Reluctantly, I address the rapper and fashion icon Ye’s “White Lives Matter” t-shirt controversy. I’ve been hesitant to because, although I don’t know Ye personally, I’ve come to know his tactics. Right before he releases an album, a new shoe or style, he does something drastic. He gave his support to Donald Trump and then asked him on live TV to release incarcerated alleged Chicago gang leader Larry Hoover. Ye “ran” for president and then released an album shortly thereafter. Now, within a week of wearing a White Lives Matter t-shirt, news sources reveal he’s purchasing a conservative media company.
But is it OK for Ye to wear a White Lives Matter shirt? By asking that question, you’re giving him what he wants. Say what you will about Ye, but he’s a marketing genius. His critics will point to the interview he did for LeBron’s The Shop which was cut after the WLM stunt. The critics will use this as proof that Ye’s bound to fail.
However, LeBron has become a lighting rod for white conservative rage. They see him as a spoiled rich crybaby who’s perpetuating a false idea of Black racial oppression. From their perspective, Ye was exercising his right to free speech when he wore the WLM shirt. LeBron’s axing Ye’s interview is proof that those on the left are trying to rob Conservatives of their rights. No matter how little sense it makes, to Conservatives, Ye is the victim.
Moreover, Ye has been seen with Conservative commentator Candace Owens who’s made a living out of being the Black person who’ll say the hateful things white Conservatives won’t say publicly; it’s gotten her wealthy and notorious. She speaks out against Black people at every turn, attempting to brainwash them and lead them to slaughter as she makes a profit. Seeing how willing Conservatives are to pour money into Black people who publicly drag their own, it’s not surprising Ye sees a way to easy money.
Kanye’s WLM shirt doesn’t matter. Yes, he’s the same guy who said on national TV in 2005 that George Bush, then-president, “don’t care about Black people.” Neither does Kanye. His goal has become to get filthy rich as quickly as possible by any means. Does Kanye’s WLM shirt really change anything? The mere fact that were having this conversation gives Kanye the win.
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