Phoenix broadcasters now own “White Lives Matter” t-shirt trademark

Ramses Ja and Quinton “Q” Ward were asked by the previous trademark owner to take it over.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 9:00 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Two Black radio broadcasters have unexpectedly become the stewards of the “White Lives Matter” trademark. Now only Ramses Ja and Quinton “Q” Ward can sell the merchandise with the phrase and make money off it. The two were asked by the previous trademark owner to take it over. That person is a listener of the show and wants to stay anonymous.

Ramses Ja and Q host Civic Cipher. It’s a show that empowers the voices of people of color. It is streamed throughout the country, but they live in Phoenix.

Q said they had to talk about taking the rights from the previous owner. Then, after mulling it over with Ramses, they decided it was their duty to take on the responsibility. “Unexpected, intense, and scary,” Ward said. “It’s been sobering. It’s become a big responsibility.”

Shirts with the phrase “White Lives Matter” went viral after Kanye West and conservative political commentator Candace Owens wore the shirts to a fashion event in Paris last month. Owens posted the picture to her Instagram account, and West was criticized for wearing the shirts.

Ramses said it’s mocking the Black Lives Matter movement. The previous trademark owner wanted to pass it along to people who understand that. “They recognized the trademark only existed to oppose the affirmation that black lives matter. Never has there been a question that white lives matter. We all know that the world has always treated white lives like they matter, and we want black lives to matter as well,” he explained.

Ward and Ramses say they didn’t seek out the rights and aren’t in this for the money. The men have to pay for legal fees to keep the trademark going. They don’t want to see the rights go to someone trying to hurt people of color. “We are very happy no one else in the U.S. has the right to legally produced clothing with that mark on it. The phrase was used to dilute a message or cause hurt and division in a movement,” Ramses said.

The two want to hold onto the trademark as they say it’s a small victory for now. Ward says they want to use their platform and rights to prevent people from going through trauma or pain. “Be as responsible as possible, do the most good for the most people, and the least hurt for the least amount of people,” he explained.

If you are interested in learning more about their show Civic Cipher, click here