Kanye West debuted his Yeezy Season 9 collection during a surprise Paris Fashion Week show on Monday evening (Oct. 3), but began trending online when he was seen wearing a long-sleeved shirt with “White Lives Matter” emblazoned on the back.
Not only was the the rapper-turned-designer wearing the phrase on his shirt, so were some of the models in the show. Ye went on to pose with conservative commentator Candace Owens, in matching “White Lives Matter” shirts.
More from Billboard
While “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” rapper’s reasoning behind wearing the shirt is currently unknown, the racist phrase was widely adopted for years by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The fiber and integrity our nation was founded on is being unraveled … [by] homosexuality and [racially] mix[ed] relationships,” the former WLM website used to read before it was taken down, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Illegal immigration, healthcare, housing, welfare, employment, education, social security, our children, our veterans and active military and their rights … are the issues we face as white Americans. The laws and immoral orders the current [Obama] administration are passing are drastically … targeting everything the white way of life holds dear.”
In response to Ye’s shirt, Twitter users began flooding the platform with disapproval for his insensitive choice, especially given that he is a Black man. See below for reactions, including some from fellow artists including Boosie BadAzz and Jaden Smith.
Black Lives Matter
— Jaden (@jaden) October 3, 2022
True Leaders Lead
— Jaden (@jaden) October 3, 2022
@kanyewest AFTER ALL WE BEEN THROUGH AS A RACE YOU PUT THIS DISRESPECTFUL SHIT ON‼️U GIVES NO FUCKS ABOUT HOW BLACKS HAVE DIED N SUFFERED TO THE HANDS OF THE WHITE MAN😞 N U SAY BUSH DONT LIKE BLACK PEOPLE.. REALLY “NIGGA”
— Boosie BadAzz (@BOOSIEOFFICIAL) October 3, 2022
Kanye west making Black models wear “ white lives matter” shirts is a culmination of his anti blackness and his immersion in white supremacy ideologies and methods. Disgusting pic.twitter.com/yIaVKPYEBB
— ꧁༺ӄɛɛք ȶʀɨɢɢɛʀɨռɢ ʀǟƈɨֆȶֆ ʍɛɢɦǟռ༻꧂ (@Blu_Alexia_) October 3, 2022
This is all that needs to be said in regards to Kanye West and his White Lives Matter shirt. pic.twitter.com/v2ykdgT4WN
— _Joesy_ 🧚🏾♀️ (@015Serenity) October 3, 2022
Kanye West edition of “How it started/How it’s going” pic.twitter.com/1F5q5jbdt8
— Wu-Tang Is For The Children (@WUTangKids) October 3, 2022
Kanye West doesn’t care about Black people.
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) October 3, 2022
“I think Kanye West is justified in wearing a White Lives Matter hoodie” pic.twitter.com/hjS4ysKvIm
— Colts suck again (1-2-1) (@that_guy_waloo) October 3, 2022
So the guy who thought slavery was a choice & the woman who said slave owners deserve reparations more than the slaves, wore matching White Lives Matter sweatshirts.
Color me surprised… 🤦♂️
Kanye West & Candace Owens make Martin Luther King Jr. roll over in his grave. pic.twitter.com/uDPzYXSzQ4
— The Jewish Ginger Resister (@JewishResister) October 3, 2022
Whether it's Lauren Boebert or Majorie Taylor Greene saying dumb shit like "democrats have already started the killings" or Kanye West and Candace Owens wearing dumb shit like 'White Lives Matter' shirts…
THEY JUST WANT ATTENTION.
Please stop giving it to them.
— Echo Mars (@jenmillsap) October 3, 2022
Kanye West was on instagram not too long ago talking about the Kardashians we’re corrupting his BLACK children… just to be wearing a White Lives Matter shirt pic.twitter.com/mesEFeDteG
— Queen Latifah (@08_____02) October 3, 2022