A white extremist group used the artist formerly known as Kanye West’s recent antisemitic tirade in a recent banner drop over a highway in Los Angeles. The Goyim Defense League used the recent controversy and the antisemitic and anti-Black comments made by Kanye, who changed his name to Ye, to further its own agenda.
StopAntisemitism tweeted the group was led by Jon Minadeo Jr., a known neo-Nazi recently arrested while visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rep. Karen Bass tweeted that antisemitism needed to be aggressively rooted out of the city. Bass and other local leaders recently called for an end to antisemitism, anti-Blackness and other forms of oppression in the city.
The Forward, the extremist group allegedly harassed Black people while driving a U-Haul truck covered in antisemitic signage in West Hollywood. The group also did a banner drop in August 2020, claiming that Jewish people wanted a race war.
As explained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, antisemitism is an ideology that “also undergirds much of the far right, unifying adherents across various extremist ideologies around efforts to subvert and misconstrue the collective suffering of Jewish people in the Holocaust and cast them as conniving opportunists.”
Adidas called out for ongoing inaction on Ye
The white extremist group invoking Ye comes on the heels of calls for adidas to cut ties with Ye like Balenciaga did last week. Adidas and Hip-Hop go way back. Run DMC put adidas on the map for so many of us.
Founded in 1949 —just four years after the end of World War II— the German multinational corporation claims to support equity, diversity and inclusion. Brand partnerships cannot be separated from the real issues happening in the world around us. Creating change starts at home.
While adidas “reviews” the relationship with Ye, if anyone should understand the gravity of nourishing antisemitic viewpoints, it’s a German corporation.
The ongoing saga with Ye, the man formerly known as Kanye West, also illustrates the intersection between anti-Blackness and antisemitism. Extremists like Minadeo and his group will grab onto anything that seems to legitimize and give their cause legs.
Regardless of whatever is personally motivating Ye, it’s clear his statements and grandstanding are being used by far-right personalities and groups to push their own agenda. This week marks four years after a man yelling antisemitic slurs murdered 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Ultimately this isn’t about free speech or protecting censorship. He’s not being “free” he’s feeding into harmful rhetoric and propaganda.
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