A Los Angeles organization founder who conducts outreach on the city’s notorious Skid Row told Insider that Kanye West’s recent stunt of distributing “White Lives Matter” t-shirts to the transitory and vulnerable population on Skid Row was exceedingly detrimental.
Shirley Raines agreed to assist in the removal of the West’s shirts from Skid Row and provide replacement shirts to the neighborhood.
“He put a broken, at-risk community at an even greater risk,” said Raines, who has devoted the last seven years to helping residents in Skid Row, a poor neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles, through her non-profit group Beauty 2 The Streetz.
“There’s language hurdles. They may not comprehend the shirt’s message. There are mental disorders in which a person may not comprehend what this shirt says.”
Her organization aids hundreds and provides food, clothing, cleanliness, and cosmetics to the local residents.
The rapper and fashion designer, now known as Ye, was criticized by other local campaigners after it was reported that he gave a box of his notorious “White Lives Matter” T-shirts to Skid Row’s homeless population.
The shirts sparked a public controversy following their debut at his Paris Fashion Week show. Soon after, he explained to Tucker Carlson of Fox News that he wore the shirt due to “a gut instinct, a relationship with God, and sheer brilliance.”
Shirley Raines’s (@beauty2thestreetz) shared post.
However, Raines condemned West for perhaps making the Skid Row neighborhood a target for violence.
“They may not care what the shirt says because they’re so desperate for warmth that they’ll wear anything they can get their hands on,” she added. “In that instance, a driver on the street could spot them wearing a White Lives Matter shirt and pounce on them.”
According to the Anti-Defamation League, white supremacist groups, like the Texas-based Aryan Renaissance Society, utilize the slogan “White Lives Matter” in direct retaliation to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Beauty to the Streetz provides the homeless with hair and cosmetics services.
Thanks to Shirley Raines
Raines stated that although she had heard of people possessing the shirts while on Skid Row, she never saw them herself. She yet wished to provide the community with an alternative, so she distributed simple black T-shirts.
“With the color of the shirts, no statement was made. It’s simply what I had available “Raines elucidated. “We merely wanted to provide options for those who didn’t want that inflammatory statement or roll like that.”
This month, West has been in hot water due to the T-shirt controversy and his numerous antisemitic comments. His actions have resulted in the destruction of his multibillion-dollar enterprise and the severing of connections with music and fashion industry titans.
Other supporters, like as Pastor Stephen “Cue” Jn-Marie, have also criticized West, stating, “Skid Row is frequently the backdrop for pseudo-morality-based con artists like Kanye West.”
For Raines, she stated that she will clean up after influential individuals who attempt to execute a similar stunt on Skid Row.
She remarked, “Just know that for everything he does, there is an organization like ours that will go behind them and rectify it, because the community will not tolerate certain things.”
I believe that it is currently evident that the community will step up.