“It’s interesting that in America the problem you’re allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter. It’s not a new thing to me — it’s what Lauryn Hill was saying in the 1990s, or Public Enemy in the 1980s. Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters? That’s a more interesting question…You can’t ask it on a song that’s on Apple, you cannot ask it on an American TV programme, you cannot create that tag on Twitter, Michelle Obama is not going to hump you back.”
Later the musician took to Twitter to clarify her comments, saying:
“”A#blacklivesmatter B#Muslimlivesmatter. I’m not Muslim . My criticism wasn’t about Beyoncé. It’s how u can say A not B right now in 2016.” And, further added that her real question was about what you’re allowed to stand up for on American platforms.”
There’s a lot to unpack in all of this and Twitter was quick to respond with activists DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie addressing her comments. McKesson tweeted, “.@MIAuniverse, I’m not sure ‘allow’ is the right word here. Remember, we were teargassed for standing up.” Elzie also dropped a series of flawless tweets including, “MIA really has no clue. America didn’t ‘allow’ black folks to talk about anything. Aug 9, local news barely even cared about Mike Brown.”
Maybe M.I.A. should take a step back and really think about this situation.
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