The "White Lives Matter" phrase is trademarked by two Black men, one of which claims Kanye West never reached out to him before promoting the message during the launch of his Yeezy line, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Ramses Ja and Quinton Ward both host Civic Cypher, an Arizona-based radio show focused on racial justice, and they officially acquired the rights to the phrase on October 28.
The duo was gifted the trademark in September from an anonymous listener of their show, who had procured ownership so that it wouldn't fall into the wrong hands.
West infamously wore a long-sleeve emblazoned with the message, which is considered a "hate slogan" by the Anti-Defamation League, alongside conservative commentator Candace Owens for his season 9 Yeezy fashion show in Paris.
"There is a deep irony and a sad irony when you consider that wearing a T-shirt has led such a tremor throughout the world," Owens said while addressing the backlash on her podcast. "A T-shirt that says 'White Lives Matter,' which should be implied, right?"
She fought against naysayers, adding, "White lives matter, Black lives matter, Asian lives matter — it should be implied, yet people are angry and they are being vicious online because they can't believe that we have the audacity to detract from the movement which is a lie: Black Lives Matter."
Ja, for his part, addressed how the slogan has become popularized while also sharing how they could use the trademark for good in an interview with Capital B.
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"If we were to sell that trademark, for whatever amount of money, we could donate that money to causes that we feel would benefit Black people, like the NAACP or Black Lives Matter organizations," Ja explained.
He continued, "Realistically, we cannot stop the shirts from being made right now. We can write cease and desist to people selling these shirts right now, but that is a big monster that requires teams of lawyers and thousands of dollars that we do not have."
As for how he feels about West's recent actions, Ja said that it's been a lot for him to process.
"It's hurtful, but it's not something that was unexpected because I know that Kanye has been moving in this direction for some time. I do my best to try to remember the Kanye that I knew in '04 and '05," Ja said. "The Kanye that said George Bush doesn't care about Black people."
West not only lost his lucrative Adidas partnership but also many other high-earning deals following his antisemitic remarks on Twitter which he's defended as speaking his truth.
"The [kids] are being shielded from all this drama as much as possible," a source told RadarOnline.com amid his divorce from estranged wife Kim Kardashian, noting the Skims founder won't say anything negative about Ye in front of their children. "She desperately wants this to end peacefully. But it's on Kanye to get himself together."