The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has revoked Kanye West’s honorary degree following his recent anti-Semitic and anti-black rants. The decision came after the SAIC community launched a petition calling for Ye’s degree to be rescinded. Netizens have since taken to social media to mock the singer.
On Thursday, TMZ obtained a letter from SAIC President Elissa Tenny. The official statement said:
"The School of the Art Institute of Chicago condemns and repudiates Kanye West's (now known as Ye) anti-Black, antisemitic, racist, and dangerous statements, particularly those directed at Black and Jewish communities. Ye's actions do not align with SAIC's mission and values, and we've rescinded his honorary degree.”
On Thursday, a spokesperson also told the Sunday Times that the SAIC community was made aware of the rapper losing his honorary degree “this morning.”
The petition, which demanded Kanye West’s degree to be revoked noted that the degree:
“bestows the legitimacy and luster of the School on a figure who has in recent months made repeated public statements expressing and justifying anti-semitism.”
The Change.org petition, which has amassed over 4000 signatures, also said that it was “harmful” for Kanye West to continue to use the SAIC to “help legitimize hatred and violence.” It also added that West holding the distinguished degree harms those artists who are affiliated with the institution, Jews and oppressed people.
Kanye West received the honorary degree in 2015 after making notable contributions to “art and culture.” He attended the American Academy of Art and Chicago State University for certain periods of time. However, at the age of 20, he dropped out of school to pursue his music career.
Netizens respond to SAIC revoking Kanye West’s honorary degree
Internet users reacted to the announcement in a light-hearted manner. Many did not seem surprised by the announcement. Several netizens continued to compare West to the Nazi leader as the latter was rejected from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Adolf Hitler was reportedly keen to become a professional artist. However, he failed the central examination twice.
Netizens could not help but notice the parallels between Adolf Hitler and West being unable to pursue an arts degree. A few hilarious tweets read:
Kanye West’s antisemitic rants explored
In early October, the Yeezy-designer made headlines for his anti-Semitic outbursts on social media. He infamously tweeted that he would go “death con 3” on Jewish people.
The rapper also upset the fashion community by wearing a t-shirt that read “White lives matter.”
Most recently, he appeared on Alex Jones’ InfoWars show where he claimed to “like Hitler.” A day after the interview, the Donda singer took to Twitter to upload an image of the Nazi Swastika symbol inside the Star of David, which led to his suspension from the social media platform.
West also did an interview with Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes where he asked Jewish people to “forgive” Adolf Hitler for the Holocaust. He said in the interview:
“Jewish people can’t tell me who I can love and who I can’t love. You can’t say… you can’t force your pain on everyone else. Jewish people forgive Hitler today. Let it go. Let it go. Stop trying to force it on other people.”
Many continue to be concerned about West’s political remarks as he runs for the 2024 presidential election.