Kanye West’s outbursts cost him, and others, as hate crimes soar in the US

Adidas cuts ties with Kanye West

Kanye West appears to be having a very public meltdown, which has led to people and brands closest to him distancing themselves.

The erratic behaviour by West, who now goes by Ye, started when he and right-wing commentator Candace Owens donned ‘White Lives Matter’ shirts at Paris Fashion Week.

Since then, he has made anti-Semitic remarks on social media and in interviews.

Adidas has cut ties with him following his anti-Semitic remarks, after putting him under review following the ‘White Lives Matter’ shirts.

“Without a doubt, Adidas has done the right thing by cutting ties with Ye after his vicious anti-Semitic rants,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

Ye also suggested George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was not killed by a police officer, but rather “they hit him with the fentanyl”.

Understanding bipolar

The recent behaviour begs the questions whether Ye’s recent rhetoric is a true reflection of himself, or whether he is having a manic episode.

Professor Philip Mitchell from UNSW is a psychiatrist with a focus on bipolar disorder.

He told The New Daily people with bipolar have periods of both depression and mania.

When in a manic state, people may say or do things that are out of character, cut ties with people, spend beyond their means or just do things that are impulsive, Professor Mitchell said.

“The issue about mania is that people have no insight or awareness at the time that what they’re doing or saying is inappropriate,” he said.

“They think that the way they view the world during mania is quite reasonable and just don’t get it why other people might disagree with them.”

Another problem during a manic period is that sometimes people may believe they have been incorrectly diagnosed or be critical of their doctor.

In a recent interview, Piers Morgan asked Ye if he suffered from a mental illness. The rapper said he believed he “suffered from exhaustion” back in 2016, when he was treated in hospital.

Harm extends beyond the family

Roughly one in 70 people will suffer from bipolar at one point in their life, Professor Mitchell said.

When a manic episode happens to someone out of the limelight, generally it’s just their inner circle who care for them and deal with the situation at hand.

But what is happening with Ye is a “private disaster taking place on a public scene”.

Ye, his friends and loved ones will probably be hurt by this whole recent situation, but the harm caused extends well beyond them, even if the anti-Semitic comments are a result of his mental illness.

The ADL describes the Goyim Defence League as a group “connected by their virulent anti-Semitism”.

They recently hung a sign above a Los Angeles freeway saying Ye was “right about the Jews”. They stood by the sign doing the Nazi salute.

Extremists have already ran with Ye’s remarks and used them for their own twisted agendas.

Ye continued to spew conspiracy theories that anti-Semites have used time and time again.

All of this is happens while hate crimes are on the rise in the US.

Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations said hate crimes are up 71 per cent compared to last year. The Chicago Sun Times reported Jews and black people in the city were most frequently targeted.

There is no doubt Ye’s rhetoric has harmed Jews everywhere and his behaviour could also harm people living with bipolar.

Professor Mitchell said Ye’s actions could “provide negative perceptions” and increase the stigma surrounding mental illness.

What do we do about Ye?

Professor Mitchell thinks Ye’s inner circle should be doing what they can to get him the help he needs.

Treatments for bipolar are very effective, with medications that can reduce or stop episodes of mania and depression.

Professor Mitchell condemned Ye’s comments.

“It’s difficult because these are very hurtful comments being made, no one would condone those,” he said.

“I think people need to beware that this is most likely reflecting illness rather than what this person normally thinks.”

Ye told Morgan in the interview he was not sorry for his initial anti-Semitic tweet, but did say he was sorry for hurting people.

However, the damage is done.

We don’t really know what is happening with Ye, though two things can be true at the same time – he can be both mentally ill and still be held accountable for his actions.

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