news events and happenings can often be translated into life lessons. one important life lesson is to how to deal with a crisis. most of us admire or affiliate ourselves with individuals. most, if not all, individuals have flaws. some much worse than others. sometimes, one of your idols can do something really, really, really bad. this is a case study with respect to this issue.
prageru wishes to come off as a conservative values’ website and organization. a multi-billionaire tycoon personality’s anti-semitic online implosion should have given them a moment for pause. they, like other organizations and individuals, have, in the past, embraced mr. kanye west. he, on many levels, is a renaissance man. he is a master of music, fashion and self-promotion. he has followers. he draws attention. he moves the dial. as such, mr. west has been featured on several prageru videos. these are two examples of past videos below.
prageru’s crisis is, with mr. west’s recent anti-semitic rants, “how can you have content featuring mr. west?”
the problem is not censorship. it is endorsement. featuring mr. west prominently on videos is arguable an affirmation of him; the good, the bad and the ugly. assuming that the public can compartmentalize between his positives and negatives is not an option. it is logically dishonest.
what will prageru do about this?
while first amendment values are important and censorship is rarely, if ever, a solution, how can prageru reconcile having this content up on youtube and their site? leaving it up, without explanation to the public, is truly an endorsement of mr. west’s brand of anti-semitism. for the unsuspecting, one could argue that if he is right about this issue, he must be right about his opinions on jews.
prageru’s response to this problem has been ostrich-like. prageru personality, ms. amala ekpunobi, did a segment on the discussing the kanye west anti-semitic issue. she admittedly, to her credit, noted her limited knowledge on the topic. she, in passing, referenced that essentially the “big guy” at prageru, mr. dennis prager, was the expert on the topic. her segment packaged mr. west’s controversial post into the “generic” anti-semitic basket. his statements, however, were far from the “generic.”
her segment was a crisis management moment for prageru. prageru, whose founder, mr. dennis prager, wrote a book on anti-semitism and lectures on it is a resource to the personality. why didn’t prageru have ms. ekpunobi have an expert on the topic during the particular segment? would it have been so difficult to get mr. prager on the line? how hard could it have been to get a rabbi to discuss the topic?
mr. west’s anti-semitism is evidenced in his assertion that all blacks are jews is aligned with black israelite beliefs. these beliefs lead the israelites to the conclusion that those who practice judaism are not real jews. one can go on to israelite videos and see them assert that jewish people are really “fake jews.” the label of “fake jews” is dehumanizing. once you dehumanize, anything is possible. thus, an expert on the topic was desperately needed to explain this in depth to the prageru audience.
instead, ms. ekpunobi, like many others, is trapped in the social media bubble. those in the media need to be sensitive to each other. they benefit from mr. west and the publicity he generates. thus, they don’t want to offend. mr. west gives them clout. he knows it and works them like “michelangelo.”
in sum, when there is a crisis, you must go to your core principles. sometimes you need to tell the truth. sometimes the truth will cost you. prageru needed to make an organized effort to address the problem employing conservative values. while i admire mr. prager for his lifetime of work, sadly this moment is a defining moment. it is a time in which he must step up and truly offer clarity as to how prageru is addressing this matter. otherwise, all of his hard work will come into question. as such, it is in these moments when you, as an individual, need to take stock of a crisis and address it in a truthful and honest fashion. careful thought is needed. the consequences of not acting in a proper fashion can be devastating.
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