Culture

Kanye West Faces Criticism From Ahmaud Arbery’s Mother Over “White Lives Matter” Shirt

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-James and Vogue have expressed disappointment over Ye’s recent controversial statements.

Kanye West is catching heat after recently wearing a message reading ‘White Lives Matter.’ On Tuesday (October 4), Wanda Cooper-James, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery shared a statement with Rolling Stone, decrying Kanye West for wearing the controversial t-shirt.

“As a result of his display ‘White Lives Matter’ started trending in the U.S., which would directly support and legitimize extremist behavior, [much] like the behavior that took the life of her son,” Cooper-James said through via attorney Lee Merritt. “That is the thing that Wanda and families like hers continue to fight against.”

“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.”

After the Grammy-winning rapper went after Vogue contributing editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson for calling Ye’s message “dangerous” and “irresponsible,” the publication  made a statement declaring that they are supporting her.

Ye also posted an image of Karefa-Johnson to Instagram, expressing that the editor is his “sister” and that the two had a conversation with each other in-person. The rapper-producer also claimed that filmmaker Baz Luhrmann captured the conversation at the service of Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

“We took pics and I was instructed to not post them,” he wrote. “It felt like she was being used like Trevor Noah and other Black people to speak on my expression. She expressed that her company did not instruct her to speak on my t shirt expression.”

He added that he at Karefa-Johnson “apologized to each other for the way we made each other feel we actually got along and have both experienced the fight for acceptance in a world that’s not our own.”

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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