Reddit users turn Kanye West’s page into Holocaust awareness forum

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Reddit fans have turned on Kanye West, turning a subreddit dedicated to him into a page promoting Holocaust education hours after Ye’s latest anti-Semitic comments.

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

The page offered a spontaneous show of support for American Jews and a visual representation of resistance against West, who legally changed his name to Ye, after weeks of his anti-Semitic remarks. It came after Ye said on Thursday that he loved Adolf Hitler and later tweeted an image of a swastika.

“As a Jew and a Kanye fan,” posted one commenter, “I’ve never looked in that sub[reddit] until this morning and saw all the Holocaust memorial messages. I’m in…tears right now. Thanks for defending us. »

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The posts include Holocaust-related photos and information intended to raise awareness of Nazi Germany’s persecution and murder of 6 million Jews. People are also posting recommendations for educational books and films, photos from visits to Holocaust memorials and museums, and photos they say are of family members who were persecuted during the Nazi regime.

“Pictures I took during my visit to Auschwitz. It’s real. This is what has happened to millions of innocent men, women and children as a result of unchecked dehumanizing rhetoric directed at them,” one person wrote, attaching photos from the camp site. Nazi death. “Never again.”

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Sprinkled in these posts is another symbol of Ye’s fan disavowal: Memes praising Taylor Swift, who has been seen as a sworn enemy of Ye – and her fans – ever since he cut off her MTV Video acceptance speech. Music Awards 2009. “Hi guys! Just got into Taylor but I don’t know where to start. Any suggestions?” wrote one person who posted a photo of Swift.

Some posts make it clear that even fans who have maintained their allegiance to Ye despite his repeated anti-Semitic remarks and erratic behavior have now decided to abandon him.

“I admired you. And now you have ruined everything,” wrote one commenter. “Shame that you were once my favorite artist. Shame that I called you the GOAT. …I’m sick of you.”

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

Wearing a full face mask, Ye told Jones he loved Hitler, then said, “I love Jews, but I also love Nazis.”

On Thursday night, Ye tweeted a photo of a swastika paired with the Star of David. His Twitter account was suspended after the tweet. Both incidents drew widespread condemnation from politicians, Jewish groups and others.

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The review included users on the subreddit, where on Thursday afternoon one person posted: “This is now a Taylor Swift subreddit. We had a good run guys. Hours later after the swastika tweet, another user said the thread was “officially a Holocaust awareness subtitle,” and Holocaust-related posts started pouring in.

Reddit users post anonymously. A message sent to r/Kanye moderators by The Washington Post was not returned. Information posted on Reddit, as elsewhere on social media, is not verified by fact checkers.

Attempts to reach Ye were unsuccessful.

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Hate speech and anti-Semitism online can contribute to violence in the real world, experts say, and the current political climate has heightened fear among American Jews. An April study by the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that fights anti-Semitism, found that the United States had a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2021, averaging more than seven per day .

Pamela Nadell, director of American University’s Jewish Studies program, said she believes the United States is approaching a second “high tide of American anti-Semitism,” referring to the period between the First and Second World Wars which historians have generally referred to as the peak of anti-Semitism in the country.

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

“What happened from October to the end of November…we have reached a point in American life where we now know that anti-Semitism is completely normalized,” she said, referring to comments from Ye, to his meeting with Trump and Fuentes and the accusations of anti-Semitism that were also recently leveled against basketball player Kyrie Irving. “There is definitely a growing sense of fear, justifiable fear. And I would almost say horror.

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

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Ye’s actions have sparked outrage for weeks, from his wearing a ‘WHITE LIVES MATTER’ t-shirt at his Paris Fashion Week show to an anti-Semitic rant and false information about George’s murder. Floyd on the “Drink Champs” podcast. A leaked part of an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News also drew condemnation, as did an October tweet from Ye saying he would go “death con 3” on “JEWISH PEOPLE.”

Ye has been dropped by Adidas, Gap, Balenciaga and other companies and has been intermittently suspended on Twitter. On Thursday, right-wing social app Parler reported that a deal for Ye to buy the company had been called off. A spokesperson said this was ‘primarily due to its recent and well-publicized business difficulties’.

While some Redditors on r/Kanye posted messages of gratitude for the Holocaust material, others wondered why some fans took so long to report Ye. A person who identified himself as a “former Jewish Ye fan” urged people to learn more about Jewish culture beyond the Holocaust, saying: “Anti-Semitism is not a thing of the past. … We need your ally!

Another person asked for reading material and movie recommendations, saying, “Thanks to Kanye, I’m going to learn more about the history of the Holocaust.”

Even discussing Ye’s anti-Semitism presents a dilemma because it creates more publicity for his harmful remarks, said Leonard Saxe, director of the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University.

“I don’t know if this Reddit approach of posting lots of Holocaust memories and information will work, but it’s probably better than talking directly about him and how heinous his views are,” Saxe told the Post. .

“It’s a terrible situation, this time when hatred and distrust and other social forces seem to be stronger than ever, but educating people about the Holocaust is important,” he said, adding: “To turn attention to the peoples whose lives [Hitler] destroyed and remembering that is a good thing.

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