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No longer honourable: Kanye West stripped of honorary doctorate degree

Kanye West

American rapper, Kanye West has been stripped of the honorary doctorate degree awarded to him by the School of Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) over his comments against Jews and blacks.

SAIC announced the decision on Thursday, saying the statements credited to Kanye West, also known as Ye, are condemnable. It said Ye’s comments do not align with its mission and values leading to its withdrawal of the honorary degree.

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The 45-year-old American rapper was awarded this degree in 2015 to recognise his contributions to both arts and culture. Following Kanye West’s controversial actions, a group called Against Hate at SAIC launched a Change.org petition calling for the degree to be rescinded, stating that it would be harmful to let it stand.

“Regardless of his contribution prior to the receipt of this award, it is harmful to allow Ye, as he is currently known, to continue to use the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to help legitimize hatred and violence,” the petition read in part.

Reacting to the petition, School of the Art Institute of Chicago President Elissa Tenny wrote  in a letter that Kanye West’s remarks are “disgusting and condemnable” and have been “painful for our entire community.”

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The rescission by Chicago Art College comes weeks after a mural celebrating Kanye West was painted over in Chicago’s West Loop neighbourhood.

Kanye West had tweeted a photo of the Swastika inside the Star of David, leading to his suspension from Twitter. He also urged Jews to forgive Adolf Hitler in a Proud Boys interview.

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