The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s College Republicans saw its chairman resign this Wednesday after members endorsed antisemitic language used by rapper Kanye West, Channel 3000 reports.
The UWL College Democrats' Twitter account posted image of sidewalk chalk drawings allegedly done by the College Republicans, one of which read, "Kanye was right def-con III," in reference to West's tweet where he said he's going to go to “death con three ON JEWISH PEOPLE.”
\u201cThe UWL College Republicans proudly showed off chalking they did on campus last night. But we have to ask WHY?\nWhat purpose do these hateful chalkings serve but to offend others?\nStudents should not have to tolerate offensive racist and anti-semitic hate speech on campus!\u201d— UWL College Democrats (@UWL College Democrats) 1665608635
In a statement posted to social media, Megan Pauley said she was immediately resigning as the group’s leader, saying she was “disgusted and appalled to see the actions some of our members took and then posted to social media,” adding antisemitism has no place in the organization.
The images were originally posted on the College Republicans Instagram page but have since been deleted and replaced with a post condemning antisemitism.
Kanye West has long been one of the entertainment industry's most polarizing figures, but his recent actions including antisemitic comments and white supremacist messaging have alienated fans and business partners alike.
The latest controversies -- which erupted during Paris fashion week and after an interview with Fox News -- add to his reputation as a chaos agent, one that has tarnished his musical and fashion talent.
At Paris' most recent fashion week he sported a shirt allying with white supremacist rhetoric. Days later his Instagram and Twitter accounts were restricted over anti-Semitic posts.
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) hit out at West for having "fomented hatred of Jews," while many other celebrities decried his words and urged him to stop.
"Kanye West should figure out how to make a point without using anti-Semitism," the AJC organization said.
The artist's already controversial Fox News interview grew even more so after Vice released unaired footage including West comments that were steeped in racist conspiracy theories.
This week, a producer behind the series "The Shop: Uninterrupted" with NBA superstar LeBron James said they were pulling an episode that would have featured West, saying he used the platform to "reiterate more hate speech and extremely dangerous stereotypes."
He unceremoniously scrapped his partnership with Gap, and German sportswear giant Adidas said it was reconsidering their collaboration that's been dogged by tensions.
These are only the latest shock-value moves from the rapper who has long fed media cycles with provocation.
Earlier this year, West was banned from posting on Instagram for 24 hours after violating the social network's harassment policy amid his acrimonious divorce from reality star Kim Kardashian, with whom he has four children.
While in the past some analysts have allowed West benefit of the doubt due to his mental illness, the consensus this time around has emphasized that psychiatric episodes are not an excuse for bigoted behavior.
In the opinion pages of The New York Times, columnist Charles Blow dubbed the artist "a brooding, narcissistic attention addict and praise junkie."
"He attends his torture. He curates and employs it. Some of it may come naturally, but some is manufactured, to enlarge the legend."
With additional reporting by AFP
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