Wiley posts antisemitic tweets, likening Jews to Ku Klux Klan

Chart-topping grime rapper compares Jews to the Ku Klux Klan as ‘2 sets of people who nobody has really wanted to challenge’

Wiley, the chart-topping grime rapper and producer, has made antisemitic comments on Twitter, including a statement that places Jews alongside the Ku Klux Klan.

In a string of tweets on Friday, he said: “Listen to me Jewish community Israel is not your country I’m sorry … The Star of David that’s our ting … Some people have gotten too comfortable on lands that don’t belong to them.” He also wrote “Israel is ours”, apparently referring to the black community, later referring to his comments as “Black History Lesson For Today”. The Guardian has contacted his management for comment.

He also advanced an antisemitic trope, that Jewish people control business interests, in an incendiary comparison with the Ku Klux Klan. “There are 2 sets of people who nobody has really wanted to challenge #Jewish & #KKK but being in business for 20 years you start to undestand [sic] why … Red Necks Are the KKK and Jewish people are the Law...Work that out.” He added: “If you work for a company owned by 2 Jewish men and you challenge the Jewish community in anyway of course you will get fired.”

He later rejected the charge of antisemitism, saying: “Forget anti Semitic racism is racism and ya can’t hide the fact that systemic racism exists and it wasn’t set up by us”.

Danny Stone, chief executive of Antisemitism Policy Trust, said: “The parallel is offensive & the inference is antisemitic. Jews and money. Dress it up however you like.”

Elsewhere in the tweets, Wiley switches focus: “I can see and feel the Arab control presence around Africa and I don’t like it...Looks like a big ol set up...infact I know the set up Europeans and Arabs have got Africa in a headlock”.

He also addressed the coronavirus pandemic, saying: “Fuck the mask and virus it’s all bullshit … it’s a fucking lie.”

His comments were widely criticised, including by journalist Joshua Zitser, who said he perpetuated “age old antisemitic tropes”.

Wiley is credited with being one of the key forces behind grime music, and went on to have a solo No 1 single and two other No 1s with the group Roll Deep. He is known for his combative stance on Twitter, frequently criticising other rappers, such as Drake and Stormzy.

He announced his retirement from grime with his album Godfather 3, though he has continued to release new music.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Wiley's racism flowed because social media is a petri dish of hate | Nish Kumar
The rapper will pay for his antisemitism but nothing else will change. Twitter and Instagram were once cute but have turned vicious, writes the comedian Nish Kumar

Nish Kumar

27, Jul, 2020 @5:02 PM

Article image
Police investigate grime artist Wiley's antisemitic tweets
Rapper temporarily banned from Twitter and dropped by management firm after tirade

Jessica Murray

25, Jul, 2020 @12:45 PM

Article image
Wiley's Facebook and Instagram accounts deactivated after antisemitic remarks
Move comes following criticism from Priti Patel and UK’s chief rabbi over social media companies’ inaction

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

28, Jul, 2020 @6:01 PM

Article image
Wiley refuses to withdraw antisemitic Twitter comments
Grime artist says remarks should not ‘have been directed to all Jews’ after comparing them to the Ku Klux Klan

Jim Waterson and Ben Beaumont-Thomas

29, Jul, 2020 @6:45 PM

Article image
Bradford MP Naz Shah quits as McDonnell's PPS after antisemitic posts
Labour MP resigns as aide over ‘relocate Israel to US’ post but remains on committee reporting on antisemitism

Nazia Parveen North of England correspondent

26, Apr, 2016 @1:22 PM

Article image
Wiley: where to start in his back catalogue
In Listener’s Digest, our writers help you explore the work of great musicians. Next up: the godfather of grime whose erratic genius has inspired successive generations

Aniefiok Ekpoudom

27, Apr, 2020 @12:00 PM

Article image
Wiley – five landmarks in the godfather of grime's career
From MCing over drum’n’bass DJ sets in the 1990s, to his dramatic return last year, here are the crucial tracks by the hardest working man in grime

Joe Muggs

16, Jan, 2017 @4:07 PM

Wiley – review
Wiley attempted to reassert his fierce independence with a speed-rapped megamix of his career, writes Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont

22, Apr, 2013 @5:08 PM

Article image
Wiley: soundtrack of my life
The godfather of grime tells Corinne Jones how Bobby Brown and Michael Jackson made him want to dance – and how Bob Marley made him want to record

Interview by Corinne Jones

24, Mar, 2013 @12:05 AM

Article image
After Wiley, I didn’t have a fight on my hands for once. Why did that feel so weird? | Hadley Freeman
Suddenly I had time on my hands that I’d expected to fill with arguing the antisemitism any fool could see was, yes, antisemitic

Hadley Freeman

08, Aug, 2020 @8:00 AM