Kanye West’s mental health issues are not an excuse to act like a buffoon. In his never-ending pursuit of white validation, he has entered a realm where abhorrent Blacks like Candace Owens exist — a desolate plane where self-hate rolls like tumbleweed. As if yesterday’s headline, “Kanye West Wears A ‘White Lives Matter’ Shirt, wasn’t deplorable enough, he has made a further spectacle of himself and his YZY brand by using his platform to bully a Black woman. And not just any Black woman, a Black woman who exists in a space he so desperately wishes to be accepted. Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Vogue contributing editor, was in attendance for Ye’s surprise YZY showing at Paris Fashion Week. And like every other Black person with any sense of pride, she was appalled by the White Lives Matter frocks he sent down the runway. This level of ignorance is unforgivable, especially for a musical genius.
Karefa-Johnson called Kanye’s cheap fashion ploy “pure violence.” “The tshirts this man conceived, produced, and shared with the world are pure violence. There is no excuse, there is no art here,” she wrote on her Instastories.
Specifically, “the danger is that, this very premise, the idea that white supremacy is in danger of extinction [is] what justifies mass incarceration, murder en masse, indeed even the advent of slavery.” The popular fashion editor offered Kanye some grace, allowing herself to “get what he was trying to do.”
She added, “The idea that blackness must be snuffed out for it will surely [supersede] whiteness in power and influence if given the chance, and it’s so hugely irresponsible to furnish the most dangerous extremists with this kind of fiction narrative.”
Kanye’s White Lives Matters merchandise supports White supremacy in a society that already prioritizes whiteness. Whereas, Black Lives Matter has, and will always be, a rallying cry for equal treatment.
Similar to wearing a “Make America Great Again Hat,” Kanye is reiterating his allegiance to Whiteness when, in fact, they have proven he is just another n*gger in a coup. Kanye used his social media platform to bully Karefa-Johnson, but it has backfired because, unlike his racial indignity, Black people have had enough.
His comments are in shambles. Zerina Akers, Beyonce’s stylist, wrote, “You invited about 50 people to your show… she was one of them. Instead of sparing intellectually you reduce to looks.” Celebrity stylist Jason Rembert wrote, “Wild lame and corny.”
White Black Lives Matter
During his rant, Kanye West called the Black Lives Matter movement a “scam.” White lives have always mattered. The Black Lives Matter movement was created out of necessity. In 2013, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi — created the stirring mantra as a call to action for the world to recognize the countless Black bodies that have succumbed to unfair treatment, police brutality, and systematic racism.
Jaden Smith, who was in attendance at the invite-only showing, even had something to say about Kanye’s “designs.” The outspoken artist revealed, he walked out of the show because Kanye’s message didn’t align with his morals. However, we didn’t see Kanye verbally attack him – he chose to take his aggression out on Black women.
Even Boosie called out the artist for his self-hatred. “U JUST GOING TO KEEP USING YOUR PLATFORM TO SHIT ON YOUR OWN RACE LIKE THIS,” he tweeted. Yet Kanye had no energy for Jaden or Boosie.
In the words of Van Lathan, America is a shrine to the worth of white people. This message is reactionary to a message affirming the worth of Black lives, which have never been worth anything in America.”
Slavery Was A Choice
Kanye has a history of subversive behavior, including when he blatantly reduced 400 years of slavery as “a choice” during a viral TMZ rant. He was quickly taken to task by TMZ personality Van Lathan.
“While you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives,” Lathan said. “We have to deal with the marginalization that’s come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice.”
Lathan added, “Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled, and brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something to me, that’s not real.”
Up until now, his allegiance to Trump would be his ultimate display of disloyalty to the community that made him who he is. Can’t say we didn’t see this coming.
As a former Kanye fan, and fellow Gemini, I was ready to accept Kanye back into the Black community after his appearance at the 2022 BET Awards where he lent his voice to uplift the culture and honoree Diddy. I found a new space for him after his Netflix special offered an intimate glimpse into his humble and triumphant rise to fame. It almost seemed like he was too, coming back to his roots after the public disintegration of his marriage to the most famous white woman and family.
However, Kanye reverted to his old, tired antics to appeal to whiteness at the expense of his Blackness. His repugnant display is disappointing and should be rewarded with exactly what it deserves — nothing.
Kanye West will never be done, perse. He has made music that will transcend generations and moves in the fashion world that has placed him in the same category as other visionary billionaires. But the Kanye we once knew, the man who did donuts in a Maybach with Jay; who rapped through the wire; the artist who declared, “And when they get on they leave your ass for a white girl,” is gone. There’s only this leftover parody version of Kanye that is damaged and intent on damaging the world with vitriol. He has out-Kanyed even himself.
Somebody come get ya mans.