‘Kanye was rite’: Antisemitic vandals deface 39 Jewish graves with swastika and hate speech in Chicago
WAUKEGAN, ILLINOIS: Vandals supporting Kanye West’s antisemitic remarks spray-painted swastikas on grave markers with the words "Kanye was rite" in a Jewish cemetery in a Chicago suburb. On November 14, at the Waukegan, Illinois' Am Echod Jewish Cemetery, located 40 miles north of Chicago's downtown, the police were called regarding the incident. Kanye has been in the spotlight since deleting an antisemitic post he shared on Twitter which has led to a significant loss in his revenue.
It was discovered that 16 major headstones had been vandalized with red spray paint and that another 23 headstones had been covered in non-specific spray paint graffiti. The graffiti made reference to the rapper from Chicago who has made controversial antisemitic remarks over the past month. No arrests have been made for the vandal or perpetrators. Waukegan's mayor, Ann Taylor, expressed her shock at the graves being vandalized. Waukegan is an industrial city of 89,000 primarily Hispanic working-class residents. Taylor expressed that she was "deeply disturbed and angered by the hateful imagery found spray-painted on headstones." “Hate does not have a home in Waukegan; when such incidents occur, our marginalized neighbors are victimized, and our entire community suffers. I hope our officers promptly locate the perpetrators of this despicable act and hold them accountable, and I offer my full support to those directly impacted by this vandalism,” she added.
I am shocked and appalled by the defacement of the Am Echod Jewish Cemetery in Waukegan. This act of hate is despicable. I join with other leaders and organizations such as Mayor Ann Taylor and the ADL in condemning this attack. Hate has no home here. https://t.co/wyy3xQV40n— Rep. Brad Schneider (@RepSchneider) November 14, 2022
JB Pritzker, the governor of Illinois, tweeted, “I stand with Mayor Ann Taylor in condemning this evil act, and offer the state's full support in the pursuit of justice. Officials at Illinois State Police are in communication with city leaders.” The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said it was “reprehensible," according to a report from Daily Mail. “We are disgusted by this act of antisemitism. It must be investigated as a hate crime & we're in touch with synagogue leadership & law enforcement,” they said. “The desecration of these stones is reprehensible & we all must speak out in the face of this attack.” The previous month has seen Kanye, who was born in Atlanta but moved to Chicago at the age of three, disseminate antisemitic stereotypes. He made reference to the military preparedness status "DEFCON" on October 9 when he tweeted that he was going to "go death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE." In response, companies and sponsors abandoned him and the school he founded was forced to shut down when the teachers resigned. Kanye, 45, claimed he lost $2 billion in one day due to the incident.
His hateful words resonated with his fans, however - and Kanye continued to claim that Jewish people controlled the media, politics, and finance. Although he was frequently urged to retract his comments, Kanye refused. As a result, businesses and sponsors turned their backs on him and when teachers walked out on the school he founded, it was forced to close. Kanye continued to assert that Jews controlled the media, politics, and finance as his fan base responded favorably to his vile remarks.