The New York Police Department is searching for a man who allegedly shouted “Kanye 2024” and anti-Semitic remarks before attacking a 63-year-old man in Central Park earlier this month.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Twitter account said the victim suffered “bruises and a chipped tooth” after being attacked, and that “numerous anti-Jewish remarks were made prior to the attack.” The victim was hospitalized and is in a stable condition.
NBC News has also confirmed with police that the attacker made the comment “Kanye 2024”, referring to Kanye West – whose recent anti-Semitic comments have faced widespread backlash and professional consequences – and his ostensible presidential campaign.
Earlier this month, West appeared on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ show Infowars, praising Adolf Hitler, saying he sees “good things” in the Nazi dictator and denying the extent of the Holocaust. Soon after, West tweeted an image of a swastika inside a Star of David, hint suspend your Twitter account.
Recently, West sat down with Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes for an interview in which the rapper told Jews to “forgive Hitler,” and was suspended from the audio social app Clubhouse for further comments.
“Crimes like this have a profound impact on every community, causing unique trauma as well as physical harm,” Scott Richman, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey, told CNN about the attack. . “When public figures follow the giant platforms of the flames of anti-Semitism, people follow suit and start thinking it’s normal.”
This is not the first time that West’s comments seem to have influenced anti-Semitic action. As early as October, a group hung a banner over a highway in Los Angeles reading “Kanye is right about the Jews” and gave Nazi salutes. “It’s not just words,” Sam Yebri, a lawyer and former board member of the Anti-Defamation League, said then. “There is clearly a connection between white supremacy and neo-Nazi movements.”
Earlier this week, the group StopAntsemitism named West “Antsemit of the Year.” Speaking to TMZ, the group’s executive director, Liora Rez, said that West used his platform “to spread dangerous anti-Semitic material about Jews” and that his “comments led to horrific anti-Semitic acts.” . Rez also said that hatred of Jews is “out of control in the United States” and that West was “adding fuel to the fire.”