White Lives Matter T-Shirts Were Dropped On Skid Row, But This Black Woman Wasn’t Having It
A champion for LAʼs ever-increasing homeless population jumped to action when she discovered that boxes of T-shirts with the phrase “White Lives Matter” had been dropped off on Skid Row.
But Beauty 2 the Streetz founder Shirley Raines was not impressed and feared for the safety of those who might wear the shirts. She caught wind of the footage and decided to return a sense of security.
Load 1 – Skid Röw pic.twitter.com/F9Fh4KGlzp
— Ian Connor (@souljaian) October 17, 2022
“I’m not gonna allow their desperation to lead to their harm because people want to dump stuff like that in our community,” said Raines, who provides hair and makeup services, food, clothing, hygiene, and safety items to thousands of homeless people every week, per the outlet.
“It’s not acceptable. It’s not OK.”
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Photos were also shared to an Instagram account called DondasPlace, along with a caption that read “#WLM shirt activation today at Skid Row.” The shirts resemble the one West wore at his YZY SZN 9 presentation, which sparked a social media uproar.
On a mission, Raines and her team took to the streets with about 200 plain black T-shirts from her warehouse and offered the opportunity for people to replace the ones emblazoned with White Lives Matter.
Last Thursday, she posted a video to her Twitter account documenting her efforts, and in her words, “it’s about providing clothing for an at risk community that keeps them warm and SAFE! I fear that while trying to keep warm someone will get harmed.”
@beauty2thestreetzIt’s about providing clothing for an at risk community that keeps them warm and SAFE! I fear that while trying to keep warm someone will get harmed. We provided SAFER OPTIONS today 🙏🏾♬ original sound – Shirley
Named the 2021 CNN Hero of the Year, Raines has been documenting the real people she serves and their living conditions to change the narrative of homelessness. She began with live-streaming Beauty 2 the Streetz events on Instagram and Tik Tok and gained millions of followers for her devoted journey.
The work is personal for her, but the spotlight on the homeless community is even more valuable.
“I wanted people to understand you are not looking at a woman who buried a child, who started a nonprofit, got her life together, and now she’s a CNN Hero winner,” Raines said, per CNN.
“I don’t do hero stuff, I do human stuff,” she continued. “I work out here in the streets to gain the trust of my community.