Several people have weighed in after Kanye West wore a shirt reading “White Lives Matter,” including Van Lathan, a former producer for TMZ. Lathan took to Instagram to express his dismay over the shirt, with an image of Ye wearing the shirt, which Lathan simply captioned “Y’all.”
Another Instagram user commented on the post, asking, “do white lives not matter?”
Lathan responded, saying, “we don’t need a reminder of the worth of white lives. America is a shrine to the worth of white people. This message is reactionary to a message affirming Black lives, which have never been worth anything in America. In its intent, it’s a white supremacist notion, because it posits that we can’t have a conversation about the worth of Black people without having a conversation about the worth of white people, which is f*cking insane. The notion that it always has to be about white people in America is incredibly frustrating, emotionally draining, and the whole problem. But here’s Kanye, apparently centering that notion.”
Lathan also called Ye out in 2018, when he appeared on TMZ ahead of his eighth studio album, Ye. Around that time, he had become very vocal in his support for Donald Trump, and even said that enslaved people had chosen a life of slavery.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” Ye said. “Like, you was there for 400 years and it was all of y’all?”
Lathan responded, saying, “Kanye, you’re entitled to your opinion, you’re entitled to believe whatever you want, but there are real-life consequences behind everything you just said…Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled, and I’m unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something that, to me, is not real.”