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Social Media and the Rise of Antisemitism

Photo Credit KTLA

Over the past decade, antisemitic attacks have increased across the globe. According to the United States Department of Justice, an average of 24 racist, antisemitic and homophobic attacks can be spotted each day. Over the past few months, Antisemitism was brought to the forefront of the world because of a sharp increase of anti-Jewish or anti-Israel attacks.

   On October 8, 2022, rapper Kanye West posted a tweet that shook the entire platform. In this Tweet, Kanye stated, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semetic because black people are also Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”

   Kanye has used his now blocked Twitter account to tweet controversial ideas for years. However, none of his tweets have ever been used as a launching pad for hate speech. According to the Anti-Defamation League, between January and September of 2022, there were an average of 41 antisemitic or white supremacy attacks in the United States per month. Between October and December after Kanye’s tweet, there were 51.5 attacks per month.

   In an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in November of 2022, West doubled down on his antisemitic tweet, even praising Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler multiple times during the interview, even stating, “I see good things about Hitler,” and “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table. Especially Hitler.”

   Levi Horwitz, ’26, noted that, “Kanye has been making comments like this since 2018, about three years before he had any bi-polar episodes. He more than likely means the things he’s saying” 

   Many students have been quick to delete Kanye West’s music off of their Spotify and Apple Music accounts, noticing the issues with the lyrics in many of his songs.

   “I know of people who continue to listen to his music, which I believe is a form of supporting him. When the hate is so blatant and ingrained into who this man is, publicly supporting Kanye West is harmful. Even if it’s just because his music is good, it’s still a harmful practice because of the fact you are supporting someone who is just not a good person” Sofia Seidel, ’24, stated.

   Antisemitism has been a hidden issue for thousands of years. From the pogroms in Russia in the 1800’s, to the Holocaust under the Nazi Regime of Germany from 1933-1945 to modern day attacks against the Jewish People during the “Free Palestine” Movement. The Jewish people have been under attack for a very long time.

   There are still many questions left to ask, including where to go from this point and what can change. Mr. Schreiber, a Jewish social studies teacher who had family in the Holocaust, gave his opinion; “It’s all about teaching students about having an open mind, accepting that everyone is different, as well as questioning what people do or say, calling them out if they make incorrect or disrespectful comments.” 

Overall, the increase in social media usage has given people with harmful agendas the ability to state their opinions with minimal consequences. It is important to be diligent about reprimanding leaders in society for making hurtful comments.

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