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The Fabulous Reason Why Kanye Can’t Sell His ‘White Lives Matter’ Shirts

via Twitter

via Twitter

Kanye West isn’t just blocked from tweeting and posting on Instagram, as the disgraced rapper also can’t sell his “White Lives Matter” shirts… because two Black men own the trademark.

Ramses Ja and Quinton Ward, hosts of the radio show Civic Cipher in Phoenix, Arizona, were given the legal trademark from a listener who secured it to ensure it didn’t fall into the hands of someone wanting to profit off of hate speech, such as Kanye West.

“This person who first procured it didn’t really love owning it, because the purpose was not necessarily to get rich off of it,” Ja told Black-led nonprofit news outlet Capital B News. “The purpose was to make sure that other people didn’t get rich off of that pain.”

Indeed, the federal government’s trademark database confirms that Civic Cipher took ownership of the trademark after it was secured on Oct. 3. The trademark notice says it covers “Blouses; Boxer shorts; Graphic T-shirts; Hooded sweatshirts; Jeggings, namely, pants that are partially jeans and partially leggings; Jogging suits; Ladies’ underwear; Leggings; Overcoats; Polo shirts; Shirts; Short trousers; Short-sleeved or long-sleeved t-shirts; Short-sleeved shirts; Shorts; Ski masks; Sleeveless jerseys; Small hats; Socks; Sports jackets; Sports shirts; Sweat pants; Sweat shirts; Sweat suits; Sweatpants; Sweatshirts; Sweatsocks; Sweatsuits; Tank-tops; Tee-shirts; Women’s clothing, namely, shirts, dresses, skirts, blouses.”

The phrase was popularized as a response to the “Black Lives Matter” movement by White nationalists, and the Southern Poverty Law Center officially declared “White Lives Matter” a hate group in 2016.

West donned a shirt sporting the phrase at Paris Fashion Week earlier this month, accompanied by conservative personality Candace Owens. The stunt, alongside his outspoken antisemitic rants, cost him brand deals with companies including Adidas and Balenciaga. Boxes of the shirts were later handed out to unhoused people on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

Ja said the radio duo haven’t been contacted by West or his team regarding the trademark. He said their focus is larger than Kanye, focusing on systemic racism across the country.

“We’ve got people running for office right now, and we have people trying to suppress our vote and disenfranchise us,” he told Capital B News. “I can’t spend all my time worrying about what Kanye is saying.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Read More: The Fabulous Reason Why Kanye Can’t Sell His ‘White Lives Matter’ Shirts

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