Kanye Breakfast Club

UPDATE: Kanye responded to accusations of anti-semitism in a radio interview on 12/18: “I don’t know how being told that you have money is like an insult. That would be like if somebody complimented black guys and said, ’All black guys have big penises.’ You don’t want to be the black guy who raises his hand and says like, ’That’s not true. I have proof!’”


A lot of people have offended Kanye West this year — Jimmy Kimmel, YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, and Nike CEO Mark Parker among them — and in turn, Kanye has pissed off a few people, too. You can now add the Anti-Defamation League to that number, thanks to some comments from one of Yeezy’s many recent radio interviews.

In his interview with Power 105.1′s morning show, The Breakfast Club, Kanye offered these comments on President Obama:

Lemme tell you something about George Bush and oil money and Obama and no money. People wanna say Obama can’t make these moves or he’s not executing … that’s ’cause he ain’t got those connections. Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people!

Now the Anti-Defamation League is accusing Kanye of anti-Semitism, and they’re demanding an apology. Here’s an excerpt from ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman’s response (via Pitchfork):

This is classic anti-Semitism. There it goes again, the age-old canard that Jews are all-powerful and control the levers of power in government. As a celebrity with a wide following, Kanye West should know better. We hope that he will take responsibility for his words, understand why they are so offensive, and apologize to those he has offended.

Earlier in the same interview, when talking about Roc-A-Fella Kanye said, “We ain’t Jewish. We don’t got family that got money like that. The rappers became the new family.”

Comments (68)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • Looks like he’s gonna have to act sane.

    • Sorry, not even close. He’s not saying “it’s who you know” he’s saying “it’s the Jews who you know”. That’s a huge difference. I personally think the charge of “anti-semitism” is thrown around way too often. But his comments are bullshit, and although the original Stereogum article about this interview quoted them, no editorial comment was made, which I thought was really odd. I just hope his don’t confuse their love of Kanye’s music and persona with a statement that fits way too neatly into a long, long history of demonization.

      • I just hate it when people read into statements way more than they need to. It’s like, THAT quote is what they’re choosing to get mad about nowadays? Seems like they’re just using Kanye as a platform to highlight Anti-Semitism.

        Even if we all agree that it’s Anti-Semitic, on the grand scale of Anti-Semitism, his statement would rank on the minor / harmless / low end part of the scale.

        • It comes off like he is making a generalization, but in a way it’s true. I’m sure if you looked at a list of the 100 most powerful people in the world(does Forbes make this list?) you would find a lot more Jewish people than black people.

          He probably didn’t have to mention jews to make his point though. I know there actually a lot of powerful Jewish people out there but there are enough negative stereotypes that have been around forever that I get why his statement could make you cringe a little.

          He should have just said that white people have more connections then black people. He could have made the same point without offending anyone. Also, are we even sure that Kanye doesn’t think ALL white people are Jews? I grew up in a suburb with a major Jewish population. I think a lot of people from more diverse areas take for granted the fact that a ton of people don’t even understand what a Jewish person is.

        • His comment makes no sense, “George Bush and oil money and Obama and no money”, what do Jews have to do with that?

          Also, there are black Jews. I guess Kanye’s never heard of Sammy Davis Jr. or Drake.

          • I mean, most of what he says is nonsense. Yeah, all the Bush’s oil connections are Saudis, IDK what that has to do with Jews either.

            BTW, the more I think about it, the more confident I am that Kanye thinks all white people are jews

    • It may be minor in some regard, yes, but when you bring a whole persecuted population into a careless comment, then you have to pay the piper.

      • Yeezy also said (according to Pitchfork):
        “We ain’t Jewish. We don’t got family that got money like that.” That’s classic stereotyping there, and really irresponsible. He should certainly apologise for that.

        • He’ll apologize in the moment, and then later, he’ll let it slip that he was never sorry about it, just as he did with the Taylor Swift incident.

        • Apologize for what? It’s an objective fact that Jews have the highest per capita income of any ethnic group in the USA, and African Americans one of the lowest.

