Since October 2022, ADL has documented at least 30 antisemitic incidents that directly reference Ye – the influential artist, producer, and fashion designer formerly known as Kanye West, whose 2022 antisemitic outbursts made headlines. These incidents, which include vandalism, banner drops, targeted harassment, and campus propaganda distributions, demonstrate the ongoing influence of Ye’s conspiratorial, bigoted rants.
Immediately following Ye’s antisemitic comments, which included inflammatory tropes about Jewish power and Holocaust denial, the slogan “Ye is Right” surfaced online in hashtags and antisemitic accounts. The ADL Center on Extremism has also tracked references to “Ye is Right” in instances of on-the-ground antisemitic vandalism and harassment nationwide.
These incidents – only some of which are perpetrated by known extremists – demonstrate how references to Ye, often paired with swastikas or other antisemitic slurs, have become mainstream shorthand for the hatred of – or a desire to commit violence against – Jewish people.
"Ye is right, change my mind”
Starting in January 2023, white supremacist Groypers launched a series of “Ye is right, change my mind” events on college campuses, where extremists peddle Holocaust denial and praise Hitler, all under the auspices of defending Ye’s antisemitic comments and outbursts.
These events are part of a college "road trip" organized largely by Tyler Russell and Dalton Clodfelter, two Groypers who often espouse antisemitic and white supremacist rhetoric.
The first "Ye is right, change my mind" event was held at Florida Atlantic University on January 18, 2023, to endorse Ye's 2024 presidential campaign on the basis of his antisemitic remarks. On January 26, 2023, the same individuals hosted a “Ye is right, change my mind” event at Florida State University and later held similar events at the University of Alabama, the University of Florida, the University of Central Florida and Florida International University.
During these campus events, Russell and Clodfelter gave speeches on antisemitic themes, including how Jewish organizations, like the ADL, are “trying to take away” people’s bank accounts and stifling free speech. Clodfelter and Russell, who compare abortion to slavery and deny the Holocaust, encourage students to debate them on Ye’s views on Jewish power. These exchanges are filmed and subsequently posted on extremist channels online.
Support for Ye on Twitter:
Ye’s October 2022 antisemitic comments coincided with Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, at which time the ADL noted an increase in both antisemitic content on the platform and a decrease in the moderation of antisemitic posts.
Since October 1, 2022, there have been more than 10,000 Twitter mentions using or referencing the “Ye is Right” slogan. These posts have reached at least six million users on Twitter, garnering more than 22,000 likes and more than 5,000 retweets.
Twitter mentions of Ye (including retweets) spiked on January 19, 2023, following the antisemitic “Ye is Right, Change My Mind” event at Florida Atlantic University, on January 26, 2023, following a similar event at Florida State University and on February 2, 2023, following a similar event at University of Florida. These spikes mark the highest engagement with hashtags related to the “Ye is Right” slogan since they first emerged around October and November 2022.
Many posts invite readers to help spread the word, and several accounts are solely dedicated to promoting Ye.
On January 16, 2023, a Twitter account was created to promote the “Ye is right, change my mind” college campus campaign; it has been used to organize and advertise for the antisemitic events, posting clips from events and linking out to extremist sites, such as the white supremacist video streaming platform created by Nick Fuentes. The account has amassed more than 1,000 followers and alludes to plans for ongoing antisemitic events at college campuses nationwide.
On January 25, 2023, another Ye-centric account shared an antisemitic meme in defense of white supremacist Nick Fuentes, claiming that Fuentes was re-suspended from Twitter because he posted an antisemitic image (below). This meme — which names putatively Jewish individuals who work for prominent entertainment, media and tech companies — has circulated on antisemitic forums for at least 10 years and is routinely updated with new targets to push a hateful trope about “Jewish control.”
As of February 7, 2023, the post including that image has been viewed more than 30,400 times, and has garnered 870+ likes, 384 retweets and 35 quote tweets. Ye referenced a version of the meme in an October 2022 interview.
Among Twitter users who used or referenced “Ye is Right” hashtags or content referring to Ye’s 2024 presidential campaign, the top URLs include outlinks to extremist video streaming sites, online stores for unofficial YE24 merchandise, and a Google Forms survey “to collect contact information of college students supporting Ye.”
The impact of Ye’s words continues to be felt across the country, including through vandalism and harassment incidents at K-12 schools, colleges and universities, Jewish institutions, public areas and commercial locations.
A sampling of incidents is included below:
- La Crosse, Wisconsin, October 11, 2022: Someone drew "Kanye was right" and "Defcon III" were on a sidewalk at the University of Wisconsin campus.
- Newport Beach, California, October 28, 2022: Someone wrote the words "Kanye West is right" and "Kill All Jews" alongside three swastikas on the wall of a high school bathroom.
- Jacksonville, Florida, October 28, 2022: People found graffiti reading "Kanye was right about the Jewish [sic]" near a river.
- Bronx, New York, November 4, 2022: Someone wrote “Blacks are the real Jews!” and “Kanye is Right” on a welcome sign at the Bronx Jewish Center at Pelham Parkway, an Orthodox synagogue.
