An Australian federal minister has weighed in on Kanye West’s potential visit to the country, saying the rapper could be denied entry due to his “awful” antisemitic comments.
Minister for Education Jason Clare discussed West during an interview on the Today program yesterday (January 25). When asked whether the rapper should be allowed to embark on a visit to Australia, Clare referenced West’s appearance on InfoWars last month, during which he repeatedly praised Adolf Hitler.
“Google it and you’ll see that [West] seems like he’s a pretty big fan of a person who killed six million Jewish people last century,” Clare said. The minister later explained that travellers who have shared similar sentiments to West and have applied for Australian visas “have been rejected”, before saying that the rapper “would have to go through the same process and answer the same questions that they did.”
In the past, Australia has revoked or refused visas for far-right figures including Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes – who interviewed West last month – and British conspiracy theorist David Icke. Chris Brown and Skepta were refused Australian visas in 2015 and 2018, respectively, though not for concerns over right-wing views.
It comes ahead of West’s reported trip to Melbourne to visit the family of his rumoured new wife Bianca Censori, who grew up in the suburb of Ivanhoe. Earlier this week, Australia’s Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton likewise weighed on West’s potential trip, agreeing with Clare that the rapper’s “anti-Semitic comments are disgraceful”.
“His conduct and his behaviour is appalling, and he’s not a person of good character”, Dutton added. “My instinct would be, if I was that decision-maker? I think there are better people we could welcome in”. Prior to that, Industry Minister of Victoria Ben Carroll echoed concerns over West’s Australian trip, saying the rapper’s “extremist” views do not “represent Melbourne or Victoria”.
Carroll continued: “We know he has a long standing history of bigotry and provocation and I know the Commonwealth will process accordingly.” A government spokesperson told The West Australian that details of West’s visa status cannot be revealed due to “privacy”. The decision ultimately falls with Andrew Giles, Australia’s current Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs.
Calls for West to be denied entry into Australia were spearheaded by the Jewish-Australian community organisation the Anti-Defamation Commission on Monday (January 23). “Australia should not put out the welcome mat and provide a platform to a hatemonger who spews threats against the Jewish community” Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said.