(JTA) — Soon after Cardi B learned that police in Las Vegas would not charge her in connection with an incident at a recent concert, she turned to Wikipedia.
The rapper tweeted a picture that illustrates the digital encyclopedia’s entry for “Jewish religious clothing.” The picture shows two Hasidic Orthodox Jewish men walking in Borough Park, Brooklyn. One wears a fur hat called a streimel as well as a tallit, a prayer shawl, over his clothes; the other has long peyos, the sidelocks worn by some Orthodox men.
“Remember … ” she wrote.
Fans immediately connected the post to a lyric in her 2018 song “Bickenheld,’ in which she sings, “Lawyer is a Jew, he gon’ chew up all the charges.” Jewish lawyers are a sustained theme in rap music, and Cardi B’s legal team on the Las Vegas incident included multiple Jewish attorneys.
But even as some interpreted the tweet as praise for her Jewish lawyers, others decried it as offensive because Cardi B appeared to attribute her attorneys’ success to their Jewish identity, not their skills. (The men in the picture are not Cardi B’s attorneys.)
“Appreciate you @iamcardib, but tweeting out a vague picture of a visible minority that has been subject to rising hate crimes in NYC to your 31 million followers is just not acceptable,” tweeted David Bashevkin, a prominent Orthodox voice on social media. “When hate is an option don’t leave anyone guessing what you meant.”
Amid a social media backlash, the tweet was removed without comment. “Lawyer is a Jew” continued trending on X, the platform that was until recently called Twitter, for some time.