Yes, There Are Many Justifications For “White Lives Matter”

Woke World is losing what was left of its collective mind over “Ye’s” (that’s who used to be called Kanye West) stunt of using designer “White Lives Matter” T-shirts to promote his new fashion line “YZY” during Paris Fashion Week. Not only was the former Mr. Kardashian wearing the automatically offensive garment, but so was much-reviled black conservative Candace Owens.

Ye is almost certainly mentally and/or emotionally ill, but the rapper’s schtick is pushing buttons, and he does that boldly and very well. Being a little crazy probably helps. The question: Is there anything wrong with a T-shirt that says “White Lives Matter,” or unethical about wearing one?

There is one aspect of it that may be wrong: if doing so is only an intentional effort to upset people, reasonably or not, then the shirt invokes the Second Niggardly Principle:

“When an individual or group can accomplish its legitimate objectives without engaging in speech or conduct that will offend individuals whose basis for the supposed offense is emotional, mistaken or ignorant, but is not malicious and is based on well-established impulses of human nature, it is unethical to intentionally engage in such speech or conduct.”

Ye, being Kanye (or vice versa) only wants to offend, because that’s what gives him the publicity and attention that to him is like water to a fish. The shirts are not the product of deep philosophical thought. Nonetheless, the fashion writer that the New York Times sicced on the controversy m (Vanessa Friedman) is showing her bias (and you know what bias does) by writing, in a piece called “There Is No Excuse for Ye’s ‘White Lives Matter’ Shirt,”

the shirt, what it symbolized, and how its endorsement by a figure such as Ye — even one with a track record of wearing MAGA hats and toying with Confederate imagery — could be used as a rallying cry by those who already buy into its message.

“Indefensible behavior,” wrote Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, the Vogue editor, on Instagram. Later adding, “there is no excuse, there is no art here.” Jaden Smith, in the audience, walked out. So did Lynette Nylander, the Dazed writer and editor. The next day, at the Chanel show, Edward Enninful, the editor of British Vogue and the most powerful Black man in fashion media, called the shirt “inappropriate” and “insensitive, given the state of the world.”

Ms. Nylander had posted, “It doesn’t matter what the intention was … it’s perception to the masses out of context.”…

...[B]ackstage Ye declined to provide any theoretical framework. “It says it all,” he said, of the shirt. But what exactly does it say?

That he truly believes he can appropriate the language of racial violence with irony? That someday the power structure of Black and white will be reversed, and since he says this collection is the future, that’s the world he envisions? That Ye gets a kick out of pushing everyone’s buttons? That he wants to see how far he can go and doesn’t really care about, or think about, the collateral damage in the meantime (including to those children singing at his feet), despite the violence this could feed?

After the Vogue editor’s criticism, Ye tweeted in response, “Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter was a scam. Now it’s over. You’re welcome.” It’s hard to argue with that. Some of us knew that Black Lives Matter was a scam from the very beginning, but now that the truth is coming out about its leaders’ misuse of contributions for their own pleasure, the layers of scammery  are becoming more apparent. It was certainly a clever scam, capitalizing on false narratives regarding the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and George Floyd deaths, using a  phrase that literally could not be denied (Like “Kittens Are Cute”) but that was designed to imply that black lives don’t matter to white Americans and U.S. institutions. It was, in short, a racist slogan, a divisive one, and one intended to spark violence, which it did, but its wielders managed to frame any counter-slogan, like “All Lives Matter,” “Blue Lives Matter,” or “It’s OK to be White,” as protests of white supremacy. Friedman writes  that the T-Shirt’s message is “a phrase that the Anti-Defamation League has called hate speech and attributed to white supremacists (including the Ku Klux Klan), who began using it in 2015 in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.” Well, if the Anti-Defamation League says so, it must be true. The “OK” sign is also racist because white supremacists use it, but the fact that “Black Lives Matter” is spouted by rioters and out-right anti-white bigots doesn’t alter its benign and virtuous meaning. Got it. “Antiracism” requires different rules and standards for the races.

Whatever Ye’s motives were for the T-shirt, and I stipulate that the main and perhaps only one was self-promotion, the legitimate justifications for “White Lives Matter” include..

  • It’s true.
  • It’s more than high time that the purveyors of “Black Lives Matter” get a well-aimed thumb in their metaphorical eye.
  • White Americans have a right and an obligation to push back against the vilification and demonizing they have been subjected to for years.
  • Black Lives Matter is a scam, so it is fitting that the rejoinder is being pushed by a another huckster.
  • Double standards are per se unethical, and racial double standards are divisive.
  • It’s just words.

