Boston Jewish Community: Recent Hate Speech Is 'Absolutely Terrifying'

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Words spoken on podcasts, videos shared by professional athletes, and Twitter's makeover may be contributing factors towards the normalization of antisemitic hate speech in media, the Jewish Community Relations Council said on Friday.

In an interview with WBZ's Nichole Davis, CEO of JCRC Jeremy Burton said recent commentary from Ye West on the InfoWars podcast is more than just concerning, as it spirals a wave of online hate.

"It's absolutely terrifying— not just specifically what Kanye is saying and doing, but the people who are validating it, legitimizing it, amplifying it right up to the former President of the United States," Burton said. When asked for his thoughts on Ye's recent posting of a swastika on his Twitter account, Burton said the reaction and response to the imagery is just as alarming.

"The issue is the quite literally thousands, tens of thousands, who liked, retweeted, and amplified that swastika. There are a lot of people out there that are very quick to jump to the most hateful, toxic images, messages, and ideas— they're the real challenge in all of this," Burton said.

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When it comes to leaving hateful figures to their own devices on Twitter, Burton responded that leaving the discussion forum would only make matters worse.

"If those of us that are trying to have a healthy town hall discourse withdraw from public space, that public space will only be even more toxic. I think we collectively have to denounce that demonization, not just when it's targeted against us, but when it's targeted at others. We have to come together and demonstrate that there is a better way forward," Burton said.

According to its official page, the JCRC is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to build a strong Jewish community in Boston and beyond. The Council was originally made up of 16 organizations, and first came together in 1944 in response to antisemitic violence plaguing the streets of Boston at the time.

WBZ's Nichole Davis (@NicholeDWBZ) reports.

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