The Voice publishes inflammatory interview with Wiley

Interviewer does not challenge rapper but poses question as to whether he raised 'salient points'


British Black newspaper The Voice has published an interview with the antisemitic rapper Wiley.

Published on Wednesday night, under the headline 'Systematic oppression and Wiley', the Grime artist repeats antisemitic slurs around Jewish wealth and power - and at one stage suggests: “They see us a slaves."

But instead of challenging the 41 year-old artist, who has now been banned from Twitter and Facebook over his racist views, journalist Joel Campbell - arts and entertainment editor of The Voice - asks: "within his ranting were there any salient points?"

Mr Campbell then suggests Wiley is "not alone in his thinking, that there is an unspoken systemic oppression that blights the lives of young black creatives in the entertainment space."

He adds that "some of the views espoused by Wiley are the great unsaid outside of the black community."

Then, claiming to have put "anything remotely near considered antisemitic to one side", the journalist writes that "not too many seem prepared to vocalise their consternation for some of the recurring themes Wiley believes is the stranglehold one community seems to have over another in particular relation but not confined to, the music business."

Later in the article, Mr Campbell writes: "There is no way to put this all in one nutshell but the hypothesis that you need to get a Jewish lawyer in order to progress in the music business may be a complete fallacy (I haven’t done the numbers, looking into the correlation in respect of who is and isn’t successful with or without one), but yet it remains.

"I’ve never seen anyone Jewish refute or confirm this (maybe there was never a need felt to do so), but maybe, it’s a discussion that needs to be had?"

After the article appeared online on Wednesday evening it  was widely condemned. Leading QC David Wolfson expressed his view on Twitter: "I do not exaggerate. This article is a 2020 version of Der Sturmer.”

JC columnist Daniel Finkelstein tweeted: "I should emphasise that my problem with the Wiley article in The Voice is not so much the fact they interviewed him - which is questionable but an editor could justify - it is the content of the interview, and the interviewers reflections which are truly truly shocking.”
David Baddiel tweeted: ”When Jews talk about how, for progressives, antisemitism is basically a lesser racism, they get accused of exceptionalism. But please: imagine for a second the (correct) outcry if equivalently negative statements about the black community were made by a writer in the JC.”

During the interview it is suggested that Wiley has just finished speaking to a member of the Jewish community who wanted to sit down with him. The rapper  then says of this alleged discussion: “Because the truth is, what I am saying is systemic and when I say it, they pretend they don’t know what I am saying but they are the ones who implement it anyway.”

Asked to be more specific about his reference to 'they' he tells the reporter "without generalising, like, there is no point saying all, it’s the people I work with in the entertainment and music industry, the Jewish community that I have experienced.

“I haven’t experienced a Jewish community that I haven’t worked with.”
At one stage in the interview Wiley suggests "Slavery hasn’t stopped it’s just dressed up in a million pound record deal.”
Questioned over what his issue with the Jews he has worked with is, Wiley then tells the newspaper: “The things that need to change is the way that the system was set up, why all of these families are rich, or all of these people have heritage, not just England, like, worldwide.”

“They still see us as slaves. Slavery hasn’t stopped it’s just dressed up in a million pound record deal and it’s dressed up in trainer deals, nice shoes and it’s dressed up as come over here …."

Complaining that even successful black artists "making these people millions and trillions, and then at the end of the black kids career he hasn’t even got a property" Wiley adds, "they have got ten properties and this and that and their kids have got wages to go to school forever. It’s set up so that they win and we lose.”

Repeating an earlier claim that he "tried to mix ignorance with truth and fact and I should of known better" when he first launched his attacks on the Jewish community last week on Twitter, Wiley said: "I’m not a young boy who has just started speaking, so for my dad’s sake, so I could appear intelligent for him, so his friends don’t ring him who are Jewish.”

He then made further claims about the money being made out of other Grime artists such as Stormzy and Dizzee Rascal claiming "systematic things .. are in place."

The JC has contacted The Voice for comment over the interview and the opinions expressed by the journalist who conducted it.

The Board of Deputies said: "We are saddened & concerned that @TheVoiceNews, with its long history of campaigning against racial injustice, has run a piece that echoed & amplified Wiley’s racist tropes, rather than challenging them. We urge the paper to reflect, rectify & move focus to mutual solidarity.”

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