Time to Speak Out Against Anti-Semitism


“I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 [sic] on JEWISH PEOPLE.”

This is not a historical quote from Nazi-occupied Germany. It’s a tweet, posted on Oct. 8, 2022, by billionaire rapper Kanye West.

What’s worse than West’s quote is that millions of people in the United States agree with his position.

In Los Angeles, a group of demonstrators were seen protesting on a freeway overpass. Their protests centered not on West’s antisemitic comments, but on the Jewish community.

The demonstrators wielded signs proclaiming “Kanye is right about the Jews” and “honk if you know.” Members of the group shared Bible verses that were taken out of context and stood on the overpass with their arms raised in a Nazi salute.

The Los Angeles Mayoral Office, along with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, condemned the demonstrators.

“We cannot tolerate the #AntiSemitism that was on full display today [Saturday] on an LA Fwy. #WhiteSupremacy is a societal cancer that must be excised. This message is dangerous & cannot be normalized. I stand with the Jewish community in condemning this disgusting behavior,” tweeted Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón.

“We condemn this weekend’s anti-Semitic incidents,” added Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Jewish Angelenos should always feel safe. There is no place for discrimination or prejudice in Los Angeles. And we will never back down from the fight to expose and eliminate it.”

Adidas responded to West’s tweet by ending its partnership with the rapper on Oct. 25.

Violence against Jewish communities have risen in recent years – 2021 included the most reported incidents of assault, vandalism and harassment targeting Jewish communities and individuals in the United States since such statistics began being recorded, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Public decries against anti-Semitism will not be enough to end it, although it’s a great place to start. Action needs to be taken, not just by ending corporate partnerships with those who spread hate, but by promoting communities and love within those communities.

If we remain silent, like those in Pastor Martin Niemöller’s 1946 poem “Then They Came,” there will be no growth to our country and no one to speak out on our behalf when we most need it.