Listen to this article here
As previously reported by REVOLT, Kanye West faced major backlash after debuting a “White Lives Matter” shirt during Paris Fashion Week. After being called out by many unaffiliated to West, now, Ahmaud Arbery’s family has joined the discussion.
In a statement given through her attorney Lee Merritt, Cooper-Jones expressed her “extreme disappointment” in West for slapping the phrase on clothing from his latest YZY collection and doubling down on his stance on Tuesday.
Merritt confirmed to Rolling Stone that West had given some financial support to Arbery’s family after Ahmaud, at 25-years-old was chased down and killed by three white men while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia.
After seeing Ye make light of racial injustice for the sake of fashion, Wanda Cooper-Jones told Rolling Stone in a statement that West’s actions “flies directly in the face” of what he had expressed to her family.
Kanye West’s latest stunt of championing the slogan “White Lives Matter” and decrying Black Lives Matter as a “scam” has not only brought sharp rebukes from his music and fashion industry peers, but from the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, whom the rapper had privately supported after her son was murdered in a racially-motivated attack.
“As a result of his display ‘White Lives Matter’ started trending in the U.S., which would direct support and legitimize extremist behavior, [much] like the behavior that took the life of her son,” Cooper-Jones relayed through Merritt. “That is the thing that Wanda and families like hers continue to fight against.”
West took to his Instagram story to respond to the criticism on Tuesday, appearing to stand on his actions: “EVERYONE KNOWS BLACK LIVES MATTER WAS A SCAM. NOW ITS OVER. YOU’RE WELCOME.”
“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,]” the statement added. “It’s confusing for her, it’s confusing for the families to receive his support privately, but publicly to set us all back.”