On October 9, Kanye West's latest social media tirade was cut short. For nearly a week, Ye had lashed out against peers both living and dead, business partners, and "BLM supporters" offended by his White Lives Matter T-shirts. It all culminated with a series of tweets about Jewish people, which finally got Ye booted off both Twitter and Instagram.
Ye's actions were indeed beyond the pale. But for anyone familiar with Ye's recent history of unstable outbursts, they were an organic development of his concerning public presence.
Even Ye's sudden turn to anti-Semitism was hardly surprising. It's an extension of the DONDA rapper's flirtation with Christian nationalism, a concerning strand of right-wing rhetoric that masks reactionary actions with the veneer of religion.
This can't be traced to a singular source but Candace Owens is a great place to start.
Who is Candace Owens?
In short, Owens is a far-right grifter known for, among other things, offering a defense for Adolf Hitler (more on this later) and inspiring the man who murdered people in Christchurch mosques (Owens' response to learning that the shooter cited her as an influence: "LOL!").
To list out every disagreeable action committed by Candace Owens would take hours: luckily, there are plenty of resources already available for review.
Point is, Candace Owens ought not to be trusted or treated as an authority figure. And, yet, she's conned her way into Ye's inner circle, even after that whole dust-up about Owens using Ye's name to market an awkwardly-named campaign without his permission.
That whole event is embarrassing, dumb, and perfectly indicative of Owens' career.
What does Candace Owens have to do with Ye?
Long story short, Ye once tweeted his support for Candace Owens, she returned the sentiment, attempted to coopt his approval for her own marketing purposes (see above), and then inexplicably returned to Ye's good graces.
Owens attended Ye's YEEZY SEASON 9 fashion show wearing her own White Lives Matter shirt and later joined the pile-on in the comment section of Ye's Instagram page, reiterating the same incomprehensible points as Ye himself.
It should be clear by now that this is a reciprocal relationship. Owens gets to promote her personal brand of outrage to Ye's impressionable followers and Ye gets blind support from someone who masquerades as an intellectual.
What did Kanye say about Jews?
Well, there's much that's better left unsaid but the crux of the issue was the October 9 tweet that got Kanye booted off Twitter.
"When I wake up, I'm going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE [sic],” he said. “You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”
This followed a texted conversation between Ye and Diddy, wherein Ye suggested that the Bad Boy Records founder was controlled by Jewish people. Ye was banned from Instagram after he uploaded images of the texts.
Ray J, of all people, defended Ye against Diddy and was promptly invited to join Ye on October 12 at the premiere of the anti-BLM "film" produced by Owens' boss, far-right outrage machine Ben Shapiro.
Ye also hung out with Kid Rock, another illuminated thinker of Owens' ilk.
It reportedly gets worse: on October 11, Highsnobiety received a letter from "35 former friends, collaborators, confidants, and employees of Kanye 'Ye' West" who wished to remain nameless to avoid public harassment.
The lengthy statement begins with an indictment of Kanye's bullying of Abloh, which "was well known to many people close to him, as well as numerous people within the fashion industry," it says.
"Kanye was privately and consistently hostile toward Virgil since the very beginning of their working relationship in 2007."
The letter later outlines alleged legal cover-ups and even asserts that Ye's recent anti-Semitism is the public manifestation of a private belief.
"Dozens, if not hundreds of people can attest to Kanye expressing vile, horrendous and conspiratorial anti-Semitic opinions privately for many years (with a significant uptick in him expressing these beliefs in the past four years in particular)," the statement says. "This man has a long time conspiratorial fixation on Jews and 'Jewish power,' as well as a long term, rather evolved obsession with Adolf Hitler."
Highsnobiety has not verified any of the letter's claims. However, at least one person was willing to go on the record about Ye's anti-Semitic fixation.
“He said something like, ‘I love Hitler, I love Nazis.’ Something to that effect,” Lathan said, claiming that Ye's anti-Semitism had been edited out of the video that TMZ posted.
In a deleted clip from his interview with Carlson, Ye says, "I'd prefer my kids knew Hanukkah [rather] than Kwanzaa. At least it'd come with some... financial engineering." He smiles at that last part, later saying that Hanukkah was created by "known eugenics [sic]" Margaret Sanger "to control the Jew population.
Given the clumsy wording of Ye's statements and his goofy request to "edit that out" at the end of the clip (demonstrative that Ye has the self-awareness to know what he's saying is wrong), it sure sounds like he's poorly reiterating "facts" presented to him by anti-Semites, perhaps Owens herself.
To an observer, it appears that Ye is easily manipulated to parroting schools of thought that conflate provocation with fact at the very least. At the very worst, these are Ye's long-held private thoughts being broadcasted to the world.
People close to Ye have whispered that he's not sleeping and is on the verge of mental collapse. Ye's business partners, including adidas, GAP, and J.P. Morgan, have begun to distance themselves from his YEEZY brand.
Now would be a great time to reverse course.