Posted on October 6, 2022

Ahmaud Arbery Family: Kanye West’s ‘White Lives Matter’ Stunt ‘Legitimizes’ Extremist Behavior

Cheyenne Roundtree, Rolling Stone, October 4, 2022

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.

Wanda Cooper-Jones tells Rolling Stone in a statement that West’s actions “flies directly in the face” of what he had expressed to her family after her 25-year-old son was killed when he went for a jog in Georgia and three white neighbors chased him down and shot him in February 2020.

In a statement given through her attorney Lee Merritt, Cooper-Jones expressed her “extreme disappointment” in West for slapping the phrase “White Lives Matter” on clothing from his latest YZY collection and doubling down on his stance on Tuesday.

“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. {snip}


Merritt confirmed to Rolling Stone that West had given some financial support to Arbery’s family as well as the family of Jemel Roberson — a Black security guard who was fatally shot by a police officer in 2018 — but did not disclose the amount.


{snip} West lashed out at Vogue stylist and fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson on Instagram after she had diplomatically expressed her thoughts, saying while West had tried to “illustrate a dystopian world in the future when whiteness might become extinct” it ultimately was an “incredibly irresponsible and dangerous act.”