Posts tagged with "Kanye West"

Jewish allies call Trump’s dinner with antisemites a breaking point

November 30, 2022

For much of Donald Trump’s presidency, Jewish Republicans rationalized away the bigoted fringe of Trump’s coalition—arguing that the unsavory supporters in his midst and the antisemitic tropes he deployed paled in comparison with the staunchly pro-Israel policies of his administration, reports The New York Times.

But last week, Trump dined at his Palm Beach palace, Mar-a-Lago, with the performer Kanye West, who had already been denounced for making antisemitic statements, and with Nick Fuentes, an outspoken antisemite and Holocaust denier, granting the antisemitic fringe a place of honor at his table. Now, even some of Trump’s staunchest supporters say they can no longer ignore the abetting of bigotry by the nominal leader of the Republican Party.

“I am a child of survivors. I have become very frightened for my people,” Morton Klein, head of the right-wing Zionist Organization of America, said on Monday, November 28—referring to his parents’ survival of the Holocaust. “Donald Trump is not an antisemite. He loves Israel. He loves Jews. But he mainstreams; he legitimizes Jew hatred and Jew haters. And this scares me.”

Not all Republican leaders have spoken out, but Jewish Republicans are slowly peeling away from a former president who, for years, insisted he had no ties to the bigoted far right, but refused to repudiate it. Jewish figures and organizations that have stood by Trump—from Klein’s group to the pro-Trump commentator Ben Shapiro to Trump’s own former ambassador to Israel and onetime bankruptcy lawyer, David M. Friedman—all have spoken out since the dinner.

For Jews, the concern extends far beyond a single meal at Mar-a-Lago, although that dinner has become a touchstone, especially for Jewish Republicans.

“We have a long history in this country of separating the moral character of the man in the White House from his conduct in office, but with Trump, it’s gone beyond any of the reasonably acceptable and justifiable norms,” Jay Lefkowitz, a former adviser to President George W. Bush and a supporter of many of Trump’s policies, said on Monday.

For American Jewry, the debate since the dinner has brought into focus what may be the most discomfiting moment in U.S. history in a half-century or more.

“The normalization of antisemitism is here,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League.

On Monday afternoon, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic majority leader, went to the Senate floor to denounce Trump’s actions as “disgusting and dangerous,” then called them “pure evil.”

West, a figure with an enormous following, has espoused hatred of the Jews. The basketball star Kyrie Irving has spread antisemitic views with a tweet, though he eventually apologized. Neo-Nazis are returning to Twitter, bringing memes and coded messages not seen for years, now that its new owner, Elon Musk, has reinstated accounts that had been blocked for bigotry.

“The level of antisemitism being expressed, antisemitic acts at a very elevated level, and the acceptability of antisemitism — it is all creating an environment which is, thank God, unusual for the United States, and it has to be nipped in the bud. That’s it. That’s the moment we’re in,” said Rabbi Moshe Hauer, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union, which represents the branch of Judaism that has been most supportive of Trump.

Now, West has promised on Twitter to “go death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE.” The comedian Dave Chappelle delivered a stinging monologue on “Saturday Night Live” on “the Jews” and their numbers in Hollywood. And at the same time, American Jewry is divided over whether denunciations of Trump might harm American policy toward Israel, should he return to power, Peter Hayes, a Northwestern University historian, said.

“The more people prioritize Israel, the more they are willing to make excuses for Trump, and that just makes me sad,” he said.

Research contact: @nytimes

One in four hiring managers says he or she is less likely to hire Jewish applicants

November 25, 2022

Kanye West (who now goes by Ye) and his latest headline-making commentary may be the most public example of the insidious nature of antisemitism—which could be more widespread in recruiting than assumed, data released on November 22 by ResumeBuilder shows.

According to a report by HR Dive, fully one in four, or 25% of,  hiring managers said in a survey that they are less likely to move forward with Jewish applicants, due in part to a belief that Jews have too much “power and control” — the same antisemitic views recently espoused by West.

