Kanye West, Candace Owens, and several models, including Selah Marley, the granddaughter of reggae icon Bob Marley, wore long-sleeve shirts featuring the words “White Lives Matter” during Kanye’s Yeezy Season 9 event at Paris Fashion Week on Monday. The front of the shirts featured Pope John Paul II and the words “Seguiremos Tu Ejemplo,” which means, “We Will Follow Your Example.” Predictably, the left went berserk.
Droves of journalists, actors, musicians, politicians, activists, and “anti-hate” organizations decried the shirts, describing them as “dangerous,” “white supremacist,” “racist,” “disgusting,” and “irresponsible” thanks to the apparel’s sporting of the phrase “White Lives Matter.”
This phrase, of course, is usually used as a response to the famous line “Black Lives Matter,” which is both the name of and the slogan for the Marxist organization that orchestrated violent, destructive race rioting during the summer of 2020 and beyond. That’s one of the reasons BLM has nothing to do with valuing black lives. In its name, rioters mercilessly torched and looted black neighborhoods and businesses. Instead, the organization serves to enrich its corrupt, Marxist leaders and totally transform our Democratic system into a racially “equitable” communist regime.
So Kanye was correct when he said after the show that “Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter is a scam.” There is also truth in his recent Instagram statement: “Here’s my latest response when people ask me why I made a tee that says white lives matter… THEY DO.” The regime, however, did not take kindly to such frank and accurate remarks from Kanye.
Vogue contributing editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, who attended Kanye’s show, went on an Instagram story rant afterward, writing that Kanye’s “White Lives Matter” shirt was “indefensible behavior,” “pure violence,” and that there was “no art here.”
Kanye responded to Karefa-Johnson’s comments in kind, making fun of the fashion editor’s sense of style and sharing a photo of her with the caption “this is not a fashion person,” and another photo zooming in on her laced knee-high boots with a caption about how Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, would hate them.
Despite Karefa-Johnson firing the first shot, the media labeled Kanye’s response to Karefa-Johnson as an “indefensible bullying campaign.” Fashion icon Gigi Hadid also inserted herself, calling West “a bully and a joke.”
Selah Marley wasn’t immune to the crazed attacks either, with people saying she “disgraced the name and memory of her grandfather Bob Marley.” Marley responded by writing, “The past 24 hours has allowed me to realize that most of y’all are stuck in a hive mind mentality.”
“You do what the group tells you to do & think what the group tells you to think,” she added. “Witnessing someone break free from ‘the agenda’ sends you all into such a panic that you will do whatever it takes to force them back into the box that you feel they should exist in.”
Nothing Scares the Regime More than Art
Kanye’s “White Lives Matter” fashion moment provoked extreme volatility not because it was “racist” or “dangerous,” but because it possessed a unique power to pull people out of the “hive mind mentality” Marley described. And the reason his fashion show is powerful, irrespective of whatever Karefa-Johnson says, is that it is art.
According to professor and author Jordan Peterson, artists “mov[e] the culture forward into the unknown … by translating what is as of yet unimaginable.” Artists are known to push boundaries. Consider the laid-back and flowy fashion aesthetic of 1960s hippies or the abstract and geometric patterns in cubism. Both these movements subverted the norm in fashion and art, respectively.
At their best, artists don’t push boundaries solely to push boundaries, they do it to feed our imagination and invite us to consider problems or unknowns in society. That’s why art movements tend to be counter-cultural. “[Artists are] problem solvers,” said Peterson, “They’re problem detectors and problem solvers. That’s what true artists do.” And that’s what Kanye did. While his fashion show may not be on the level of the Sistine Chapel or the Mona Lisa, his shirt is an artistic expression of a truth currently un-sayable in today’s America.
Indeed, his fashion statement holds a power far greater than an activist merely tweeting “White Lives Matter” could ever dream of. Kanye doesn’t need to go through the laundry list of instances of anti-white racism or BLM corruption. He simply creates and people start talking.
Leftism has become a full-fledged religion, with its own zealous followers and unquestionable orthodoxy. Yet it is the left’s insistence on obedience and its desire for total control, without grace, that is igniting rebellion. Indeed, while Christianity as a whole is on the decline, young people are increasingly attracted to traditional Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.
That’s why I also think it’s no coincidence that Pope John Paul II is on the front of Kanye’s shirt. The current pope, Pope Francis, is a socialist who is more outspoken about the environment than abortion. One of his most insidious moves to date has been his crusade to expel the Traditional Latin Mass from the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II, by contrast, was famously conservative, tolerant of the Latin rite, and anti-communist. John Paul II and “White Lives Matter” on one shirt couldn’t be more counter-cultural.
Art has always been the best communicator of politics and philosophy. It has the power to convey tricky ideas and emotions that are less effective when expressed via conventional methods. Kanye is pushing people outside their comfort zone or “box,” as Marley says, and inviting them to think. Both his identity as a wacky yet introspective and moving musician and his use of fashion instead of traditional political statements draw people in. He’s not a Twitter troll or a journalist or a politician; he’s Kanye.
Nothing could threaten the left more, which is why they have responded with such volatility. Shirts cannot be “irresponsible” and “dangerous.” These deranged responses mean Kanye made a powerful artistic statement that prompts further thought, and the left hates it.