Two black radio hosts based in Arizona now own the trademark for the phrase “White Lives Matter” after it was gifted to them to stop Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, from selling t-shirts with the slogan.
The hosts, Ramses Ja and Quinton Ward, were gifted the trademark by an anonymous listener of their show, Civic Cipher.
Capital B News reports, “the listener procured ownership of the phrase early last month to ensure it didn’t fall into the wrong hands, and offered to transfer the trademark to Ja and Ward in September. It officially entered their possession on Oct. 28, giving them sole ownership over the phrase and the ability to sue anyone who uses the saying for financial gain.”
The listener had reportedly purchased the trademark to prevent people from making money of the phrase, which they claimed to be hateful.
“The way the law works is either you’re owning phrases, or it’s up for grabs for people to make money off them,” Ja told Capital B. “This person who first procured it didn’t really love owning it, because the purpose was not necessarily to get rich off of it; the purpose was to make sure that other people didn’t get rich off of that pain.”
The radio hosts are known for their social justice activism, and Ja told Capital B that the show was born from the 2020 riots over the death of George Floyd.
Ja said that they have not ruled out selling the trademark, but that they would donate the money to the NAACP or Black Lives Matter.
“Otherwise, at the end of a long-standing, occupying type of position, we can maybe donate the trademark to Black Lives Matter or any racial justice organization with the resources to send out cease and desist letters all day, every day,” Ja said.
During a fashion show for his YZY SZN 9 line, the artist donned a shirt that read “White Lives Matter,” sparking massive outrage online. He later donated dozens of the shirts to homeless people living on Los Angeles’ infamous Skid Row.
Following the “White Lives Matter” scandal, the artist and mogul began speaking out heavily against the “Jewish influence” he perceives there to be in the entertainment and media industries.
He now-famously tweeted that he would be going “death con 3” on Jewish people, who he feels have wronged him, prompting a suspension of his account.
His comments, widely referred to as anti-semitic, led to his brand deals with Adidas and Balenciaga being dropped.
In October, Forbes removed Ye from their billionaires’ list due to the lost deals. The Adidas partnership accounted for $1.5 billion of Ye’s net worth.
Forbes reported, “without Adidas, Ye is worth $400 million. The remainder of Ye’s fortune, Forbes estimates, comes from real estate, cash, his music catalog and a 5% stake in ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s shapewear firm, Skims. (A source close to Skims told Forbes Ye hasn’t been involved with the brand since its 2019 launch.)”