Kanye West has drawn widespread condemnation from critics of his decision to wear a “White Lives Matter” shirt during his YZY Paris Fashion Week show.
The Yeezy founder also dressed controversial far right-wing commentator Candace Owens – a vocal critic of the Black Lives Matter movement – in the same design. Complex reports several models also wore designs that featured the slogan on the YZY runway.
The “White Lives Matter” phrase has been used an appropriation of the “Black Lives Matter: slogan. It is used by supremacists such as the KKK and the A#### Renaissance Society, and is categorized by the Anti-Defamation League as a hate slogan.
Reactions To Kanye West’s “White Lives Matter” Design
Once photos of the show emerged, folks were quick to share their opinions online.
Van Lathan, who went viral in 2018 for calling out Kanye West in the offices of TMZ over his “slavery was a choice” comments, shared an image of Ye in the shirt. Though his caption was a scant “Y’all,” he gave his take in the comments section.
When asked, “do white lives not matter?” Lathan responded, saying, “We don’t need a reminder of the worth of white lives. America is a shrine to the worth of white people. This message is reactionary to a message affirming Black lives, which have never been worth anything in America.”
He continued adding the phrase, “In its intent, it’s a white supremacist notion,” and Kanye is “apparently centering that notion.”
“The notion that it always has to be about white people in America is incredibly frustrating, emotionally draining,” he said. Read his remarks in full below.
Meanwhile, Jaden Smith was apparently at the show and tweeted that he could not stay and support Kanye West.
“I can’t stand behind what Kanye’s saying, he does not have the full support of the youth,” he wrote. “Black Lives Matter. I don’t care who it is if I don’t feel the message I’m out.” He later deleted the tweet but added, “I had to dip lol,” and “Black Lives Matter.”