Additionally, one in six, or 16% of, hiring managers said leadership told them not to hire Jewish applicants, while one-third (33%) said antisemitism is common in their workplace. Just under one-third (29%) said antisemitism is “acceptable” at their company.

Notably, some industries had higher instances of reported antisemitic views. While 23% of hiring managers overall said that their industry should have fewer Jews, 38% of managers in finance and 34% in technology said the same.

ResumeBuilder polled 1,131 hiring managers and recruiters for its report. Respondents were found via employment status demographic criteria and a screening question, the firms said; to take the survey respondents had to be employed and work as a hiring manager or recruiter.

“Antisemitism in the workplace starts at the hiring process with individuals who do not want to higher Jews because of bigoted stereotypes, but that is not where it ends,” Stacie Haller, executive recruiter and career counselor, said in ResumeBuilder’s blog post announcing the findings. “In this era of fighting for equality in hiring, Jewish individuals have largely been left out of the conversation, and the issue of antisemitism has for the most part gone unaddressed.”

Antisemitism has been noticeably on the rise since COVID-19 hit, experts said during a SHRM Inclusion event in 202 —an event that took place not long after the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Emboldened by conspiracy theories about vaccines, some people fall deeper into content with more and more antisemetic themes, one expert said.

To combat this issue, HR needs to publicly and broadly emphasize a zero-tolerance policy for racism, bias, and injustice at work. Imbuing the workplace with kindness and inclusiveness is also key, Jonathan Segal, partner and managing principal at Duane Morris Institute, said during the event, which can look like recognizing Jewish and other religious holidays, especially during the winter season.

Research contact: @hrdive

Skechers says it escorted Kanye West from its offices after unannounced visit

October 28, 2022

California-based footwear company Skechers said late on Wednesday, October 26, that Kanye West had come to its corporate offices in Los Angeles “unannounced and uninvited” and was subsequently escorted from the building, where he had been trying to film, reports The New York Times.

“Considering Ye was engaged in unauthorized filming, two Skechers executives escorted him and his party from the building after a brief conversation,” the company said in a statement, referring to West by the name by which he is also known.

“Skechers is not considering and has no intention of working with West,” the statement added. “We condemn his recent divisive remarks and do not tolerate antisemitism or any other form of hate speech.”

An effort to reach a representative for Ye was not immediately successful.

Skechers, in its statement, did not provide any additional details about how the situation had played out.

The episode comes at a chaotic time for Ye, a rapper and designer who has been widely condemned and abandoned by corporate partners over a series of recent provocations, including antisemitic remarks. Over the past month, Ye has worn a shirt reading “White Lives Matter,” a slogan associated with white supremacists, and said on Twitter that said he would go “death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE.”

One of his most important partners, Adidas, said on Tuesday, October 25, that it would end its decade-long relationship with Ye—a move that the company said would cost it 250 million euros (US$246 million) this year

Instagram and Twitter have suspended Ye’s accounts. Ari Emanuel of Endeavor, the parent company of the talent agency WMEcalled on entertainment companies to stop working with him. Vogue vowed to do just that. And the studio MRC said it was shelving a documentary on Ye.

Gap, which had a partnership with Ye that ended last month, said on Tuesday that it was taking “immediate steps” to remove Yeezy Gap products from its stores and had shut down an affiliated website.

And Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams and Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics said on Twitter that they were cutting ties with Donda Sports, Ye’s marketing agency, because of the antisemitic comments.

Research contact: @nytimes

Kanye West to design Yeezy clothing line for Gap

June 29, 2020

He’s a rapper, he’s a designer, he’s a preacher, he’s a billionaire (or so he says), he’s a true Trump believer; he’s a father and the husband of reality star Kim Kardashian. And he used to work at Gap as a kid growing up in Chicago.

