American rapper Kanye West regularly provokes controversy because of his anti-Semitic remarks.
This Friday, Twitter suspended the rapper's account for "incitement to violence".
The social network had already suspended him a few weeks ago after Kanye West assured that he was going to attack Jews.
The artist, who now calls himself Ye, actually bases his speech on that of the “Black Hebrew Israelites” movement or the “Black Hebrews”.
“I can't be anti-Semitic because black people are actually Jews.
The statement is from last October and is signed by Kanye West.
The American rapper was responding to the controversy after Adidas ended their collaboration.
The slippages of the artist, in particular anti-Semitic, can no longer be counted.
The latest on Thursday, when the rapper, who now calls himself Ye, launched into a tirade about sin, pornography and the devil before professing his admiration for Hitler.
And, on Friday, Twitter suspended his account for "inciting violence" after he posted an image of a swastika intertwined with a Star of David.
Often associated with his mental health – Kanye West has recognized his bipolarity – these statements are actually inspired by the Black Hebrew Israelites movement or the Black Hebrews.
Founded in the late 19th century by two African American preachers, William Saunders Crowdy and Frank Cherry, it claims that the true biological descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel (who come from the 12 sons of Jacob) are actually African Americans.
“Our culture has been taken away from us”
A little new rhetoric for the rapper.
Indeed, during October already, Kanye West has not ceased to repeat his support for the American basketball player Kyrie Irving who had shared last October the anti-Semitic film
Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America
A conspiratorial work, based on a book, which tries to demonstrate that the Jews would have "stolen" the religion of the blacks, who would be the "true Israelites" and denies the Holocaust.
Since then, Kanye West has often referred to the Black Hebrew movement in his speeches.
“I am a person classified as black, I classify as Jewish.
I want to prove that I am first and foremost a Jew.
Do your research on it.
Our culture has been torn from us,” he said during his interview with Piers Morgan in October.
“When I say Jewish, I am talking about the 12 tribes of Judas, the blood of Christ, it is the true identity of the Black people.
This is who we are,” he added in a lucid reference to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement a little later.
I had missed Kanye West's negationism in Alex Jones, who tries to offer him an exit ramp on Hitler ("you want to shock")
Ye: "I'm not trying to shock, I love Hitler, the Holocaust is not what happened (...) Hitler has redeeming qualities".
— Philippe Berry (@ptiberry) December 1, 2022
Access to this content has been blocked to respect your choice of consent
By clicking on "
", you accept the deposit of cookies by external services and will thus have access to the content of our partners
And to better remunerate 20 Minutes, do not hesitate to accept all cookies, even for one day only, via our "I accept for today" button in the banner below.
More information on the Cookie Management Policy page.
Extremist movements and attacks
The thought of preachers William Saunders Crowdy and Frank Cherry has spread over the decades, giving rise to a myriad of different chapels ranging from Black Hebrews who immigrated to Israel, to those who call themselves "Judeans" but not Jews, to 'to the sectarian and deeply anti-Semitic movements to which Kanye West seems to refer.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which lists American extremist activities, classified 144 branches of the movement as “hateful black separatist groups” which notably have “anti-Semitic beliefs”.
Sometimes, even terrorism.
In 2019, two gunmen entered a kosher grocery store in New Jersey and killed three people after shooting dead a detective investigating the area.
According to the police, the shooting was motivated by anti-Semitism and the assailants - who died during the attack - "expressed an interest" in the organization Black Hebrew Isrealites, in particular the One West Camp movement .
“I am an Israelite”
Beyond the myriad of movements that make them up - some of which are peaceful - the Black Hebrews have greatly increased in popularity in rap in recent years and the influence of the Black Hebrews in hip-hop culture has been commented on by many many American articles.
Thus, in 2017 in his title
, Kendrick Lamar launched "I'm a Israelite / Don't call me black no more" (in French: "I am an Israelite, do not call me black anymore").
Regularly referred to as "the new king of hip-hop", the rapper also sings "We are the Israelites according to the Bible" in his song
First day out
, American rapper Kodak Black states: "I'm a Israelite, my diamonds is real ice".
Among the many currents of Black Hebrew is the “YouTube generation” which “seizes the most extreme form and disseminates it on the Web by mixing it with various conspiracy theories”, notes historian Jacob Dorman, interviewed by
It is also probably through this that Kanye West – and other rappers – became familiar with these concepts, he believes.
Reversal of stigma
In several of these songs, Kendrick Lamar evokes Deuteronomy.
, mentioned above, the rapper states: "My cousin called me, my cousin Carl Duckworth, he told me that we were all cursed according to Deuteronomy".
Because the ideology of the Black Hebrew is based on an interpretation of the Bible and in particular an association between Jewish slavery in Egypt and the slave trade.
The followers see in Deuteronomy a prophecy of slavery which will be current until the end of the XIXth century in the United States.
The two African-American preachers who launched the movement were themselves former slaves.
Our file on Kanye West aka “ye”
"This is where the idea of the Black Israelite is powerful: 'If we were slaves, it is because we are the chosen people.'
Suddenly, the biblical imagination of the West is "turned around", not only to affirm a black humanity, but even a black primacy, ”explains Jacob Dorman who has dedicated a book to this movement.
Still, for Kanye West, this reversal of stigma turns into an outpouring of anti-Semitic hatred.
Who is likely to continue because the artist suggested at the end of November that he would be a candidate for the American presidential election of 2024, enough to allow him to maintain a media platform.
Hooded, Kanye West professes his admiration for Hitler and the Nazis then gets suspended by Twitter
Kanye West says he is the victim of "media lynching" and attacks the family of George Floyd