As previously reported by REVOLT, Kanye West faced major backlash after debuting a “White Lives Matter” shirt during Paris Fashion Week. Many celebs and industry insiders spoke out deeming his behavior dangerous. Now, Ahmaud Arbery’s family has joined the discussion.
Arbery was just 25-years-old when he was chased down and killed by three white men as he went for a jog in Brunswick, Georgia. The Feb. 23, 2020 killing sparked nationwide outrage and put a renewed focus on racism in America. After seeing Ye make light of racial injustice for the sake of fashion, Arbery’s family had a few things to say.
Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, gave a statement to Rolling Stone through her attorney Lee Merritt. “As a result of his display, ‘White Lives Matter’ started trending in the U.S., which would [directly] support and legitimize extremist behavior, [much] like the behavior that took the life of her son. That is the thing that Wanda and families like hers continue to fight against,” her statement began.
It continued, “This mockery of the Black Lives Matter movement and his now denunciation of the movement as some sort of hoax flies directly in the face [of what he’s said previously.] It’s confusing for her, it’s confusing for the families to receive his support privately, but publicly to set us all back.” Cooper-Jones claimed Ye spoke with her privately about Arbery’s death in the past. The superstar also provided financial assistance to the family.
Jaden Smith, who attended Kanye’s event, walked out once he saw the shirt’s message. “I had to dip,” he tweeted. Smith followed that post with a “Black Lives Matter” tweet. West wasn’t the only one wearing the “White Lives Matter” shirt. He also got conservative political commentator Candace Owens and Lauryn Hill’s 23-year-old daughter Selah Marley to wear it.
While the trio originally stood firm in support of the shirts, Marley later posted a screenshot of a text message to Ye to her Instagram Story. In it, she asked if he would speak to her to “provide healing to our community” in light of the backlash the clothing received. It is not immediately known if Ye has spoken with Marley or Arbery’s mother about the issue.
See related tweets below.