The Anti-Defamation League, a non-profit Jewish organization created to fight anti-Semitism and all forms of hate, is firing back at Jay Z over lyrics they say project an “odious and false” stereotype about the Jewish community.
The group is referring to the lyrics in “The Story of OJ” on Jay Z’s 4:44 album, in which the rapper says: “You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money at a strip club? Credit / You ever wonder why Jewish people own all the property in America? This how they did it.”
The ADL says that the lyrics are harmful because they play “into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money.”
“The idea that Jews ‘own all the property’ in this country and have used credit to financially get ahead are odious and false,” a spokesperson for the ADL told the magazine. “Yet, such notions have lingered in society for decades, and we are concerned that this lyric could feed into preconceived notions about Jews and alleged Jewish ‘control’ of the banks and finance.”
They go on to say that they don’t believe that Jay Z intended to be anti-Semitic in his lyrics, but they had to be clear they denounced them anyway.
“We know that JAY-Z is someone who has used his celebrity in the past to speak out responsibly and forcefully against the evils of racism and anti-Semitism,” they said in a statement.