Kanye West‘s recent comments regarding Barack Obama’s presidency have drawn criticism from the Anti-Defamation League. During an interview last month, West said that Obama hasn’t got the kind of Jewish connections that could help him maneuver better and push more policy as president.
“Man, let me tell you about George Bush and oil money and Obama and no money,” West said during the interview with “The Breakfast Club” on New York City’s Power 105. “People want to say Obama can’t make these moves or he’s not executing. That’s because he ain’t got those connections. Black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people. Black people don’t have the same connections as oil people.”
“If the comments are true as reported, this is classic anti-Semitism,” Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director, said via press release. “There it goes again, the age-old canard that Jews are all-powerful and control the levers of power in government. As a celebrity with a wide following, Kanye West should know better. We hope that he will take responsibility for his words, understand why they are so offensive, and apologize to those he has offended.”
West’s interviews have become lightening rods for controversy — much like the man himself. Throughout 2013, his comments have provoked criticism and debate. His feud with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel resulted in a confrontational appearance on Kimmel’s show; he gave a bizarre interview to Kris Jenner (mother of his fiancee, Kim Kardashian, during the summer on her now-defunct talk show), and he exploded in a rage when speaking with hip-hop personality Sway Calloway last week.