Kanye West is not a well man. What we are watching is a mental crackup of some sort, happening publicly and in real time. Part of that crackup is that West is attracting the worst sorts of parasites in politics right now, because he has a delusion about running for president of the United States in 2024.
And, because he’s got money, he can pay people to indulge him in this madness. Not legitimate people, to be sure, but the likes of Nick Fuentes and Milo Yiannopoulos, absolutely.
They have nothing to lose. They’ll hang out and suck West dry until whatever end game occurs, either West cracks up, or he finally somehow realizes that he’s been had and he cuts them loose. Meanwhile, here is West and Fuentes, together again, on the Timcast podcast.
— Terror Alarm (@Terror_Alarm) November 29, 2022
If the host did something to provoke that reaction, it’s lost on me entirely.
This Jewish identity thing of West’s is very convoluted and confusing. Its origins go back historically over a hundred years. The Times Of Israel published this background piece recently, in the wake of West’s visit to Mar-a-Lago and all the fallout resulting therefrom. These are excerpts, which will give you a glimpse, at least, into what West is talking about when he says “Blacks are Jews,” which is a good thing. But being a white Jew, and especially in the media or Hollywood, is seen as a bad thing. Take notes, this gets deep.
In the late 19th century, two former slaves turned preachers — Bishop William Saunders Crowdy of Oklahoma and Bishop William Christian of Arkansas — received the same message from God: the Biblical Israelites were Black and African Americans are the true children of Israel. The message was revolutionary, as it subverted earlier theories about the fate of the “lost tribes” of Israel. (Anglo-Israelism, for example, posited that British people descended from the Israelites.) This idea also served to counter a prevailing and racist notion that Black people belonged to an inferior race of people.
“The idea that African slavery in the Americas was not a mark of shame but instead a mark of distinction as God’s chosen people appealed to some African Americans, who appreciated the way the doctrine gave them pride and dignity in the context of Jim Crow segregation that sought to subordinate and humiliate them at every turn,” historian Jacob Dorman writes in “Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions.” […]
After the 2019 attack on a kosher grocery store in Jersey City by gunmen who attended a One West-offshoot church in Harlem, the term “Black Hebrew Israelites” seemingly became synonymous with violent Black antisemitism. Indeed, a segment of the movement, primarily connected to Bivens and One West, is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an anti-hate watchdog. But as a whole, the Hebrew Israelite spiritual movement is peaceful, according to a recent report published by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, which notes that “the predominant threat today is from individuals loosely affiliated with or inspired by the movement rather than by groups, organizations, or institutions.”
There is debate about whether it is antisemitic simply to posit that African Americans represent the true children of Israel, implying as it does that non-Black Jews are lying or unaware of their real identity and history.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe they, too, come from Israelite tribes, but they do not regularly face accusations of cultural (or historical) appropriation or antisemitism. Further complicating the matter is the fact that virulently antisemitic figures such as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan have coopted Hebrew Israelite teachings to denigrate the Jewish people. […]
Thus, an idea introduced in the late 19th century by preachers seeking to promote African American uplift and racial justice became, over time, a rhetorical weapon used against Jews by Black people who are distrustful of them. Whether one finds the idea hateful or silly, it certainly rubs many Jews the wrong way. “JEWS ARE THE REAL JEWS,” tweeted author and educator Ben M. Freeman.
It’s a bit twisted, but evidently West subscribes to the idea that the Blacks are the “real” Jews and non-Black Jews are not so real, and the ones who “run” Hollywood and the media are the really bad ones. Maybe they’re the least real of all, I’m not sure.
I think the conflict may be as simple as West believing this business about the Black Jews to be real and not understanding that he’s actually quoting dogma from splinter religions. I don’t think West has the analytical ability to understand that somebody’s philosophy or opinion does not necessary constitute empirical fact. After all, at baseline, all the world’s religions are based upon somebody’s opinion of what happened vis a vis contact with a spiritual being or beings.
From there, whether it’s Paul of Tarsus discussing his conversion to Christianity after being blinded by the light on the road to Damascus or Mary Baker Eddy describing how the principles of Christian Science healed her, it’s all a question of who you believe. Faith, as they say, is the belief in things unseen. And let’s face it, a lot of people have faith in things which are not seen because they simply don’t exist.
It’s a lot to wrap your head around but this is one of the latest flashpoints in the culture war and West isn’t going away. At least not yet.