On the Friday after Ye’s (formally known as Kanye West) Infowars interview, the top posts on the /r/Kanye subreddit pushed back against his antisemitic comments and attempted to educate users about the horrors of Holocaust. One of the top posts, which had been upvoted 9,000 times, was news footage of heavy machinery moving dead bodies at a concentration camp.
“This is the reality of what it means to be a Nazi,” the post said in its title.
On December 1, Ye went on to Infowars and talked with Alex Jones for more than three hours. He wielded a leather bound Bible and wore a black mask over his face that hid his features. He talked, at length, about Christianity and Adolf Hitler. “I see good things about Hitler,” he said. He talked about a Jewish Mafia, made fun of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and said that the Nazis “did good things too.”
Since 2009, /r/Kanye has defended and hyped up the controversial artist. The community there has criticized West over the years, but it’s mostly been a place to talk about the drama around his life, anticipate album drops, and share memes. The subreddits defensiveness of Ye has waned in the past month as the rapper has started palling around with neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes and talking about Jewish people.
The community was concerned before Ye went on Alex Jones, but the rapper’s pushing of antisemitic memes and open praise of Hitler made it impossible to write off his behavior. “Kanye has unmade Graduation. Close the sub,” redditor RelaRelvxxnt said in a comment thread on a post-Infowars hangout.
In the wake of Ye’s pro-Nazi interview, information about the Holocaust and pro-Taylor Swift content, a reference to Ye’s 2009 interruption of Swift’s VMA award acceptance, flooded the subreddit. “This is Krystyna Chiger and the sweater she wore for 14 months while hiding in sewers from the Nazis,” one post said above photos of Chiger. “She was 7 years old.”
In a jarring juxtaposition, a post about the horrors of Auschwitz sat above a picture of Swift in a glittering purple onesie. “Auschwitz concentration camp was a complex of over 40 concentration camps and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust,” the post said, while one post down the beaming face of Swift smiled on. “At least 1.1 million of 1.3 million inmates perished here, mainly Jews, but also many Polish, Romani, and Soviet POWs.”
Other fans simply posted that they were finished with West. “It’s never been more over,” u/GameCreeper said above a picture of a Swastika in a Star of David that Ye posted on Twitter.
“I can only speak for myself on this, but we'll make this a music-exclusive sub long before we consider doing anything this drastic,” /r/Kayne moderator avayr44 said in response to someone asking about deleting the subreddit. “I'm not saying making r/Kanye a music-only sub would be easy and wouldn't involve big and difficult compromises, but the thought of deleting the sub feels really hyperbolic right now.” The mods did not respond to Motherboard’s request for comment.
The offshoot subreddit, /r/WestSubEver, is currently restricted. The moderators have prevented posting for most people browsing the sub. “As this post goes live the Alex Jones interview is also running. Over the past few weeks, from the Yeezy Season 9 fashion show Ye has become increasingly rampant in promoting hate and has shifted away from what this sub should represent,” mods said in a post explaining the closure. “Toxicity and trolling have increased a lot over the last few weeks as well as bigotry and other behaviors that we will not tolerate. Ye's comments in this current interview are the final nail in the coffin and there seemingly no turn around in sight. As Ye continues his downward trajectory we no longer wish to be using our sub as a platform as what he is saying is hateful.”