The owners of the White Lives Matter trademark have offered to sell to Kanye West for $1billion (£870,000,000).
Last week, two Black radio hosts acquired the trademark to the phrase after Ye said he wanted to sell shirts emblazoned with the hate slogan.
West courted controversy by appearing with conservative commentator Candace Owens in shirts stating ‘White Lives Matter’ at Paris Fashion Week in early October. During West’s Yeezy fashion show, some models also wore clothing bearing the phrase, which the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center have categorised as a hateful, white supremacist slogan.
After that, West wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post that he planned on “selling these White Lives Matter tees later today”. While there’s been no official movement in regards to West actually selling the t-shirts, his stylist and associate Ian Connor was seen handing out the shirts to homeless people in Los Angeles’ Skid Row on October 16.
In a new interview with TMZ this weekend, Ramses Ja and Quinton Ward, the Black co-hosts of an Arizona-based radio show called Civic Cipher, the outlet noted that “any potential buyer would have to come up with a $1 billion offer to even make them consider selling.”
In another interview with Capital B News, Ja said: “If we were to sell that trademark, for whatever amount of money, we could donate that money to causes that we feel would benefit Black people, like the NAACP or Black Lives Matter organisations.
“Because, realistically, we cannot stop the shirts from being made right now. We can write cease and desist to people selling these shirts right now, but that is a big monster that requires teams of lawyers and thousands of dollars that we do not have.”
In the days following his Yeezy fashion show, West defended his use of ‘White Lives Matter’ on several occasions, insisting in an Instagram post that: “THEY DO.” Later, in an interview with Fox News, West doubled down again on his decision to wear the phrase, saying he “thought the idea of me wearing it was funny”.
Last week, the rapper returned to Twitter, declaring that he’s taking a monthlong “cleanse” and “verbal fast”, during which he’ll refrain from sex, porn and alcohol.
The rapper legally known as Ye made his return to Twitter on November 3, just shy of a month after he was banned for making an antisemitic threat on the platform; in a tweet posted on October 7, he wrote that he would be “going death con 3 [sic] On JEWISH PEOPLE”.