The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says that Kanye West’s statement that, “Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people,” is anti-Semitic. The rapper made the comment during a November 26 interview with New York radio station Power 105.1 while discussing the problems President Obama has faced while in office.
“If the comments are true as reported, this is classic anti-Semitism,” Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in a press release published on the organization’s website. “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.”
West made the comment when comparing President Obama to other Presidents. “Man, let me tell you about George Bush and oil money and Obama and no money,” West said. “People want to say Obama can’t make these moves or he’s not executing. That’s because he ain’t got those connections. Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people. Black people don’t have the same connection as oil people.”
In the same interview, West said why he sided with Jay Z and not Dame Dash when the two former Roc-A-Fella Records partners split. “The problem was with Dame his truth was more accurate and more closer to what mine was, but his technique was harsh for me as a young kid and stuff,” he said. “I felt like a little bit more pressure. And Jay Z was a nice guy. And also I felt like I had that truth that Dame has in him. We the same. Me and Cam[‘ron], me and Dame, we the same. But I wanted to learn this technique that Jay got of actually being likable…So, Jay Z know how to move in a room full of vultures. You know what I’m saying? As his little brother, I needed to learn that technique because I got something that God want me to give the world.”
According to its website, the ADL was founded in 1913 and “is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.” The group also says it aims to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and secure justice and fair treatment to all peoples.