          • i think you’re confused about how racism works. if i said “i’m not in jail, because i’m not black” and backed it up with “what? it’s an objective fact that more african americans are in jail than other ethnic groups”, would that get me off the hook?

          • This is a reply to c-tho below, as I can’t reply to that comment.

            Your analogy is not fitting because you’ve reverse the power dynamic. The correct analogy would be: “I’m in jail, because I’m black” and backed it up with “what? It’s an objective fact that more white people control the justice system than other ethnic groups.”

  2. wait until the NAACP finds out about how he throws the “n” word around.

  3. Obama doesn’t have connections like Kim doesn’t have an ass.

  4. I think he’s just generalizing here. It’s still wrong, but I don’t think Kanye is actively trying to make a statement about how Jews run everything or something.

    • Yea Sam, I think you’re right and people are getting their jimmies rustled for stupid reasons.

      I’m not saying what he said was politically correct or that I would recommend making such a statement from a p.r. perspective. I’m not even saying it’s accurate, Obama can’t get shit done because of the Senate which Bush didn’t have as a large of a problem with (this is pretty well known and there’s plenty of statistical evidence supporting this.)

      But regardless of whether the anti defamation league is willing to realize this or not, there’s still a long standing stereotype of Jews and business abilities that makes its way into vernacular every day, but it really has more of a presence withing communication and language than it is a reflection of actual Jewish people. I don’t think any rational person believes that Jewish people inherently behave differently in 2013, not in America at least. They need to save their energy for actual anti-Semites like Mel Gibson and other old people that strangely have hate for Jews.

  5. I have it on good authority that Rick Ross is, in fact, the ONLY black person in the sauna with Jews.

  6. -”As a celebrity with a wide following, Kanye West should know better.”
    Do they know who Kanye West is???

  7. There’s no saving Yeezy from this one. In the wrong, no question.

    Opossum out.

  8. There’s absolutely no need to defend Kanye here, it’s just how much crap you are able filter out when Kanye is saying something. It is simply a broad generalization which is offensive and ignorant, but everybody has a different filter and some people can accept that Kanye can make ignorant statements within a broader not completely ignorant argument, while some people stop and say, “dude how can we listen to your point when you just throw in stupid shit like that”

    …Then of course there are the people that think, “hey I’m very impressed by some things Kanye has done so I must look at EVERYTHING that comes out of him through lens that it must be genius and the challenge is up to me to decipher how exactly it is genius”

  9. Like 50% of the things Kanye says, I find this wack as hell, but I am grateful for Kanye’s level of crazy 100% of the time.

  10. This is preposterous, I’m confident when I’m saying that Kanye’s got at least one picture of a jew in his wallet.

  11. You don’t get elected President twice in this country, by a comfortable margin no less, without connections and power. And you don’t run two successful national elections without a lot of money. Obama isn’t middle class, he’s a magna cum laude from Harvard Law and a former U.S. Senator. He didn’t just spring out of the ground in 2008 with a major bid for President, upending an established favorite. He has his wealthy donors, powerbrokers, and important supporters just like any other successful American politician.

    Also, really Kanye? “Jews control/have ______”? That paints you in a bad light no matter how you meant it.

      • Kanye’s comment by itself is probably about as harmful as what Stein wrote in a vacuum sure, but you’re conveniently ignoring context. Stein is a Jew praising Jewish accomplishments. Kanye is a Gentile echoing a statement that’s been used for centuries as an excuse to persecute the Jewish people. Its not the same. But keep on playing that false equivalency game, evidently at least one person on here approves.

        • Stein calls Americans “stupid” for not believing Jews control Hollywood. Who is right, you or he?

          Let’s talk about context. In the American context, Jews are not persecuted. Quite the opposite. They are in fact a powerful and privileged group. You have heard of white privilege right? Jews enjoy white privilege. The fact that the ADL’s press release got wide positive attention proves that Jews are not a suffering oppressed people. They enjoy broad sympathy and affection among the Gentile population.

