Macklemore performed in Seattle on Friday night donning, what many people find to be, a super offensive amalgam of Jewish stereotypes. “Isn’t this the year 2014, where we should absolutely know better than to do something so stupid and offensive?” you ask. Yes, we should. But, according to the internet and to my very own eyes, Macklemore doesn’t yet.
— Seattle Refined (@SeattleRefined) May 17, 2014
Yes, that is a prosthetic nose, beard, and wig that you’re looking at him wear, as he performs his song, “Thrift Shop”. (Do I even need to make the connection to the stereotype that Jewish people are cheap, or are you good with that one on your own?) The most generous person could say that the costume doesn’t explicitly scream, “Look, I’m making fun of Jewish people!!” But, honestly, this is all pretty incriminating. Except, according to Macklemore, he didn’t even mean for the costume full of all of those traditionally Jewish stereotypes to come off as stereotypical. Silly us, right?
A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.
— Macklemore (@macklemore) May 19, 2014
This reminds me of that time that Miley Cyrus made clearly antisemitic remarks and then tried to make us feel like it was just in our minds. I take issue with the idea that we’re all just being whiny little sensitive babies.
I consider it one of Macklemore’s greatest responsibilities as a very public figure (who is lauded for promoting acceptance, no less) to be as sensitive as possible. If not to set a decent example for people who may emulate him, then at least to discourage the further normalization of insensitive behavior. Of course, we can’t stop everyone in the world from being culturally offensive; but why should we stand for our pop stars behaving that way? We at least have a say in that, no?
So, no, he isn’t mockingly wearing a kippah or a Star of David. And as far as I know, he’s cool with Hannukah (and it’s multiple spellings). But if so many people are offended by his ridic costume, then I think that an apology for that is in order. Also, maybe the addition of a “No” Man to his team to tell him when he needs to simmer down and avoid a stroll down Anti-Semitic Lane.