Days after showing off a long-sleeved shirt emblazoned with the words “White Lives Matter,” Kanye West justified the decision in an interview with Tucker Carlson. West told the Fox News host he thought the “idea of me wearing it was funny” and that he also liked the “White Lives Matter” message “because they do.”
West was joined in the French capital by right-wing commentator Candace Owens, a frequent guest of Carlson’s who also wore a shirt with the same slogan. When Carlson asked West about a lanyard he was wearing for the interview, his response was similar to what the anti-abortion Owens said when asked about the fashion statement.
“It’s a photograph of a baby’s ultrasound,” West said. “It just represents life. I’m pro-life.”
“So you wear it on a badge. What kind of response do you get?” Carlson followed up.
“I don’t care about people’s response,” West replied. “I care about the fact that there are more Black babies being aborted than born in New York City at this point. That 50 percent of Black death in America is abortion. So I really don’t care about people’s response. I perform for an audience of one and that is God.”
“I’m starting to see why they want to make you be quiet,” answered Carlson, who then asked about West’s rationale for the “White Lives Matter” shirt and what it means.
“I do certain things from a feeling. I just channel the energy. It just feels right. It’s using a gut instinct, a connection with God, and just brilliance,” replied West, who has also worn a “Make America Great Again” hat and praised former President Donald Trump, whom he once visited in the Oval Office.
“My dad is an educated ex-Black Panther and he put a text to me today. He said, ‘White Lives Matter hahaha.’ And I said I thought the shirt was a funny shirt. I thought the idea of me wearing it was funny. And I said, ‘Dad, why do you think it’s funny?’ And he said, ‘Just a Black man stating the obvious.’”
Earlier in the day, Adidas said its partnership with West is “under review” following “repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation.” (West responded on Instagram by repeating his claim that the company “stole” his designs.)
“You said that your father said when he saw the shirt—“White Lives Matter”—that it was great to see a Black man stating the obvious. By which I think you meant that’s obviously true,” Carlson said.
“Yeah, that was my favorite response because I kept thinking like people are looking for an explanation. And people say as an artist, you don’t have to give an explanation. But as a leader you do,” West replied, to which Carlson agreed.
“So the answer to why I wrote ‘White Lives Matter’ on a shirt is because they do. It’s the obvious thing.”