Black Lives Matter responds directly to Kanye West over White Lives Matter T-shirt

Poppy Bilderbeck

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Black Lives Matter responds directly to Kanye West over White Lives Matter T-shirt

Featured Image Credit: UPI/Alamy Stock Photo/@RealCandaceO/Twitter

Black Lives Matter has spoken out in response to Kanye West wearing a 'White Lives Matter' T-shirt at Paris fashion week. 

West - who now formally goes by the name Ye - wore the long-sleeved top while showcasing season nine of his Yeezy clothing line.

Ye faced intense backlash for his outfit choice on social media, however, rather than taking to his Instagram story to apologise, he branded the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement a 'scam'.

BLM has since responded to Ye's decision to wear the 'White Lives Matter' T-shirt, as well as the Donda rapper's later comments on social media.

West wasn't the only person in attendance of Paris fashion week to wear one of the extremely controversial T-shirts emblazoned with a slogan which is directly associated with white supremacists' response to the BLM movement.

Controversial conservative political commentator and talk show host, Candace Owens, also wore one of the tops, as well as multiple models on the runway.

In response to the backlash he faced online, Ye simply wrote: "Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter was a scam.

"Now it's over. You're welcome."

In a statement sent to TMZ, BLM called the 'stunt' a 'clear affront to Black Lives Matter'.

BLM also drew attention to how the sayings, 'White Lives Matter' and 'All Lives Matter' have 'long served as violent retorts to the Black Lives Matter movement' - a movement of which has 'been measured as the largest racial justice movement in history'.

Moreover, BLM noted how the sayings are 'used by white supremacists and hate groups, including the Ku Klux Klan'.

BLM called West's decision to wear a 'White Lives Matter' T-shirt a 'clear affront to Black Lives Matter'. Credit: ZUMA Press Inc/ Alamy Stock Photo
BLM called West's decision to wear a 'White Lives Matter' T-shirt a 'clear affront to Black Lives Matter'. Credit: ZUMA Press Inc/ Alamy Stock Photo

Reflecting on Ye's Instagram story, BLM stated: "In a follow-up statement, Kanye was clear that he intended to kill the Black Lives Matter movement.

"Black Lives Matter Grassroots sees this as a teachable moment. Political education is core to what we do.

"While some may see Kanye and Candace’s stunt as a distraction, we recognize that it harms thousands of families fighting for justice for their loved ones killed by state-sanctioned violence. It can spread toxic confusion and be used to legitimize violent assaults on Black people.

"Battling misinformation while continuing to do the hard that liberation requires is nothing new for us."

BLM called Ye and Owens' decision to wear the 'White Lives Matter' T-shirt a 'performative dog whistle to millions'.

They continued: "Kanye knows very well that ‘white lives’ have never been targeted for oppression. Black folks, in contrast, are at the bottom of virtually every economic, social, and political measure because of centuries of individual and institutional racism.

"Building a world of Black freedom means upending systems that harm and building new systems of care. Ultimately this benefits everyone. When Black people get free, everybody gets free."

The global network concluded by inviting both Ye and Owens to a 'free, open, online Black Power class,' taught by the Director of the BLM Grassroots Dr Melina Abdullah to 'deepen their understanding'.

The statement concludes: "We invite them into courageous conversation on race, racism, and why we say ‘Black Lives Matter'."

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org 

Topics: News, Kanye West, Black Lives Matter, Instagram, Social Media, Fashion, World News, Celebrity

Poppy Bilderbeck
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