          In the American context, African Americans ARE genuinely persecuted, underprivileged, and poor. Open up any news website for evidence. Kanye, a member of an oppressed group, was speaking his mind about a privileged group, not organizing pogroms against shtetl-dwellers. There is ZERO chance that his remarks will incite a new Kristallnacht. Kanye was not speaking in a context of past centuries of suffering. He was speaking in the context of a present reality of suffering, the suffering of African Americans.

          That’s real context, one that you’ve conveniently ignored.

          • Ding ding ding, the award for not being a dumbass goes to dis feller right here.

          • White privilege? What pray tell is this strange concept? Mine virgin ears hath never heard such outrageous sentiment before. Please enlighten my most obviously sheltered mind, for I have walked in the shadow of ignorance far too long.

            Pardon the sarcasm, but if you’re asking me if I’ve ever heard of white privilege then you’re talking down to me. I don’t appreciate that. Did I, at any point, by saying that Jews have been subjected to persecution based on the same ideas that Kanye West was invoking through his statements, at all suggest that African Americans have not been the subject of persecution? Was I making light of the plight of African Americans by pointing this out? Are we only allowed to acknowledge one kind of persecution at a time? Sure, American Jews are well off. I’m not arguing that at all. What I am arguing is that just as the ADL pointed out, Kanye’s words are a reflection of an age old stereotype. It doesn’t matter how well off American Jews are now, the words still represent the same thing they represented when six million Jews were killed for the crime of their existence. And if you think I’m being overdramatic, remember you’re the one who invoked Kristallnacht, not me.

            I think its a bit of a leap to assume I meant that Kanye is going to go out and start organizing Jewish persecution and calling for their ouster from the American experience, don’t you? I don’t think Kanye has a username on Stormfront. I do think that what he said was insensitive with no regard to history, and that yes, he should be called out for it. What Kanye said was wrong. Acknowledging that its wrong does not invalidate his own experiences with persecution.

          • Insensitive, perhaps. Wrong, no. He has nothing to apologize for.

  12. He’s in the limelight and everything he says is super-scrutinized.

    But could you ever imagine something like that actually coming out of your mouth?

    Get it together man. Read a book or something.

  13. I love how NOBODY decried his statements until the Anti-Defamation League pointed it out. Why all of a sudden are certain people outraged when they weren’t before?

    • Because 90% of what Kanye says is complete nonsense. What was that recent interview where he was saying something like “After Adam and Eve, God made it illegal to be naked” and the interviewer literally responded with “What the hell are you talking about?”

    • The second I saw it I thought ‘what a hypocritical racist’. But I didn’t write it down.

  14. I honestly don’t think what he said was *that* bad, More insensitive than truly racist, though still not a good thing to say.

    However, I’m glad the ADL called him out for it, if for no other reason than Kanye’s total meltdown that’s sure to follow and be incredibly amusing.

    • I don’t understand the pleasure people get from Kanye’s meltdowns. To me, he has issues with mental well-being, and it’s more difficult to watch than it is entertaining. He’s super-talented, but truly deluded, and I think it’s sad people get such pleasure for this, as unpopular as it is to say it.

  15. It was a generalization, which is a demanded-apology waiting to happen in this overly sensitive PC world, but it wasn’t really that offensive was it? Of all the generalizations, this one has always struck me as one of the least egregious “Jewish people are so successful and powerful. They also have delicious cuisine and are wonderfully articulate.” HOW DARE YOU SIR.

    But hey, if you generalize in any way, the faux-outrage zombies will come out and get you, every time.

    • Yeah, totally harmless. Have you heard of the “Elder Protocols of Zion”? Anyone who took World or European history in high school knows that myths about Jews being part of a secret cabal or conspiracy, using their wealth to gain influence, etc., have contributed to the persecution of Jews.

      On a more realistic impact level, it’s really sad to see this because there is a lot of hostility between blacks and Jews in America. At one point, they were allies in the Civil Rights Movement, but that relationship has deteriorated, and giving this kind of ignorant shit a free pass definitely won’t help in that regard.

      • I have not heard of that. I took World and European history in high school and college. Plenty of it. Never heard of that. Sorry.

