University of Texas Considers Resolution Banning Kanye West Music From Sports Events
The student government of the University of Texas at Austin (UTSG) has unanimously approved a resolution banning Kanye West’s music from sports events on campus, according to the The Daily Texan, a campus daily.
Passed on November 1, the resolution has followed weeks of antisemitic remarks from West in which he has denigrated Judaism, Zionism, and Israel. The resolution will now be assessed by the university administration, which will decide whether to adopt it as official policy.
The resolution was inspired by an incident in October when the words “Kanye is right about the Jews” was projected outside the football stadium during a game between the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs, sophomore and UTSG member Alexander Feinstein told The Daily Texan.
“Somebody came out, and they brought a projector in on the side of the stadium and said, ‘Kanye is right about the Jews,'” he said. “Football and sports is something that brings us all together… We should all feel safe there and we should all feel that’s a comforting place.”
“I saw this more as an opportunity for Student Government to truly represent student voices and come together against hate speech, not just limited to antisemitism,” he added.
An amendment denouncing numerous comments Kanye West made about the effects of progressivism on the Black community was tacked to the resolution at the last minute, the Texan said, with UTSG labeling them as “anti-Black.”
“I do believing discussing antisemitism is very important,” UTSG member Dadrian Whittington told The Daily Texan. “I knew if we didn’t also include that Kanye has been racist to a number of other groups, that people would use that against the attempt to censor his music at the game. So, I thought (the amendment) would help the bill be stronger.”
In March 2021, UTSG unanimously passed a resolution to adopt the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, which included a pledge to “support for better Jewish inclusion and protection” and monitor antisemitism on campus. At least 30 universities in the US have adopted the working definition.
In response, the UT Palestine Solidarity Committee, working with several student government representatives, authored a resolution condemning the IHRA definition as a constraint on free speech and pro-Palestinian activism. The resolution was later withdrawn after Jewish students campaigned on its behalf.