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A-Trak Speaks Out Against the ‘Extremely Alarming & Hurtful’ Surge of Antisemitism

todayNovember 7, 2022

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As the music industry and realms beyond denounce antisemitic statements made by Kanye West, A-Trak has entered the conversation via a Twitter thread regarding the origins and dangers of antisemitism.

In the thread posted Sunday, the producer spoke to his own experience as a “very moderate Jew,” noting that “as someone who supports the Palestinian cause and doesn’t agree with the vast majority of Israel’s actions, it would take a lot for me to call sh– out.” He later writes of the “sorrow” of recent “antisemitic sentiments that have been regurgitated by prominent people in the Black community.”

While A-Trak (born Alain Maklovitch) does not call out West by name, he does have a significant history with the rapper. In 2004, A-Trak became West’s first tour DJ, with the pair working together for years in the early ’00s and A-Trak even introducing West to Daft Punk, the French icons West famously sampled on the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Stronger” from his 2007 LP Graduation.

“The last few weeks have made me reflect a lot,” A-Trak writes. “I think there’s something about growing up in the relative calm of the 90s that made me turn my attention / sympathy towards the plight of other people, other minorities. Maybe I assumed people knew what Jews have gone through.

“But a lot of current events are extremely alarming and hurtful, and need to be acknowledged as such. The conspiratorial nature of antisemitism creates a climate of distrust and blame that escalates very quickly. There are patterns that can’t be ignored.

“Saying that Jews control ANYTHING — the media, finance, whatever — is antisemitism, it’s hate speech, straight up. Because it perpetuates these old conspiracies and myths and feeds distrust and hate. This can’t be downplayed.”

The statement continues: “What has compounded the pain lately is that some of these antisemitic sentiments have been regurgitated by prominent people in the Black community,” the post continues. “Speaking for myself, as a DJ who plays Hip Hop and House music — Black music, with love — this has brought a deep sorrow.

“But I wholeheartedly understand the need for some Black Americans, who were robbed of their history AND whom the education system failed, to dig into the past, to explore, to search for answers. We just need certain things to be accepted as bogus, as wrong.

“What we DON’T need — and I don’t want to get into any specific people or examples here — is for disciplinary action to be taken too far, into humiliation. That just perpetuates the distrust and America’s systemic problems.

“What I’m seeing is: Jews are hurting, re-living old trauma and getting more and more fearful. Black people are hurting, feeling chastised and dehumanized. And white supremacists are chilling, enjoying the show. That’s not ok.

“We shouldn’t even be looking at celebrities for any of this. What we should be doing is teaching each other about our histories and understanding each other. Love to my Jewish brothers & sisters, my Palestinian brothers & sisters, my Black brothers & sisters. We need to heal.”

Read the complete statement below in the thread below.

A-Trak’s reflections come as many in the music industry and beyond also speak out to denounce antisemitic hate speech in the wake of West’s racist and antisemitic actions and statements, which have since led to myriad consequences for West. At the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony this past Saturday, John Mellencamp stated: “I cannot tell you how f—ing important it is to speak out if you’re an artist against antisemitism.”

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