Kanye West and the pervasiveness of antisemitism

DARCY DAENZER
STAFF WRITER

11/7/2022

On October 25, Adidas officially cut ties with Kanye West, adding to the long list of brands and companies that have dropped the artist, who now goes by Ye.

The dissolution of Ye’s and Adidas’s partnership has been a long time coming as Ye has made more and more insensitive and antisemitic remarks, coupled with actions that have been traditionally associated with white supremacists.

This past September, at Paris Fashion Week, Ye showed up at an impromptu show with a shirt that had “White Lives Matter” printed on the back. This phrase was popularized by white supremacists in 2015 as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

In early October, Ye accused the rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs of “being controlled by Jewish people,” said Remy Tumin in a New York Times article.

After being suspended from Instagram, he “tweeted that he would soon go ‘death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE,’” said Tumin. Soon after, Twitter also suspended him.

Additionally, he “falsely said George Floyd died from fentanyl use, not from a Minneapolis police officer’s kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes,” said Tumin. These are only a handful of the comments and actions that Ye has said and done in recent months.

In a non-exhaustive list, Ye has been dropped from Adidas, Balenciaga, Vogue and Anna Wintour, CAA (a talent agency) and his lawyer.

Also, his streams, sales and airplay have dramatically decreased, he has been suspended from Instagram and Twitter, his stadium shows were cancelled and his documentary was shelved.

While dropping Ye was a step in the right direction for Adidas, the company only made the decision after being pressured to do so as their stock had “dropped 23 percent over the past month as Ye’s erratic behavior drew criticism,” said Sorkin et al. of the New York Times.

But just because Ye is finally seeing the consequence of his actions does not mean that antisemitism will automatically go away.

Antisemitism is not isolated to just one person, and it did not die after the Holocaust. It is still very much alive and is picking up more traction every year.

In the 2017 report of the Anti-Defamation League’s index, they “tracked 2,107 incidents of vandalism, violence and harassment toward Jews in the United States,” said Michelle Boorstein and Isaac Arnsdorf of The Washington Post.

Today, and every day, it is important to show support for the Jewish community. Some of the ways we can support the community is to “amplify Jewish voices and check in with your Jewish friends, loved ones and colleagues,” said Ariel Loves from her blog arielloves.com.

Furthermore, we can “support Jewish-owned businesses, read up on Jewish history and donate to organizations and initiatives that fight antisemitism,” said Loves.

It is important that we speak up when we hear “antisemitic or stereotypical remarks or jokes…even though [these conversations] may be difficult or uncomfortable,” said Loves.

Fighting antisemitism is just as important as fighting against any other injustice we may know about. We should not become complacent because we believe that antisemitism does not exist today. It does, and it will take all of us to fight against it.

Hurricane Ian’s devastating consequences

WESTON HIRVELA
GRAPHIC DESIGNER

DARCY DAENZER
STAFF WRITER

10/24/2022

On September 28, Hurricane Ian, the landmark Category 4 storm, wreaked devastation on Florida with winds up to 155 miles per hour.

The storm was responsible for “at least 119 [lives], more deaths than any other hurricane had caused in Florida since 1935,” said Smith et al. of the New York Times.

Furthermore, estimated insured losses of infrastructure “could reach up to $40 billion,” said Mazzei et al. of the New York Times.

Both the devastation caused, and the lives lost make Hurricane Ian one of the most destructive hurricanes in Florida’s history.

The damage in Florida has been felt as far away as Michigan. “I have numerous family members who live in Florida. My family worried that we could not contact them when the storm first hit,” said Haden Gross (’23).

“Luckily, those relatives affected managed to come out unscathed. However, severe damage was done to many of their friends’ homes, and it caused them not to be able to go to work,” said Gross.

Gross, who is also an education major at Alma, was at her placement at a local middle school when she first heard the news.

“I was with my middle school students. They start their day by watching CNN 10. The news seemed to be devastating. It was the first time I had seen thirty middle schoolers quiet,” said Gross.

Hurricanes like these have become more and more frequent– Hurricane Harvey and Irma both striking the U.S. in 2017, Michael in 2018, Laura in 2020 and Ida in 2021–with all being either Category 4 or 5 storms.

The frequency and violence of these storms are not a coincidence. September is usually the peak of hurricane season due to warmer ocean temperatures caused by the phenomenon known as La Niña.

