Don McLean, the singer of “American Pie,” has joined the chorus of artists criticizing Kanye West for his recent barrage of antisemitic hate speech. On Friday (Oct. 28), the singer issued a statement strongly condemning Ye (as the MC is now known) for a week-long series of interviews in which West repeatedly made disparaging remarks about Jews, actions that have resulted in Kanye losing nearly every aspect of his once-dominant music and fashion empire.
“Recently, the raving of a dumb attention-seeking fool we all know has sparked a wave of antisemitic abuse,” McLean said in a statement that did not identify Ye. I’d like to express my solidarity with my Jewish friends and the state of Israel. When something like this happens, we should remember why Israel must be respected and protected.”
Don McLean stated that he lived in Israel intermittently from 1978 to 1982 and “grew to love the country and the people.” Living there forever altered my life.” The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks antisemitic behavior in the United States, recently reported 2,717 antisemitic incidents in 2021, a 34% increase from the previous year and an average of more than seven such attacks per day.
According to the Washington Post, longtime antisemitism watchdogs say the type of overtly derogatory comments made recently by Ye — as well as former President Donald Trump — are not new, but the unapologetic manner in which they’ve been delivered in public forums is troubling at a time when incidents of harassment, vandalism, and violence against Jews are at their highest level in the United States since the 1970s. “Something is different empirically. The level of public hostility toward Jews is higher than it has been in recent memory, according to Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL.
“While anti-Semitism has largely dropped, instances have surged due to a lack of shame.” People feel they have the authority to say and do whatever they choose.” In recent weeks, West has been on a weird media tour, doubling and tripling down on anti-Jewish statements after earlier raising eyebrows by hawking a “White Lives Matter” shirt during his recent Paris Fashion Week presentation. As a result, West’s CAA reps dropped him, he lost partnerships with Adidas, The Gap, and Balenciaga, his Essentials playlist was removed from Apple Music, his products were removed from TJ Maxx shelves, and he was cut off by Foot Locker.
The end of the Adidas deal is expected to result in a $246 million loss for the company this year, and is thought to be the deciding factor in Ye’s loss of billionaire status.
In addition to his wax figure being removed from Madame Tussauds London and his Donda Academy basketball team being kicked out of a tournament due to his hate speech, the once-esteemed rapper was escorted out of the Skechers office on Tuesday (Oct. 26) after showing up “uninvited.”
The ranting of a stupid attention-seeking fool we all know has recently triggered a flood of antisemitic invective. I’d like to express my solidarity with my Jewish friends and the state of Israel. When something like this happens, we should remember why Israel must be respected and protected.