Outrage over Rapper’s Antisemitic Tweets

UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, wants a “full explanation” from Twitter and Instagram after delays in removing antisemitic posts by rapper Richard Kylea Cowie Jr, who is known as Wiley. She said the posts were anti-Semitic and “abhorrent”.

Wiley is also known as the “godfather of grime” and was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to music.

Rapper WileyRapper `Wiley` (photo by Ian West/PA Wire)

On Friday 24th July he went on a rant against Jews on Twitter and Instagram, apparently becoming more and more angry as he was challenged about his posts being antisemitic, responding with posts like:

“I’m not anti-semetic [sic] I’m anti slippery people, there’s a difference” and

“Jewish people you make me sick and I will not budge hold this corn.”

The latter of those two tweets sparked real anger among the Jewish community, with the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) revealing that it means they should be shot. In response the CAA has called for Wiley’s MBE to be revoked and his social media accounts to be closed.

Brooke Goldstein, executive director of The Lawfare Project, explained why this is so troubling. She described Wiley’s rant as “the straw that broke the camel’s back” after years of similar antisemitic posts on Twitter and Instagram by other rappers including Ice Cube and Diddy.

Brooke is one of the leaders of a 48-hour walkout from Twitter and Instagram by Jews and their allies, which started at 9 am today. CFI UK has joined that walkout, as has Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who urged social media companies to take more responsibility for hate speech on their platforms.

Tweet by Rabbi Jonathan SacksTweet by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Delays of just a few minutes in removing posts like Wiley’s can result in them being viewed many thousands of times and encouraging others to take part in antisemitic behaviour.