Kanye West Says “White Lives Matter” Shirt A “Comment On Status Quo”
Kanye West responded to criticism of his ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt.
After receiving backlash for wearing the controversial top to his Yeezy fashion show in Paris on Monday, the Donda rapper addressed his critics in an Instagram post.
Alongside a Vanessa Beecroft image of a white woman holding two Black babies, Kanye referred to himself in third person and wrote, “Ye cares about black lives. Ye’s White Lives Matters is a comment on the status quo.”
The star continued by critiquing those who have commented on the shirt.
“When an artist like Ye challenges those framed spaces – in a dialectical way – he is persecuted. He puts the grand narratives at risk,” the 45-year-old recounted. “Ye proves that if artists have an opinion in territories that are unknown and new, like any true revolutionary, they are assaulted. Ye is an artist, Ye cares about all lives, all people, and he is working against all oppression.”
Earlier, Vogue editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson explained in her own Instagram post why the shirt’s message sparked criticism, arguing that by affirming White Lives Matter, Kanye was “trying to illustrate a dystopian world when whiteness might become extinct or at least would be in enough danger to demand defence.”
She continued, “But the danger is that, this very premise, the idea that white supremacy is in danger of extinction… is what justifies mass incarceration, murder on masse, indeed even the advent of slavery.”