The nonprofit is helping remove ‘White Lives Matter’ shirts from Skid Row
- A Los Angeles woman has decided to donate another shirt to the Skid Row community after Kanye West dumped his “White Lives Matter” shirts there.
- Shirley Raines, who has served the community for years, handed out different shirts.
- “He put a broken and at-risk community in even greater danger,” she told Insider.
A Los Angeles nonprofit founder who raises awareness on the city’s infamous Skid Row told Insider that Kanye West’s recent stunt to distribute “White Lives Matter” shirts to the transient and vulnerable population was extremely harmful.
That’s why Shirley Raines decided to help remove West’s shirts from Skid Row and distribute alternative shirts to the community.
“He put a broken and at-risk community in even greater danger,” said Raines, who has dedicated the past 7 years to serving the residents of Skid Row, a poor inner-city neighborhood, with his organization. Beauty 2 The Streetz. “There are language barriers. They might not understand what that shirt says. There are mental illnesses where they might not understand what that shirt says.”
His organization helps thousands of people and offers food, clothing, hygiene and make-up services to the people who live there.
The rapper and fashion designer, who now goes by the name Ye, received rejection of other local defenders after reporting that he had donated a box of his controversial ‘White Lives Matter’ t-shirts to homeless people on Skid Row.
The shirts caused a public outcry after being launched during its broadcast during Paris Fashion Week. He soon after says Tucker Carlson of Fox News that he wore the shirt because he used “an instinct, a connection to God and just brilliance”.
Raines, however, exposed West for possibly making the Skid Row community targets of violence.
“They may not care what the shirt says because they are so desperate for warmth that they will wear anything they can get their hands on, in which case someone driving a car down the street could see wearing a White Lives Matter shirt, and jumping [at them],” she says.
Speak Anti-Defamation League, the “White Lives Matter” slogan is used as a direct response to the Black Lives Matter movement by white supremacist groups, including the Texas-based Aryan Renaissance Society.
Raines said that although she has heard of people having it, she has not personally seen the shirts at Skid Row. Either way, she wanted to give the community another option, so she handed out plain black T-shirts as an alternative.
“It wasn’t a statement with the color of the shirts. It was just what I had on hand,” Raines explained. “We just wanted to provide choices for people who didn’t want that controversial statement and didn’t want to ride like that.”
West has been in hot water this month over the T-shirt controversy and his multiple anti-Semitic rants. His antics destroyed his billion dollar empire and caused music and fashion heavyweights to cut ties with him.
Other advocates, such as Pastor Stephen “Cue” Jn-Marie, also slammed West, saying that “Skid Row often becomes the backdrop for false morality-based con artists like Kanye West.”
Raines said she would clean up the mess of those with major influence who try to pull off a similar Skid Row stunt in the future.
“Just know that for everything he does, there’s someone like our organization that’s going to support them and fix them because the community isn’t going to support certain things,” she said.
“I think it shows right now that the community is going to step up.”