Following his recent comments about the murder of George Floyd, Kanye West has offered what appears to be an apology. However, he continues to deflect accusations of antisemitism after making a series of controversial tweets, Instagram posts, and statements.
At the end of last week, West was confronted by a group of paparazzi. Responding to one individual’s assertion that antisemitic statements are never really good for anybody, West said: “I didn’t realise that I could be considered antisemitic until I read one of the definitions of antisemitism… I didn’t realise that it was antisemitic to say, ‘Hey, you know, I have a Jewish attorney. I have a Jewish record label. I have a Jewish contractor…’”
West recently came out in support of the conspiracy theory that Jewish people are in control of the media. Defending his position, the rapper referenced an infographic featuring executives from MSNBC and Disney. On being asked if he felt as though executives had “stuck together when they heard” West’s comments, he replied that he “had experiences where it felt like [he] was being teamed up on”.
West noted that he’d met with Adidas executives for a “mediation” earlier that day: “Adidas felt like, because everyone else was ganging up on me, they had the right to just take my designs,” the rapper said, adding: “I feel like this was God humbling me right now… A lot of times when I would say, ‘Oh, I’m the richest Black man’, it will be a defence that I would use for the mental health conversation – to say, ‘Oh, you guys say I’m crazy, but look at this, I made money’. But that is not Godlike, to be showing off.”
West then offered an apology for making false claims about the death of George Floyd. The comments were made during West’s appearance on the DrinkChamps podcast. Podcast host N.O.R.E later expressed regret for not calling Kanye Out. Addressing the paparazzi, West said: “When I see that video as Black person, it hurts my feelings. And I know that police do attack, and America is generally racist. And I understand that when we got to say ‘Black Lives Matter’, that the idea of it made us feel good together as a people.”
Attempting to explain his original comments, West said: “When the idea of Black Lives Matter came out, it made us come together as a people. Now afterwards, yes, there were some things [with] where the money went, there were some things where it was used in order to push us to the Democratic vote. There were people behind it involved… That happened, but the general feeling… When I said that, and I questioned the death of George Floyd, it hurt my people – it hurt the Black people.”
The rapper continued: “Then “So, I want to apologise [for] hurting them. Because right now God has shown me, by what Adidas is doing, and by what the media is doing… I know how it feels to have a knee on my neck now. So I thank you, God, for humbling me and letting me know how it really felt. Because how could the richest Black man ever be humbled, other than to be made to not be a billionaire in front of everyone off of one comment?”