Letters to the Editor: Kanye West’s antisemitism is sadly familiar. Our response doesn’t have to be that simple. Please join us in a more informed response to this.
I am Jewish, and I love Kanye West. He is one of the greatest artists of our time, and his work, in particular his art, his songs and his humanitarian efforts, have deeply moved me. When he sings, “You don’t have to be Jewish, I’m Jewish,” he is speaking the truth. Kanye West’s musical projects have been a powerful force in the entertainment industry, and his success has contributed to the growth of black artists in the entertainment field.
I love Kanye West because I am a black person and I grew up loving rock and jazz music, even listening to Marvin Gaye. The power of those artists is no different than that of Kanye, and his lyrics are very inspiring. “Famous”, Kanye West’s song that deals with the plight of black people in America, is a powerful song that speaks to all of us, black and white alike.
I am not a fan of racism in any shape or form, but there remains a difference in the way some people use that word. They say it in the context of a stereotype or an offensive joke, and people who hear those comments and feel offended, think they’ve been called racist. That’s not the way the world works. Words matter. Words are important and powerful. I know Kanye West, and I think he’s a wonderful human being.
I am African-American, but Kanye’s message of peace and brotherhood is very much for people across the globe. We don’t need to demonize the United States or any other country in order to express that we are human. That’s what we are. We need to respect the differences in the various cultures and traditions of the world. Just because Kanye West says something doesn’t mean you should listen to him. The world matters, and we need to be open to different perspectives, be them political, social or cultural.
Racist or not, I still believe we should hear what we want to hear. If Kanye West believes in peace and brotherhood, that needs to be put out there. I think he’d rather be friends with everyone, just as he has been in the past. If he truly believes his actions and his words are about peace, I believe that too.