Reddit users fill Kanye subreddit with Holocaust posts

Suspension

Fans on Reddit turned against Kanye West, turning a subheader dedicated to him into a page promoting Holocaust awareness within hours of Ye’s latest anti-Semitic comments.

r/Kanye, the 700,000-member Reddit space where fans once discussed Ye’s music, fashion, and other endeavors, has been inundated with posts providing information about the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust and denouncing anti-Semitism.

The page provided a spontaneous show of support for American Jews and a visual representation of the response against West, who had legally changed his name to Ye, after weeks of his anti-Semitic remarks. This came after Yi said on Thursday that he admired Adolf Hitler and later tweeted a picture of a swastika.

“As a Jew and an early Kanye fan,” one commenter wrote, “I have never looked into this branch…[reddit] Until this morning I saw all the Holocaust memorial posts. I’m in…tears now. Thank you for standing with us.”

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The leaflets include images and information related to the Holocaust intended to raise awareness of Nazi Germany’s persecution and the murder of 6 million Jews. People also post educational book and movie recommendations, photos from visits to Holocaust memorial and museum sites, and photos they say are of family members who were persecuted under the Nazi regime.

“The pictures I took when I visited Auschwitz. this is really. This is what has happened to millions of innocent men, women and children as a result of the inhumane rhetoric unleashed against them,” one person wrote, attaching photos of the Nazi death camp website. “Never again.”

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The posts were sprayed as yet another symbol of the fan’s disavowal of Ye: Memes hailing Taylor Swift, who has been seen as an enemy of Lee – and his fans – ever since he interrupted her acceptance speech for the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. “Hey guys! Just getting into Taylor but no You know where to start. Any suggestions? wrote one person who posted a picture of Swift.

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Some posts explain that even fans who had maintained their loyalty to Ye despite his frequent anti-Semitic remarks and erratic behavior have now decided to dump him.

“I looked at you. I ruined everything,” one commenter wrote now. “I’m ashamed that you were my favorite artist. I’m ashamed that I called you goat. … I’m done with you.”

The subreddit’s shift began Thursday, after Yi praised Hitler and the Nazis in an interview with right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. It came just over a week after Yi dined with former President Donald Trump and white nationalist Nick Fuentes, an event at which some Republicans criticized Trump. Fuentes also appeared on Jones’ show with Ye.

Wearing a full mask, Ye told Jones he loved Hitler, and then said, “I love the Jewish people, but I also love the Nazis.”

On Thursday night, Yi tweeted a picture of a swastika with a Star of David. His Twitter account was suspended following the tweet. The two incidents were widely condemned by politicians, Jewish groups and others.

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Criticisms included users on the subreddit, with one person posting Thursday afternoon, “Now this is the Taylor Swift Subreddit. We had good running mates.” Hours later, after the swastika tweet, another user declared the topic “officially a subreddit for Holocaust awareness,” and posts about the Holocaust began pouring in.

Reddit users post anonymously. A letter sent to r/Kanye managers from The Washington Post has not been returned. Information posted on Reddit, like anywhere else on social media, is not verified by fact-checkers.

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Attempts to reach Yi were unsuccessful.

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Experts say hate speech and anti-Semitism online can contribute to violence in the real world, and the current political climate has heightened fear among American Jews. An April review by the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that fights anti-Semitism, found that the US saw a record number of antisemitic incidents in 2021, averaging over seven per day.

Pamela Nadel, director of the Jewish Studies Program at American University, said she believes the United States is approaching a “second high tide of American anti-Semitism,” referring to the period between World War I and World War II that historians generally describe as the height of anti-Semitism in the country.

This, she told the newspaper, makes learning about the Holocaust and the Jewish experience with anti-Semitism “of great value” for all Americans.

“What happened from October through the end of November…we’ve reached a point in American life where we now know that anti-Semitism has become completely normal,” she said, referring to Yi’s comments, his meeting with Trump and Fuentes and accusations of anti-Semitism as recently settled against basketball player Kerry. Irving. There is definitely a heightened sense of apprehension and justified fear. I would say with some horror.”

Nadel recommended that people who want to learn more about the Holocaust start by checking out the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which includes an encyclopedia.

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Yi’s actions have sparked outrage for weeks, from his wearing a “WHITE LIVES MATTER” T-shirt at the Paris Fashion Week show to antisemitic statements and false information about the murder of George Floyd on the “Drink Champs” podcast. A leaked portion of an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News also drew condemnation, as did Yi’s October tweet saying he was going to “Doom 3” on “Jewish People.”

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Ye has been dropped by Adidas, Gap, Balenciaga and other companies and has been suspended intermittently on Twitter. On Thursday, right-leaning social app Parler announced that a deal to buy Ye for the company had been cancelled. A spokesperson for the company said it was “mainly due to his recent and well-publicized difficulties at work”.

While some Redditors on r/Kanye posted messages of gratitude for the Holocaust material, others wondered why it took so long for some fans to denounce Ye. One person who identified themselves as “ex-Jewish fans” urged people to learn about Jewish culture outside the Holocaust, saying, “Anti-Semitism is not a thing of the past. … We need your ally!”

Another person asked to read the material and movie recommendations, saying, “Thank you I’m going to learn more about the history of the Holocaust.”

Discussing Yi’s anti-Semitism presents a dilemma, said Leonard Sachs, director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University, because it creates more publicity for his damaging statements.

“I don’t know if this Reddit approach of posting a lot of memories and information about the Holocaust is going to work, but it’s probably better than talking about it directly and how abhorrent his views are,” Sachs told The Post.

“It is a terrible situation, this moment when hatred, mistrust and other social forces seem stronger than ever, but educating people about the Holocaust is important,” he said, adding, “shifting the focus on the peoples who are living [Hitler] Destroyed and remember them, that’s a good thing.”

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