Kanye West

Kanye West stripped of School of the Art Institute honorary degree

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has revoked Kanye “Ye” West’s honorary doctorate, it was revealed on Thursday.

“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 Ye’s actions do not align with SAIC’s mission and values, and we’ve rescinded his honorary degree,” SAIC officials said in a statement to The Chicago Sun-Times.

According to The Holiwood Reported, the honorary doctorate was awarded to the rapper in 2015.

The school’s decision comes amid an online petition launched by a group from the SAIC community formed on change.org calling on SAIC President Elissa Tenny to rescind the honorary degree following West’s recent antisemitic comments. “We informed the SAIC community this morning,” a school spokeswoman told the Sun-Times.

“This award bestows the legitimacy and luster of the School on a figure who has in recent months has made repeated public statements expressing and justifying anti-semetism. Regardless of his contributions prior to receipt of this award, it is harmful to allow Ye, as he is presently known, to continue to use the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to help legitimize hatred and violence,” the petition reads.

It continued, “This harm impacts the artists, designers and scholars affiliated to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and their values of justice, compassion, and free expression without hatred. This harm impacts Jews, whose lives are put at direct risk by the mainstreaming of anti-semitic views. This harm impacts all oppressed peoples, who stand to suffer when intimidation and deadly violence against people on the basis of their identity are made justifiable.”

As of Thursday, the petition had collected 4,148 signatures.

According to the Sun-Times, the spokeswoman for SAIC didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry asking if the rapper had responded to the revocation of the degree.

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