Kanye West wears 'White Lives Matter' shirt; BLM LA co-founder responds

Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, is making headlines after wearing a White Lives Matter shirt during his YEEZY Season 9 fashion show in Paris.

"I am Ye, and everyone here knows that I am the leader," Ye stated during his speech before the start of his fashion show. 

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The multi-talented artist gave a speech detailing the pushback he received as he entered the fashion industry while donning a shirt with "White Lives Matter" printed on the back in white lettering with people saying the Pope's face was emblazoned on the front.

The speech came after the audience waited nearly two hours for the show to begin. In the live stream of the show, Ye mentioned how the long wait was "just to present the best idea to you."

Ye was followed by a small choir of what appeared to be children wearing pieces from the new collection. West can be seen filming the choir as they sing, "You make forever" with his daughter, North West in attendance joining them.

"You can't manage me. This is an unmanageable situation. You can't turn the music lower," Ye spoke as he prepared to start his show.

‘It absolutely feels like a stunt’

Melina Abdullah, the co-founder of BLM LA and director of BLM grassroots, spoke with FOX 11 about Ye's shirt and statement. 

"It absolutely feels like a stunt. He knows better and if he doesn't know better or if Candace Owens doesn't know better, they need to be called in," she said.

Abdullah said she did reach out to both of them on social media too. 

"Earlier today [Tuesday], I invited them to attend my free online Black power class, so they can deepen their understanding of race, racism and why we say black lives matter. What they did was harmful and perhaps if we give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they don't understand the extent of the harm that they're causing. We say Black lives matter because Black people are under constant attack, constant assault and find ourselves at the bottom of nearly every social, economic, political measure," she said. 

In reference to Ye claiming that BLM is a scam and is over, Abdullah said that isn't the case. 

"It's unfortunate that he didn't choose to reach out to any of us. The statement that he put out basically forecasted the end to Black lives matter, and I will say we aren't going anywhere regardless of how many T-shirts he puts on, or prints or distributes, or regardless of how many statements he puts out," Abdullah said.

Abdullah also said the phrase "White Lives Matter" is harmful. 

"I don't know if he's [Ye] aware that the term has been used by white supremacists and hate groups in order to target and harm Black organizers, in order to bring harm and additional pain to families who lost their loved ones to state sanctioned violence," said Abdullah. 

Various posts on social media showed that models in the show were also wearing pieces with ‘White Lives Matter’ featured on them as well. The statement has been rephrased from the Black Lives Matter phrase that grew around the increased police brutality against Black people in the last few years.

Conversations around the fashion statement blew up with many expressing outrage Ye would wear such a piece of clothing. 

Others weren't too surprised after Ye publicly supported Trump during his presidency in 2018 and has been seen wearing a Make America Great Again hat.

Before his show, Ye made his runway debut opening Balenciaga's fashion show called Balenciaga's Apocalyptic, Mud-Filled SS23.

FOX 11's Koco McAboy contributed to this report.