Black Activists Revealed As Owners of ‘White Lives Matter’ Trademark

Social justice radio hosts Ramses Ja and Quinton Ward were gifted the trademark just weeks before Ye wore the controversial shirt.

Arizona-based social justice activists have revealed that they own the trademark to the controversial phrase, “White Lives Matter.”

Ramses Ja and Quinton Ward did an interview with Capital B News after Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, created a media storm when he and right-wing mouthpiece Candace Owens—as well as several Black models wore shirts with the phrase at his YZY SZN 9 fashion show last month.

Related: Kanye West Apologizes For George Floyd Comments

Ja and Ward are radio hosts in Phoenix and shared that a longtime, anonymous listener of their show, Civic Cipher, gifted them the rights to the trademark to protect it from being exploited.

“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.”

They said that the previous owner wanted to see the phrase be used for Black causes. It was transferred to the social justice advocates just weeks before the fashion show which kicked off an ongoing downward spiral by West which included anti-Black and anti-Semitic comments—as well as commentary about the Black Lives Matter movement and disproven claims about George Floyd’s cause of death.

“This individual didn’t want to produce those shirts, but rather it’s my understanding that they were doing it to ensure that the right people benefited from it,” Ja said. “This person procured it but didn’t really love owning it, so they approached us to ensure that the right people benefit from it and that people aren’t hurt by it. They felt we were in a much more public position to use it to the advantage of Black folks.”

Ja told Capital B that their show was “born out of the protests of 2020,” and that the idea was “to create a political, social justice type of show that critically informs hip-hop audiences around the country.”

In an interview, they say they have not decided what to do with the trademark, but that they could consider donating it to an organization with the resources to prevent it from being exploited.

They also note that no one affiliated with West has reached out to them about using the controversial phrase.

They add, “We know that phrases like “White Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” and “Blue Lives Matter” continue to cause harm and to dilute the narrative that was intended to be established by Black Lives Matter. Those phrases are all piggybacking off of Black people’s creativity and efforts, so we’re all for helping to use this as a measure to allow Black people to retain a little bit of ownership.”

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