- Newton, Massachusetts, November 7, 2022: Someone drew swastikas, the words "Kanye was right about the Jews" and a crossed-out Star of David in the bathroom of a school.
- Waukegan, Illinois, November 14, 2022: “Kanye was rite” [sic] message was part of the graffiti found on dozens of headstones in Congregation Am Echod Jewish Cemetery.
- Charlotte, North Carolina, November 17, 2022: Someone wrote "Kanye West is right about the Jews" in an airport bathroom stall.
- Dallas, Texas, November 19, 2022: Someone wrote "I stand with Ye & Kyrie" on a "Wall of Thanks" at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
- Newton, Massachusetts, November 23, 2022: Someone discovered graffiti with the words "We support Kanye" in a school bathroom—the second vandalism incident referencing Ye in Newton in less than a month.
- Miami, Florida, November 30, 2022: Someone wrote "Kanye was right" on the outside wall of a business establishment.
- New York, New York, December 7, 2022: Someone wrote “Kanye is right” at the entrance to a subway station.
- West Palm Beach, Florida, December 17, 2022: A student drew a swastika and "I love Kanye" in chalk at a high school.
- Framingham, Massachusetts, December 23, 2022: Someone spray-painted “Kanye was right” on a bridge.
- Los Angeles, California, January 16, 2023: Someone spray-painted “Kanye 2024” on the outside wall of a Jewish day school.
- Los Angeles, California, October 28, 2022: After offering Ye a tour, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust received several antisemitic phone calls and emails.
- New York, New York, November 9 – 29, 2022: Someone texted a Jewish individual with a series of anonymous antisemitic text messages, the first of which was, “Kanye is right. Fuck you [name redacted for privacy].”
- Los Angeles, California, November 14, 2022: Someone called a Jewish-owned restaurant, asked for "the Kanye special" and then said, "Death to all the Jews."
- Newport News, Virginia, November 21, 2022: Someone reported a truck with bumper stickers reading "I stand with Kanye" and "I stand with Kyrie.”
- Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, December 2, 2022: Hassan Yehia Chokr, 35, allegedly harassed and threatened Jewish families outside of a synagogue, making antisemitic comments that included the statement “Kanye was right.”
- New York, New York, December 5, 2022: A Jewish individual was harassed by students in an elevator at Baruch College who allegedly told the individual that Kanye West and Hitler “were right.”
- Stamford, Connecticut, December 7, 2022: Classmates targeted a Jewish student with antisemitic bullying that included Holocaust jokes and comments about Ye.
- New York, New York, December 14, 2022: Perin Jacobchuk, 32, allegedly physically assaulted a Jewish man in Central Park while yelling “Fuck you, Jew!” and “Kanye 2024!”
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, December 23, 2022: The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh received an antisemitic phone call from an unknown caller who identified themself using the name “Kanye West” and stated, “I hate all Jewish people. All of them must burn and die. I love Hitler. I love Hitler.”
- Jacksonville, Florida, January 12, 2023: An individual sent an email calling a Jewish businessowner an antisemitic slur and referencing Ye’s comments.
- San Francisco, California, January 18, 2023: An unknown individual entered a Jewish Community Center claiming to be “investigating” Ye’s claims about Jews.
- Gaithersburg, Maryland, January 25, 2023: A group of individuals physically and verbally assaulted a Jewish man in a grocery store, making antisemitic remarks and commented, “Yeah, do it for Kanye!”
- Newton, Massachusetts, January 30, 2023: An individual emailed a Jewish cultural organization, writing: “Kanye was right. We all know now.
- Sanford, Florida, January 31, 2023: A Jewish student experienced antisemitic harassment at school, which included references to Ye.
A variety of known extremist and antisemitic groups have embraced Ye’s statements, leveraging his comments to further their own agendas and promote antisemitic claims and conspiracy theories. Extremist-related incidents include:
- October 2022: In multiple incidents, the Goyim Defense League (GDL), along with the White Lives Matter network and NatSoc Florida dropped antisemitic banners supporting Ye in California, New York and Florida. They also used a laser projector to cast antisemitic messages onto buildings at TIAA Bank Field at the end of the Georgia/Florida football game in Jacksonville, with one reading, “Kayne is right about the Jews.”
- November 2022: GDL members distributed antisemitic propaganda in multiple cities that included references to Ye and his statement about going “DEFCON 3 on Jewish people.”
- December 2022: Two white supremacists and members of a Southern California-based Active Club wore Burger King crowns on a Southwest Airlines flight that read, “Ye is Right” and “White Power.” Additionally, Crew 319, a neo-Nazi group, distributed propaganda that included the statement "Kanye West is right about the Jews" and promoted antisemitic conspiracy theories in Coralville, Iowa.
- January 2023: Someone drew graffiti that read “YEisRight” and “America First,” alongside references to the date 1/27/23 (Holocaust Remembrance Day), on the sidewalk at the University of Alabama. The graffiti promoted the aforementioned “Ye is right, change my mind” event, which was organized by several prominent Groypers.