Help Ye get the help he needs


Midway Staff

Peter Cox, City Life Editor

Celebrities have great influence on their fan base, and are often looked up to as role models. Nonetheless celebrities are human, and like anyone they can experience bouts of mental illness. 

But what should be done when a celebrity voices damaging opinions to their audience when experiencing mental illness? This question has become relevant because of a series of highly publicized antisemitic outbursts from Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. Ye is considered one of the most influential artists of the 21st century. For a lot of fans, it can be painful to watch someone they admire and whose work they love make hateful statements that contradict their own values. Fans must not let their appreciation of Ye’s art affect their reactions to his actions, but should still advocate to get him the mental health support he needs.  

In a recent Twitter post to his almost 32 million followers, Ye made threats toward Jewish people, but claimed it was not possible for him to be antisemetic because he is Black. These statements have had real world consequences. The Holocaust Museum LA received a flood of hate mail after offering to give Ye a private tour. Further, banners were hung on overpasses in Los Angeles with antisemetic slogans including “Kanye is right about the Jews.” The situation is only exacerbating existing problems for Jewish Americans, who despite making up only 2.4% of the adult population in the United States, were the victims of 54.9% of religious hate crimes in 2020. 

Ye is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He talked about his condition recently in an interview, stating that he refused to take the medication, and claiming it was because the doctor was Jewish.

Besides hurting people who his comments target, Ye’s actions are also hurting him. Several businesses that had partnered with the rapper have dropped him. After Adidas terminated its deal with him, he is no longer a billionaire.

It’s a tragedy that there aren’t people in Ye’s life who haven’t been successful at getting him the help he needs. It isn’t clear if Ye’s reputation will ever recover from this fiasco, but the best thing for him now would be to get on medication and spend some time in an inpatient facility. If you’re someone who wants to see Ye continue to make music, then you should push for this to happen while acknowledging the harm that he’s caused.