Antisemitic Messages Increase after Celebrity Kanye West’s Posts, Sheriff’s Office Explains They are Not Illegal
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office stated that the numerous anti-Semitic remarks that surfaced this past weekend in public areas of Jacksonville, Florida, including at the well-known Florida-Georgia college football game, do not currently constitute crimes. The remarks posted do not contain any threats and are protected by the First Amendment, according to public information officer T.N. Dash. The officials said that they will continue to examine any reports of this kind to see if they qualify as criminal in character.
A number of antisemitic messages were recently circulated in Jacksonville, including at least one that publicly praised recent antisemitic remarks made by celebrity Ye, the musician formerly known as Kanye West. This was at least the second such statement in a week. A video shared on social media depicts a flashing antisemitic statement that was projected outside Jacksonville’s TIAA Bank Field stadium, the site of Saturday’s college football game between Georgia and Florida.
Local and state politicians denounced the antisemitic remarks while the police statements were being released. According to video taken by a relative of reporter Vic Micolucci, one of the messages, mentioning musician Kanye West, was seen scrolling on the outside of TIAA Bank Field during the Florida-Georgia game on Saturday. The words “Kanye is right about the jews” can be seen scrolling across the facade of the stadium building in the film.
How the message was projected onto the stadium wall is a mystery, and so is how long the message was visible. Vice President of TIAA Bank Field Michael Cosgrove issued a statement saying that they are outraged by and condemn the hate speech at TIAA Bank Field on Saturday night and other acts of anti-Semitism visible of late.
In addition, a local reporter tweeted on Friday that banners could be seen from an overpass on Interstate 10 in Jacksonville. Nikki Fried, the Florida Agricultural Commissioner, mentioned that the language used in the scrolling inscriptions in Jacksonville was similar to that on banners that a group that appeared to be giving the Nazi salute hung from a freeway bridge in Los Angeles last weekend.
The Broward County sheriff’s office in southern Florida is looking into a claim of racist and antisemitic slogans spray-painted near Weston early on Sunday, according to a press statement. According to Captain Sam Cavalieri of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the culprits would probably face vandalism charges with an additional charge for a hate crime. Black Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony declared that racist and antisemitic remarks will not be allowed.
Margaret Brown, the mayor of Weston, also denounced the crime. The numerous antisemitic incidents have been condemned and created by the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida. US Representative John Rutherford, whose district includes Jacksonville, stated that there would be no tolerance for “this sort of hate in Florida” and he would will keep advocating for the Jacksonville and national Jewish communities.
In a 16-minute video posted on YouTube on Saturday, the celebrity rapper made an appearance and did not apologize for his antisemitic sentiments while also attempting to separate himself from any “hate group.”