Ye must be held financially and socially accountable for hate-speech


Marcus Linder | Flickr

Tim Rubini

Rapper Kanye West, also known as Ye, has lost numerous high-profile business partnerships over a slew of antisemitic remarks.

Twitter locked the rappers account following an antisemitic tweet posted on Oct. 8, which has since been deleted, where-in West said he was “going death con 3 [sic] On JEWISH PEOPLE.”

On Oct. 15, just a week later, Ye made a surprise appearance on the Drink Champs podcast, when he said, “I can say antisemitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”

Here, Ye introduces an extremely dangerous idea: that he, or anyone of sufficient stature, can engage in hate speech without experiencing financial or social repercussions.

A swift and decisive response must be executed to challenge this logic.

It is imperative that Kanye, and those in alignment with his views, see consequences for their behavior, to make it clear that hate speech will not be tolerated or overlooked.

The danger of not having an entirely united front against hate speech is that it provides a safe space for hateful people and organizations to perpetuate their rhetoric and still be supported.

Fortunately, Ye’s statements on Drink Champs have since been proven false.

Ye has seen numerous business partnerships and perks come to an end, including the termination of a $1.5 billion deal with Adidas AG.

Among these are a Yeezy-brand related partnership with Gap Inc, luxury fashion brand Balenciaga and the Creative Artists Agency, Ye’s now former talent agency.

The financial hits caused by these severed ties were substantial, causing Kanye’s net worth to plummet from $2 billion to $400 million.

These companies’ reactions have indicated that they are willing to do their part to publicly condemn someone who incites hatred.

Yet, there are more concerns to address. While there have been some decisive reactions to Ye’s recent behavior, there are still players who have not addressed his wrongdoings.

For example, companies like Apple and Spotify still have Ye’s discographies available for streaming. Spotify has stated it will not remove Ye’s work from their platform since “music from the artist now known as Ye did not violate anti-hate policies.”

Although Ye’s music does not promote hate and antisemitism, its consumption still funds and contributes power to a man who has repeatedly used his large platform to spread harmful ideas.

Thus, only applying financial pressure is not enough. Someone of substantial wealth and stature can maneuver and bounce back from a temporary financial setback.

Blackballing Ye in his future fashion or entertainment endeavors is the most effective means of ensuring people understand that there is no room for hate speech in today’s world.