Kanye West continued to defend his "White Lives Matter" apparel this week after unveiling it during his Yeezy fashion show in Paris on Monday.
On Wednesday, he posted a photo of a black sweatshirt from his line with "WHITE LIVES MATTER" written in white on the back. The sweatshirt has a picture of Pope John Paul II on the front.
"Here’s my latest response when people ask me why I made a tee that says white lives matter … THEY DO," he captioned the post.
He also posted an interview with professor Tatishe M. Nteta, who said West is "not alone" among Black Americans in his feelings about the Black Lives Matter movement but also claimed his actions could cause "harm," calling it a "White supremacist mantra."
Along with a photo of the article, West wrote, "BLACK ACADEMICS ARE ON MY SIDE."
The "Stronger" rapper has faced widespread criticism over the "White Lives Matter" slogan. The Anti-Defamation League called it a "hate slogan," citing its use by the KKK. Jaden Smith, Will Smith’s son, reportedly left the show immediately after seeing the writing and after posted a series of apparently related tweets, including ones that said "Black Lives Matter," "We Demand A More Progressive Future" and "Follow Your Own Morals Instead Of People."
Kendall Jenner, West’s former sister-in-law when he was married to Kim Kardashian, also liked several of Smith’s tweets.
Model Gigi Hadid called West a "bully" and wrote, "You wish u had a percentage of her intellect" on Instagram after he wrote since-deleted derisive posts of her friend Vogue fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson. Hailey Bieber also defended her.
West later posted that he and "my sister" Karefa-Johnson had apologized to each other for what they said. The editor had criticized the slogan.
The rapper-turned designer had his defenders, too. Fellow rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs called West a "super free thinker" and said his clothing line has been "misconstrued." Conservative commentator Candace Owens appeared at his show Monday and wore a "White Lives Matter" shirt.
West is no stranger to controversy, including about racism. He faced a similar backlash in 2018 when he claimed that slavery was a "choice."
"When you hear about slavery for 400 years … For 400 years? That sounds like a choice," he told TMZ.