We’re back to the “Kanye West does something outrageous and uncalled for” headlines. Kanye West debuted his new Yeezy collection at a YZY SZN 9 presentation in Paris on Monday. His wardrobe choice? A “White Lives Matter” long-sleeved shirt.
The musician wore the t-shirt as he leaned back and videotaped children (perhaps from his Donda Academy, as well as his daughter North) wandering around in a circle in all-black while singing “You make eternity.”
Oh, and conservative commentator Candace Owens posed for a photo with West while wearing a shirt with the message. White nationalists, such as the KKK and the Aryan Renaissance Society, have reframed the phrase “Black Lives Matter” used by Black people protesting police brutality. The statement has been designated as a hate slogan by the Anti-Defamation League.
According to Complex, numerous models from the YZY show wore outfits on the runway that included the message, such as a white long-sleeved blouse with the words “WHITE LIVES MATTER” printed on the back.
While it’s unclear what message (if any) West was attempting to send with his latest wardrobe choice, the rapper has been no stranger to controversy in recent years, particularly over his political convictions. In 2018, he declared his support for Donald Trump and announced his intention to run for president in 2020.
In terms of race relations, West previously garnered widespread criticism for his cavalier remarks regarding the history of American slavery in 2018, in which he said it was a “choice.” “When you hear about slavery for 400 years: that sounds like a decision,” West explained. “You were there for 400 years,” he continued, “and it’s all of you?”
In 2018, he told Jimmy Kimmel, “Just as a musician, African-American, a guy living out in Hollywood, everyone around me attempted to select my candidate for me.” And then informed me that every time I stated I loved Trump, I couldn’t say it out loud because it would ruin my job.”
“It took me a year and a half to find the courage to stand up and put on the hat, regardless of the repercussions.”