almost like a slave master punishing a slave for misbehaving. I don’t like it.