        Not saying what you’re referring to isn’t relevant or true, but Kanye doesn’t need to issue an apology for some shit he said and meant. Free speech and shit. Don’t buy his records if you don’t like it, but this demanding an apology shit has to stop. He also says about 400 other egregious things on his album (Sweet and sour sauce, etc.), but hey, I guess that’s all cool.

        • “Free speech” means not being censored. In the context of US law it specifically means not being censored by laws passed by Congress.

          If someone said, “let’s put Kanye in jail for that comment,” you would have a right to invoke free speech as a defense. But asking someone to apologize is in no way a violation of their right to free speech.

          It’s so hilarious that people think “being criticized” = “not having free speech.” Because part of free speech is that you can criticize other people for their (stupid, racist) free speech.

          • I don’t think it doesn’t allow him to be criticized, of course that is fair game, but it also doesn’t give someone else the right to demand an apology. It’s a two way street.

          • It’s also “hilarious” when someone condescendingly steps back from a debate to address their non-existent audience about “people” who just don’t understand the complicated things they are talking about yet while making the same argument as the uninformed “people” they are arguing with.

            Criticize all day, every day. No one is required to give anyone an apology.

  16. NEWS FLASH! A rapper being racist.

  17. It’s not really an “innocent” stereotype”. The myth that Jews are wealthy has been used since the Middle Ages to discriminate against them and bar them from certain occupations, partly justify various pogroms including the Nazi Holocaust and overall spread racism.

    I am not really shocked or surprised that Kanye West has once again said something profoundly uneducated. He has a hard enough time discerning between Spartans and Roman soldiers.

  18. I guess this means I don’t have to make apologies for liking Burzum anymore.

    Kanye IS a trendsetter.

  19. Kanye is a lyrical genius. Unfortunately he married into that shitty Kartrashian family, and that is what is fucking him up. But lol @ people saying he is racist. Clearly people don’t know what racism is, and/or the factors needed for somebody to be racist.

  20. There’s no way to defend Kanye on this one. And I’m someone who defended his critiques of Dubya and T-Swift. But this type of villianizing is asinine and ignorant. Not only does it imply that Jewish people are power hungry megalomaniacs, but also that if a Jewish person were to be successful in life, it would only because they have connections, not because they actually have some discernible talent.

    But I am confused. In his original statement, is he saying George W. Bush is Jewish? Or just that Jewish people were cool enough with Bush to let him do things in the White House? The longer I spend reading his comment, the more I find it appallingly dumb.

  21. I did kind of wince when he said that originally, but I know what he meant. He was referring to Jewish people as another marginalized group, historically and presently, not unlike Black people. It was a random comparison, and wasn’t really necessary, but I don’t see it as anti-Semitic because he wasn’t drawing from any kind of stereotype. It was kind of a dumb remark, but I think it was an innocent one.

    • If you listen to the audio, and the words he emphasizes, he says “Black people don’t have the same level of connections as JEWISH PEOPLE”

      He’s not complaining about Jewish people “having connections” (whatever that means), but claiming that, between the two groups, black people are more marginalized in the U.S. in this day and age. It’s a stupid thing to say, but he’s not smearing Jews in any way.

  22. Kanye clearly in the wrong here, not to mention that his statement seemed completely uneducated and didn’t even make sense. That being said, I hope he doesn’t apologize. One of the things I love about Kanye is his ability to make ridiculously stupid statements and be completely unrepentant about them.

  23. Listen. I think Kanye is a dumbass. I ALSO think Kanye is a genius. I love all of his albums, and MBDTF is probably on my list of top 10 albums of all time. I do not think Yeezus was the best album of the year. I think it may have been the most sonically interesting album of the year, but his dumbass lyrics make it no where near the best album of the year.

    So that’s where I stand on Kanye West. He’s an idiot and a genius simultaneously.

    We really need to stop making him apologize for things, because he’s not our son. If we like his talent for vomiting out words until the truth comes out sometimes, we should stop sitting around waiting for something to come out of his mouth that we can call offensive. We are condescending, and we are treating him like a monkey that we reward when he does something nice. Let him vomit, because he’s done a really nice job at it so far.

  24. Right. Jews have all the power/connections. That’s why we’ve had so many Jewish presidents.

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