Kanye West creates new controversy with his “white lives matter” shirts

Kanye West, the 45-year-old iconic rapper, defended his controversial merch inscribed with the phrase,  “White Lives Matter.” that he wore in Paris Fashion Week after he got backlash from the public on social media. 

This ignorant response, much like All Lives Matter, is an intentional criticism of “Black Lives Matter” to try and diminish the movement and shows the ignorance of many because they do not bother to find out exactly what the term means. 

After further research on the events that took place the editorial board viewed this as very hurtful especially Kanye being such a famous and influential person. This was viewed as insulting to the victims’ families and damaging to the movement he once showed support for. 

Kanye West during Paris Fashion Week Show, showed up in a “White Lives Matter” shirt with Candace Owens, a conservative pundit who has always been very vocal about her disagreement with the Black Lives Matter movement. 

He wrote on his Instagram on Tuesday, October 4, “Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter was a scam now it’s over you’re welcome.” 

West received so much backlash from his new merch because of how offensive the phrase “White Lives Matter” really is. White Lives Matter was a white supremacist response to Black Lives Matter created in response to BLM and used by groups like the Ku Klux Klan. They created WLM in retaliation to Black Lives Matter protests to help support the white race and give them a voice. 

“I think it’s just offensive because the meaning of Black Lives Matter is about protesting against police brutality, which means that in hindsight black people experience more brutality from the hands of police than white people. The whole white lives matter ‘ saying only came from white people feeling left out in a sense and not truly grasping the idea of what BLM means. It’s only to contradict black people and their personal protest for equality. And not to mention, when did white people use these phrases before BLM,” says Gabriella German, a young Black reporter and supporter of the BLM movement.

While so many people tried to protest against police brutality and support the Black Lives Matter movement, the phrase “White Lives Matter” was only a response to take away focus from what BLM was actually protesting against. Kayne West’s merch brings even more media attention to this offensive saying. 

Ironically on Thursday, June 4, 2020, hours after he made a donation to the families of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, he joined a Black Lives Matter protest in Chicago. West showed his support for the Black Lives Matter movement by walking alongside fellow protesters walking the south side of Chicago. 

This new disagreement with the BLM movement from West has even gone to influence many people including Sharon Osbourne who agreed with West and went as far as to say she wanted the money she had previously donated back. 

“Well we gave $900,000 to [Black Lives Matter], and I’d like my money back, please.” Osbourne said, and she continues to show her support for West. 

However, the backlash against Kanye has definitely been higher than the support. The Ahmaud Arbery family called the artist out and described what he did as a hurtful, duplicitous publicity stunt. Ahmaud Arbery was a 25-year-old black man who was murdered during a racially motivated hate crime while jogging through a Georgia neighborhood.