However, “waters off the coast were also two to three degrees Fahrenheit warmer than usual for this time of year, according to preliminary data from NASA,” said Shao, Popovich and Rojanasakul of the New York Times.

Higher water temperatures mean more energy for the storms, which means more devastation is caused, and higher water temperatures are not caused overnight.

“More than 90 percent of the excess heat from human- caused global warming over the past 50 years has been absorbed by the oceans, and a majority of it is stored in the top few hundred meters,” said Shao, Popovich and Rojanasakul.

Climate change does not necessarily mean more frequent hurricanes, but rather more powerful ones. And more powerful hurricanes mean more devastation to human civilizations and our way of life.

“Disasters like this should remind politicians and CEOs that the climate crisis rests on their shoulders. We as individuals should do our part to reduce our carbon footprint and hold others accountable,” said Gross.

It is important that lawmakers take climate change into account when rebuilding infrastructure. This can mean implementing better building codes, which will make homes less likely to collapse, as well as the possibility of relocating homes and communities.

Another way to protect shorelines would be to invest in “gray” infrastructure such as “dams, levees, flood gates and sea walls,” said Elena Shao of the New York Times. This would be the first line of defense, along with “green” infrastructure such as “wetlands, oyster reefs and mangrove forests,” said Shao.

Until we adequately reduce global carbon emissions and bring down the temperature of our oceans, it is important to rebuild with climate change in mind. If we do not, we will continue to see increased destruction and loss of life.

Natural disasters are inevitable, but there are things we can and must do to prevent the severity caused by such storms like Hurricane Ian.

Controversy surrounding movie Don’t Worry Darling

DARCY DAENZER
ALIVIA GILES
STAFF WRITER

10/3/2022

The anticipation of the release of Don’t Worry Darling, directed by Olivia Wilde and starring Harry Styles and Florence Pugh, has been fraught with controversy. Any doubts the movie would do poorly on its opening weekend, however, were quickly cast aside as it rose to number one at the box office.

The discourse surrounding the movie touches on a wide range of things from Shia LaBeouf’s involvement to Styles’ acting, to the relationship between Styles and Wilde.

Some have even gone so far as to suggest the controversy has been used purposely by the film’s creators to promote the film and increase its potential viewership.

Whatever the case, most conversations are now centering around Styles’ and Wilde’s relationship. The age difference between the two, how it may have caused tensions on set and how distant they seemed to be from each other throughout the premiere in Venice are just some of the topics being discussed.

In a male-dominated field such as the film industry, female directors like Wilde may face more scrutiny just because they are women.

It would not be surprising if Wilde has faced more criticism as a woman. “[I]t makes sense…that a woman would experience more backlash for a movie like this since they are constantly under a microscope,” said Amelia Price (’24).

On a similarly note, Wilde faces more scrutiny as a female director. “[S]he will continue to be confined by her sexuality, as [the] film exists in a patriarchal society,” said Haden Gross (’23).

Furthermore, male film directors have had a long history of dating their female leads. Some instances included a notable age difference and still received little to no criticism.

Even if Wilde is facing more criticism simply because she is dating one of the world’s most famous male singers right now, it is still important to consider the gender biases that may be in effect.

Wilde’s directorial debut, Booksmart, was received very differently by critics, attaining an admirable 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and a solid seven point one out of 10 on IMDb.

Perhaps, some critics of Wilde have a problem with the subject matter of her newest film. This includes the constraints women of an idyllic 60s-era society are facing.

The movie, however, has not suffered any repercussions from the bad press. CNN reported they “opened to $19.2 million in North America [the weekend of September 23 and] …notched $30 million worldwide so far.”

While Don’t Worry Darling has only received 39% on Rotten Tomatoes and six point three out of 10 on IMDb, it has, nevertheless, pervaded our lives with the sheer amount of press surrounding the actors and creative team.

Whether more people will see the movie is up for debate. “As much as I want to see it, I do not want to support Olivia Wilde, financially or in general, so I will be watching it, but in a less conventional way,” said Price.

When it comes to movies these days, especially with social media, it is no surprise that a movie this heavily promoted with A-list actors and one of the world’s most famous singers could have caused this amount of contention. However, it is evident that some of the topics being discussed are not essential to determining the actual merits of the film.

While it may be fun to discuss all of the drama Don’t Worry Darling has caused, in the end, it really does not matter.

Hopefully, in the future, we can judge movies by their actual content and not the drama surrounding them.

WordPress.com.

Up ↑