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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

During Paris Fashion Week, rapper Kanye West, who prefers to go by Ye, wore a shirt that said, “White Lives Matter,” and had models in his show sport the same look on the runway.

West, who identifies as a Black person, has made comments about race in the past, but this act was a full-on stunt. The rapper deliberately used his fashion influence, earned from his brand “Yeezy” over the past decade, to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement that started in response to police brutality back in 2020.

As a person of color himself, this move may lead others to believe that the BLM movement is not legit or necessary, thus adding to the fire of the pre-existing culture wars between people of color and privileged white people.

It’s also notable to not only point out West’s race but also the power he has through his following, both digitally and figuratively. Uninformed persons may see this act as a representation of the entire Black community.

For now, West is facing backlash from a variety of people and platforms due to this situation and his recent actions.

Vanessa Friedman, fashion director and fashion critic for The New York Times, says this stunt means “Yeezy is dead.” Jaden Smith, another rapper, responded to the situation via Tweets “True Leaders Lead” and “Black Lives Matter.”

West’s action also has Adidas under fire. The German athletics brand, which makes billions each year from Yeezy, is considering ending the business deal between the two. There has not been a final decision made as of yet.

Howdy! My name is Sydnie Harrell, and I served as President and Campus Correspondent of Her Campus at TAMU for the 2022-2023 school year. Feel free to get in touch with me on social media.