Ye, Nick Fuentes, and Alex Jones
They may seem like a grotesque carnival act, but parents should pay attention
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“I’m in the Twilight Zone right now,” the InfoWars host said, as he attempted to contain an unhinged Kanye West on his show last week. The rapper showed up in a gimp suit, including a full black face mask that’s been his fashion signature through the years. For nearly three surreal hours, Ye interwove gleeful professions of love for Hitler, vicious anti-Semitic conspiracism, and random “comedy” bits where he mocked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a puppet “net.” (Get it?) His new manager, white nationalist wunderkind Nick Fuentes, was also on hand with his own popular brand of Jew-hatred. As the show unraveled, it seemed to dawn on Alex Jones that for once, he was not the craziest person in the room.
At least, that was the show. Behind the scenes, Jones seems to be in on the joke. And during the show, he was still happy to tweet on Ye’s behalf, crowing that he was “back on Twitter” after hitting “send” on the tweet, “Jesus is King, I love the first amendment! Long live, Ye! I pray to Jesus that Elon is for real.” As it turned out, Twitter’s new manager was unimpressed. “Jesus taught love, kindness, and forgiveness,” Elon replied. “I used to think that turning the other cheek was weak & foolish, but I was the fool for not appreciating its profound wisdom.” Shortly after the interview, Elon suspended Ye’s account for tweeting out a preliminary presidential campaign logo: a swastika inside a Star of David.
What in the world do we make of all this? And why does it even matter?
To begin with, it should be noted that perhaps the most-repeated words in the entire show were “Christ” and “Jesus.” Over and over, both Ye and Fuentes claimed Jesus’ name in the service of their own blasphemous, ego-driven agenda. Fuentes is an avowed racist and Holocaust denier who styles himself as a “Christian nationalist,” frequently linking the slogans “Christ is Lord” and “America first.” Gab CEO Andrew Torba has hailed him as “a voice of reason” for “young, straight, White, Christian men” who are treated as second-class citizens for holding “Biblical values.” If Christians aren’t paying attention, Torba thinks they should, because Fuentes and his large, young fanbase are “the future.”
As for Ye, his dramatic public conversion has been a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs, as Christians have been simultaneously eager to embrace him and confused by his erratic behavior. Writing for WORLD in October, I suggested that Ye needed more prayer and less attention, however exciting it was when he used his massive platform to say something pro-Christian or pro-life. There was nothing wrong with earnestly hoping for the best when Ye made his first professions of Christian faith, as my friend E. Stephen Burnett thoughtfully wrote about back in 2019. But the signs have always been clear that the man is deeply troubled and could plunge down a dark rabbit hole at any moment.
That moment has arrived. Ye may still claim the name of Christ, but Christians should no longer praise the rapper or his message. We should condemn his message for the arrogant blasphemy that it now is.
Meanwhile, we have a challenge much closer to home, for Andrew Torba’s supposed legions of Fuentes-following young Christian men may not be as numerous as he thinks, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t real. And behind them, there are all the boys who are so young they don’t have fully-formed beliefs about much of anything. They’re just vaguely “anti-woke,” and they just think Ye is funny when he pulls out his props and does a high-pitched Netanyahu voice.
Chances are good that all of us know a few boys like this, who will watch the interview but won’t bring it up at the dinner table, because they assume the adults in their life just don’t get it. They’re worried that if Mom heard them laughing at the line, “Every human being has something of value that they bring to the table, especially Hitler,” she would confiscate their phones, ground them for a year, and whisper to all her friends that she’s worried her 13-year-old son might be turning into a neo-Nazi.
That’s a 13-year-old boy’s caricature of Mom, of course. But it still wouldn’t hurt for Mom (and Dad) to understand what their nice Christian 13-year-old boys are probably watching on their phones. This is obviously true for many things, including darker things than videos of Kanye West and Nick Fuentes on InfoWars. But for conservative Christian parents, it’s particularly important to keep a finger on the pulse of cultural currents that appear to young men and boys in the guise of “conservatism” or “Christianity.” Under all the filth, there are small nuggets of truth with a powerful appeal to young men who resent “wokeness,” who resent the mainstream liberal narrative of everything.
So, Mom and Dad: Don’t panic. But also, don’t just teach your boys to be “anti-woke.” Give them something better. Give them something so nourishing that when the next “Christian” in a gimp suit comes along, they can say, “No thanks. Not for me.”
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