I’m sure there are others. Meanwhile, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, the black jogger who was gunned down by two racist red-necks, told reporters that the shirt  “flies directly in the face” of what  the rapper had privately expressed to her as gave the family financial support after the murder.  Wanda Cooper-Jones said, though her lawyer, condemned his  “mockery of the Black Lives Matter movement and his now denunciation of the movement as some sort of hoax…”

Again, it is a hoax. The artist formerly known a Kanye West has always styled himself as a truth-teller, and whatever his real motives, pointing out the truth about BLM by mocking it may be the T-shirts’ best justification of all.

13 thoughts on “Yes, There Are Many Justifications For “White Lives Matter”

  1. Whoa Nellie! The ADL is a reputable source for lefty guidance? Aren’t they, wait for it, Jewish? Don’t all Jews hate Palestinians? Aren’t all Jews NAZIs? What’s going on here?

  2. One of the interesting and hilarious aspects to me of this meaningless tempest du jour is that it does give an insight into the many self-flattering delusions of our journalist class.
    Lynette Nylander of something called Dazed magazine thinks: “It doesn’t matter what the intention was … it’s perception to the masses out of context.” Perception “to the masses”? Is she a Soviet Minister of Information? What masses and what perception? These people have convinced themselves that it’s a matter of life-or-death urgency that they enforce the party line, and that no one is allowed to disagree w or mock the sacred beliefs of their sect.
    Next comes the NYT: “He… doesn’t really care about, or think about, the collateral damage in the meantime (including to those children singing at his feet), despite the violence this could feed?”
    Think of the children! If anyone is allowed to dissent there will be violence! When of course we all know 1) there will be zero violence over the Kanye T-shirt; and 2) if there is any, it will take place far from the homes of writers for the NYT.
    These people, armed only w some sort of degree and credential and little else, really see themselves as a cross bw a Ministry of Truth and a holy priesthood that must curate and manage all ideas and information. And they also have convinced themselves that they’re doing it all on behalf of the “marginalized” and to protect “our Democracy.”
    The age of the internet has turned our press into self-deluded self-important self-righteous self-obsessed children.

  3. It’s been a while since I revisited this concept. Am I correctly interpreting this?

    NP1:
    “No one should be criticized or penalized because someone takes racial, ethnic, religious or other offense at their conduct or speech due to the ignorance, bias or misunderstanding by the offended party.”
    Translation: Thou shall not be punished for triggering an idiot.

    NP2:
    “When an individual or group can accomplish its legitimate objectives without engaging in speech or conduct that will offend individuals whose basis for the supposed offense is emotional, mistaken or ignorant, but is not malicious and is based on well-established impulses of human nature, it is unethical to intentionally engage in such speech or conduct.”
    Translation: Thou shall not intentionally trigger idiots.

    NP3:
    When suppressing speech and conduct based on an individual’s or a group’s claim, sincere or otherwise, that such speech or conduct is offensive, however understandable and reasonable this claim may be, creates or threatens to create a powerful precedent that will undermine freedom of speech, expression or political opinion elsewhere, calls to suppress the speech or conduct must be opposed and rejected.”
    Translation: Thou shall not intentionally be triggered.

  4. Can we say that marginalized people are those who did think of something that attracts a lot of attention and makes money in doing so.

    If so call me marginalized.

  5. Kanye is an artist. Many of the best artists are or were crazy. Being crazy does not and cannot make an artist great, but some forms of crazy lend themselves to….provocative art.

    Art, lately, has needed a little crazy to shake it up. It has devolved into retreads of the last few decades, and become dominated by a uniform ideology. Leftism. Leftists like to pretend that they are the epitome of counter-culture when in actuality they are the dominant monoculture. Music, film, literature, fashion, performance art and fine art have become BORING. They do not provoke thought or discussion, and instead only reinforce entrenched cultural opinions.

    Kanye likes to be provocative, and the only way to be truly provocative in the current culture is to be right wing. I doubt he believes much of any of the things he says, but I do believe that artistic expression and free speech are important to him. In that respect, I find his tshirts to be ethical.

    The first amendment protects the right to say outrageous things. Defending the first amendment currently triggers all the idiots. That is a rather frightening. I think it is a good thing ethically to get people talking about things like this, even if it makes a lot of people upset.

  6. “When an individual or group can accomplish its legitimate objectives without engaging in speech or conduct that will offend individuals…”

    I don’t think that the people who have lawn signs enumerating their virtues could’ve received this message in a more subtle manner. Regrettable but necessary to accomplish its objective. Ethical.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.