But can the multitalented Kanye West pull Gap’s retail empire out of its years-long slump? The casual-clothing retailer announced on June 26 that it is teaming up with West’s fashion brand Yeezy on a collection called Yeezy Gap that will debut next year, The Wall Street Journal reports. Yeezy will receive royalties and potential equity, based on meeting sales targets.

West, who has 21 Grammy awards and whose Yeezy fashion brand had a tie-up with Nike, and currently has one with Adidas, has talked about wanting to partner with Gap in various interviews over the years. A former Gap employee in his teens, West even mentioned the retailer in his 2004 song “Spaceship.”

“I believe that Yeezy is the McDonald’s and the Apple of apparel,” West told  the Journal in March. “In order to make the Apple of apparel the next Gap, it has to be a new invention. To invent something that’s so good that you don’t even get credit for it because it’s the norm.”

Founded in 1969 in San Francisco, Gap rose to fame by dressing several generations of Americans in its jeans, khakis, and T-shirts; but has since been overtaken by fast-fashion chains and new e-commerce players. Its sales have declined each year since 2013, dragging down results at parent Gap where its new chief executive, Sonia Syngal, is trying to fashion a turnaround in the middle of a pandemic.

Syngal told the Journal in May that she is using the upheaval created by the coronavirus pandemic “to refashion the company for what we want it to look like over the next 50 years.”

And she thinks West is the man to do it, with a new line of T-shirts, jeans, and hoodies.

At Yeezy’s Cody, Wyoming, studio, Mr. West has been working on perfecting the hoodie. His version is chunky and slightly cropped at the waist. “The hoodie is arguably the most important piece of apparel of the last decade,” .West told the Journal in March.

A version of the hoodie—along with T-shirts and jeans for men, women and children—will be available at Gap stores and on its website beginning next year. Prices will be in line with Gap’s other offerings, according to a company spokesperson.

Research contact: @Gap

People are getting fillers and Botox to fix ‘resting bitch face’

October 1, 2019

A surgeon from New York has revealed that many of his patients ask him to make them look more approachable

Most social media fans are familiar with the dear, departed Grumpy Cat—a feline whose unintentionally crabby and contemptuous photos went viral wherever they were posted.

But there’s another, similar term that has been applied to humans since about 2013, when the group, Broken People, uploaded a spoof video entitled “Bitchy Resting Face” (BRF) on the Funny or Die website that depicts male and female “sufferers” of an annoyed-looking blank expression ask for understanding from non-sufferers.

It has since gone on to become a popular Internet meme—and to become more commonly known as Resting Bitch Face (RBF), which describes a person’s relaxed facial expression or angry or disdainful.

Among those celebrities who have been identified as poster boys and girls for Resting Bitch Fitch are Kanye West, Anna Kendrick, and Lisa Marie Presley.

According to a recent report by the UK’s Daily Mirror, some of those accused of having RBF actually embrace the designation (as well as the situation on their faces), because, they say, it wards off unwanted advances from strangers—but others see it as a negative and want to be more approachable.

However, a plastic surgeon recently told the news outlet that many people out there are desperately trying to rid themselves of their RBF by paying for procedures.

Dr, David Shafer, a certified plastic surgeon who practices at Shafer Plastic Surgery & Laser Center in New York  City, claims that this is a “common request” from his patients. Speaking to the New York Post, he said: “This is actually a frequent request from patients. I get several each week. “They may not always use the words ‘resting bitch face’ but if I mention RBF, they say ‘exactly.’

He went on to explain how he would help people achieve a “pleasant resting look”. To “cure” the angry expression, doctors would inject fillers and sometimes Botox in certain areas in order to make the face appear look fuller, softer and happier.

Areas that are focused on include the sides of the mouth, the skin between the eyebrows and underneath the lips. The procedure takes around 10 to 20 minutes and can cost between hundreds and thousands of dollars, depending on the specialist performing the work and the number of injections used.

The more contented look typically lasts for up to two years; then, it’s back to the old condescending countenance.

Research contact: @DailyMirror