Kanye West has issued another response following backlash over him wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt this weekend, insisting: “They do.”
The rapper faced controversy after he wore the shirt emblazoned with the slogan when he introduced his latest Yeezy line after making his catwalk debut at Balenciaga’s Paris Fashion Week show.
Earlier this week, Ye doubled down on his views, writing on his Instagram Stories that the Black Lives Matter movement “was a scam”. He added: “Now it’s over…you’re welcome”.
Now, he has responded with a new Instagram post which featured a picture of the long-sleeved tee in question: “Here’s my latest response when people ask me why I made a tee that says white lives matter… THEY DO.”
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As Rolling Stone noted, the phrase – an appropriation of the Black Lives Matter slogan – has been adopted by white supremacist organisations in recent years, and is categorised by the Anti-Defamation League as a hate slogan.
At the Paris event, West was pictured with conservative commentator Candice Owens – who has been critical of the Black Lives Matter movement – wearing a shirt with the same slogan.
In another Instagram post shared yesterday (October 5), the rapper questioned where critics of his ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt were when he claimed he was unable to see his children after his split with ex-wife Kim Kardashian.
“So why did everyone feel so free to attack me about my t-shirt but Candace Owens was the only public figure to say that it was wrong for the Kardashians to keep me from seeing my daughter,” he wrote to Instagram. “Or we just chime in when we want to tear a Black man down for actually having a different political opinion?
Kanye West and Candace Owens wearing “White Lives Matter” shirts at his fashion show in Paris. pic.twitter.com/eJekZ8cGhe
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) October 3, 2022
Kardashian’s sister, Khloe responded: “Ye, I love you. I don’t want to do this on social media but YOU keep bringing it here. You are the father of my nieces and nephews and I’m trying to be respectful but please STOP tearing Kimberly down and using our family when you want to deflect.”
“Again with the birthday narrative. Enough already. We all know the truth and in my opinion, everyone’s tired of it. You know exactly where your children are at all times and YOU wanted separate birthdays. I have seen all of the texts to prove it. And when you changed your mind and wanted to attend, you came.
She continued: “Like you have pointed out yourself, she is the one taking care of your kids 80% of the time. Please Leave her and the family out of it so that the kids can be raised peacefully. I come from a place of love and I am happy to continue this conversation privately if you wish.”
After photos emerged from the event, artists such as Jaden Smith and Boosie responded to West’s controversial attire.
The family of Ahmaud Arbery – a 25-year-old Black man who was murdered by three white neighbours in the United States in 2020 in a racially motivated hate crime – said Kanye West’s “White Lives Matter” shirt helped “legitimize extremist behavior”.