On Sunday, Kanye West’s latest tweet was taken down by Twitter for being anti-semitic, and the world tuned in to watch him fall from grace once again. Now deleted, the tweet threatened to “death con 3 on Jewish people” – essentially, kill them.
Surely there’s no Kanye fan dumb enough to defend this.
— anthony “light 1” fantano (@theneedledrop) October 9, 2022
West faced heavy criticism online for his words. Ouraged reactions poured in from all corners of the internet. Music producer Jack Antonoff did not hold back, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made it clear his words wouldn’t fly in America.
kanye a little bitch
— jackantonoff (@jackantonoff) October 10, 2022
There is absolutely no room in this country or world for antisemitism. It is important to see how harmful + dangerous Kanye’s words are – not only to our Jewish brothers, sisters, & siblings, but also to our collective society at large.
We must reject this 🚮 wherever we see it.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 10, 2022
Of course, none of this is new for the rapper, who has found himself embroiled in controversy after controversy over the past few years. Just last week, his Yeezy show at Paris Fashion Week received huge flack for including a t-shirt that read ‘White Lives Matter’. Jaden Smith was prompt to walk out, and Vogue’s global contributing fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson called it “indefensible behavior”. Ye (as he is now legally called) even posed in the shirt with right wing commentator Candace Owens, and they both shared the photo on their repsective social media handles.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) October 3, 2022
The issue continued to spiral, and Ye shot back at Karefa-Johnson by mocking her on his Instagram account – a device he uses with reckless abandon to regularly jumpscare his followers. Gigi Hadid, Hailey Beiber and designer Tremaine Emory all came out in support of Karefa-Johnson. Ultimately, Vogue issued an official statement backing her.
After being hospitalized in 2016, Ye was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This makes conversations surrounding his online (and offline) behaviour increasingly complicated. There have been endless attempts to empathise with his mental state and justify his behaviour – but knowing where to draw the line is tricky.
From running for President to publicly mocking his ex wife, Kim Kardashian, and her family, Ye’s behaviour has become a cruel running joke online. How will he humiliate himself next? It has helped neither West, nor the discourse surrounding bipolar disorder. The more dangerous symptoms of mental health conditions are stigmatized enough to begin with. Now more than ever, his actions must be treated with the sobriety and caution they deserve.
In the past, colleagues and fans have expressed their concern for his mental health and advised him to seek help. But people are running out of sympathy. Ye has 31.4 million followers on Twitter as of today, and arguably even more people across the globe read that tweet. He may not be fit to assess the impact of his words, but it could be grave. One cannot afford to disregard his views as coming from someone who doesn’t know any better. Why Twitter still hasn’t suspended his account is a mystery. What Ye needs most right now is professional help, and to take a break from expressing his views in public.