Kanye West denies anti-Semitism claims
Sunday 22 Dec 2013 8:04 a.m.
Kanye West said black people don't have the same connections as Jewish people (Reuters file)
Kanye West has defended himself against allegations of anti-Semitism following a recent radio rant, insisting his controversial comments were meant as a compliment.
While discussing US president Barack Obama during an interview on radio station Power 105 last month, the outspoken rapper compared the financial advantages of the Jewish and Arab nations against black people, stating, "Black people don't have the same level of connections as Jewish people. Black people don't have the same connections as oil people."
However, the comment sparked fury among several Jewish leaders with Abraham H. Foxman, Anti-Defamation League Director, stating, "This is classic anti-Semitism. There it goes again, the age-old canard that Jews are all-powerful and control the levers of power in government. As a celebrity with a wide following, Kanye West should know better."
The Stronger hitmaker has since revisited his comments to address the accusation, and he insists his words have been misunderstood.
He tells the Chicago B96 radio station, "I thought that I was giving a compliment, but if anything, it came off more ignorant. When I said this comment about Jews having money and blacks not having money, I think that it was kind of like an ignorant compliment. I think it was an ignorant compliment."
He adds, "I don't know how being told you have money is like an insult, that would be like if (somebody) complimented black guys and said, 'All black guys got big penises.' You don't want to be the black guy that raises your hand, like, 'No! That's not true. I got proof.' I thought by saying everybody had money that would be a compliment. It was an ignorant compliment. Maybe I would like to take that statement away.