Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Kanye West receiving his honorary degree
In 2004, Kanye West released The College Dropout. Today, he's now without his honorary degree.
"The School of the Art Institute of Chicago condemns and repudiates Kanye West's (now known as Ye) anti-Black, antisemitic, racist and dangerous statements, particularly those directed at Black and Jewish communities. Ye's actions do not align with SAIC's mission and values," school spokesperson Bree Witt shared in a statement, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
Ye, a Chicago native, received the doctorate in 2015. As SAIC president Elisa Tenny wrote in a letter through the school (as initially reported on by TMZ), Ye was awarded the diploma "in recognition for his artistic accomplishments to that point in time," but his "disturbing behaviors" and "dangerous statements" since have made his image "not align" with the school's "community values."
The take-back of the degree is just the latest domino in a series of consequences for West — who last week told InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that he believed "every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler," as he added, "I like Hitler." During the show, West said Nazis "did good things too; we've got to stop dissing the Nazis all the time." Hitler murdered approximately six million European Jews and at least five million prisoners of war.
West has faced heightened scrutiny for antisemitic comments he made on Twitter in October, and on several podcasts and television appearances since. The musician was also criticized for his false claims pertaining to the death of George Floyd, and what many have called bullying toward Vogue editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson in October.
During his Yeezy Season 9 Paris Fashion Week show in early October, West wore a long-sleeve shirt printed with the phrase "White Lives Matter," which is considered a "hate slogan" by the Anti-Defamation League, alongside right-wing pundit Candace Owens.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Kanye West
Most recently, Elon Musk suspended Ye from Twitter — where he's been suspended before — after the artist posted an image of a swastika inside a Star of David. "I tried my best," Musk posted on Twitter Dec. 2. "Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended."
West was previously banned from Twitter in October over a tweet that said he planned to go "death con [sic] 3 on Jewish people." His account was reinstated in November.
President Joe Biden had since issued a denunciation of antisemitism one day after West's "Hitler" remarks and his uploading of a swastika to Twitter.
"I just want to make a few things clear: The Holocaust happened," Biden wrote. "Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity."