The Macklemore Test

Will Macklemore’s ‘hella good Jewish homies’ weigh in on his ‘anti-Semitic’ getup?”

May 19, 2014

Rapper Macklemore has earned himself much ire for not only going onstage to sing “Thrift Shop” made up as a over-the-top caricature of a Jewish man (let’s call it “Jewface,” at least as offensive and over-the-top to us as Amos and Andy were to African-Americans), but then having the temerity to deny the caricature. As the online uproar built, he tweeted:

“A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume.  Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.”

Even a cursory review of the photos and the circumstances suggests that anyone believing that is endowed with a superhuman level of credulity.

America now faces a test. If this event marks the apogee of Macklemore’s career, it will demonstrate that America will not tolerate racism directed against Jews. If, however, he retains his popularity or becomes more popular, it will demonstrate that Americans are prepared to lionize a man who is at the very least an insensitive lout, and is possibly a rabid anti-Semite.

I can only hope that Mr. Macklemore is merely a callous boor rather than an uncloseted neo-Nazi, and that he did not do this to try to earn more credibility with that section of the rap community that seems to enjoy Jew-bashing. An apology that would allow us all to move on would be nice. The next best thing, though, would be to see Mr. Macklemore reduced to playing third-billings at KKK conventions.

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