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Ye says 'I see good things about Hitler' on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' show

Ye attending the Balenciaga Womenswear show in October as part of Paris Fashion Week. Since then, he's made a string of increasingly brazen extremist comments.
Jacopo M. Raule
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Getty Images For Balenciaga
Ye attending the Balenciaga Womenswear show in October as part of Paris Fashion Week. Since then, he's made a string of increasingly brazen extremist comments.

In an appearance on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' show, Ye – the rapper formerly known as Kanye West – doubled down on a series of antisemitic comments he's made in recent months. Ye appeared on the show alongside Nick Fuentes, the white-nationalist internet personality. The pair had dinner with former President Donald Trump last week.

Hours later, Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced that Ye's Twitter account was suspended. The move came after the rapper reportedly posted on Twitter an image of a swastika depicted inside a Star of David.

On Jones' show Thursday, Ye's statements were among his most brazen. "I see good things about Hitler," Ye said during the nearly 3-hour interview. Later, he veered into Holocaust denialism.

"This was a mask-off moment, to hear Ye just outright say that he admires Hitler," said Megan Squire, deputy director of data analytics at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Often extremists talk around the subject of Nazism, she said, couching true beliefs in cloaked language in order to avoid being banned from mainstream platforms. Pushing the boundaries, said Squire, provides a permission structure to other far right voices.

The recent string of antisemitic comments began in October, when Ye posted "I'm going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE." The tweet has since been deleted. Ye then spoke out on a number of podcasts and interview shows, repeating his talking points and promoting his run for president in 2024.

Before decamping to fringe channels that specialize in extremist rhetoric, Ye made an appearance in an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson. He used the occasion to air his anti-abortion stance and grievances with the fashion industry. But soon after, Vice News revealed that show producers cut Ye's references to his beliefs that align with the Black Hebrew Israelites.

More recently, Ye and Fuentes appeared on right-wing podcaster Tim Pool's show. After Pool questioned his use of the word "they" to dog whistle a Jewish conspiracy theory, Ye walked out.

Ye's hate speech has cost him. In October, Adidas ended a deal with Ye – divesting him of his billionaire status. After Thursday's interview with Alex Jones, a spokesperson for the right wing social media website Parler confirmed to NPR that Ye's previous deal to buy the platform had fallen through.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Andrew Limbong is a reporter for NPR's Arts Desk, where he does pieces on anything remotely related to arts or culture, from streamers looking for mental health on Twitch to Britney Spears' fight over her conservatorship. He's also covered the near collapse of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic. He's the host of NPR's Book of the Day podcast and a frequent host on Life Kit.