“Graduation” is Not That Good

A Deeper Look at the Impact of Kanye West’s words 


Over the past year, Kanye “Ye” West has been in the media hundreds of times. Most if not all have not been for good reasons. For his latest stunt, West has been threatening Jewish people with violence and antisemitism. 

West’s Twitter account was suspended in early October of this year after he tweeted he was going to go “death con 3 on Jewish people.” His account was later restored. Though he did apologize for the tweet, he has gone on multiple conservative talk shows to continue to spread hate. In one of the most recent and talked about shows, West is quoted praising Hitler. In one disturbing quote, West states, “I see good things about Hitler also…every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”

He appeared on this show with a well-known Holocaust denier. The pair later went to dinner with former president Donald Trump. 

According to an article by PBS, hate crimes against Jewish communities went up 34% between 2020 and 2021. There were an average of 7 anti-Semitic attacks a day in 2021 (Brangham). In November of 2022, the FBI put out a notice to Jewish communities in New York City and New Jersey, warning of broad threats to synagogues that had been reported. In most recent news, the New York Times released their daily crossword puzzle in the shape of a swastika, this happening on the first day of Hannukah. 

Anti-Jewish behavior is not new, but it is rising. People around the world have sat through history classes and learned of the horrors of the Holocaust and antisemitism, and yet it is still rising. Now we give platforms to people like West, whose hate and bigotry are then passed on to his millions of young and impressionable fans. Where do we draw the line?

In no world, especially in today’s society should two past presidential candidates, both Trump and West, have dinner with a known antisemitic bigot. In no world, should we be debating West’s words to be true or continue to support such a hateful man. 

West should have been dropped when he said he felt he had to take ‘30 showers’ after sleeping with Amber Smith in 2015. Or when he said black people chose 400 years of slavery in 2018. Or even this year, when West went on multiple rants online against his now ex-wife, Kim Kardashian. His problematic behavior is not new and should never have been excused. 

He has been open about his struggle with bipolar depression since he was diagnosed in 2016, though this year he claimed that the diagnosis was incorrect. While this illness can be difficult to manage with the high and low periods it comes with, there is absolutely no excuse for what West is doing. To actively wish and do harm against multiple groups of people is disgusting and not a symptom of mental illness. These actions and the fact that people are using his depression as an excuse are shedding a bad and misrepresentative light on mental illnesses and their stigmas. 

There is no question that West is a talented musician. His music and lyricism have been popular for years, and there is no wonder why. However, that was then and this is now. His words hurt people. He is hurting people. By supporting him and his work, continuing to follow him, and giving him a platform, you are actively hurting people and allowing hate to become the new fashion. 

Works Cited

Brangham, William, and Rachel Wellford. “Antisemitic Incidents Hit a Record High in 2021. What’s behind the Rise in Hate?” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 29 Apr. 2022, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/antisemitic-incidents-hit-a-record-high-in-2021-whats-behind-the-rise-in-hate.