Decision to give rapper Ice Cube key to city in Fayetteville draws criticism from local religious communities

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Representatives of religious communities in Northwest Arkansas say Fayetteville city officials didn’t do their due diligence when giving a symbolic key to the city to an entertainer who has made anti-Semitic comments.

Last weekend, the city welcomed rapper Ice Cube to perform at JJ’s Live.

The representatives wrote a letter sent to the city council and Mayor Lioneld Jordan.

We are concerned such actions by the city will bolster anti-Semitism in the region and state. At the very least, the gift of such a key to Ice Cube represents tacit approval of his views, which are not only anti-Semitic, but also misogynist.

A quick search of his statements on women and Jews will very quickly discover multiple statements too harsh to reproduce in a letter to the editor for the paper.

He’s that extreme.

Letter to city council and Lioneld Jordan from religious representatives

Toby Klein is the co-president of Temple Shalom in Fayetteville who signed the letter.

“I don’t think that we can detangle one aspect of discrimination from another. The reality is everyone is a complicated individual with nuance to their stories, but this individual has made his intentions very clear,” Klein said.

City Council Member D’andre Jones presented the key. He says the decision is based on the positive impact the rapper has made on many people across Fayetteville.

Particularly black Northwest Arkansans who grew up listening to his music and watching his movies.

“We want them to know, particularly when it comes to minority entertainers, that Fayetteville is definitely a place of inclusion and that black and minority entertainers matter here in Fayetteville,” Jones said.

Jones says the key doesn’t mean the city agrees with everything Ice Cube has said, but recognizes his impact as a performer.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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