By Bre Nicole
Stand for something or fall for anything. And that’s exactly what the 41 year old female emcee M.I.A did, before being removed from the 2016 AfroPunk line up.
Although I am a black woman, I don’t believe M.I.A’s statements regarding #BlackLivesMatter was inappropriate and worth her being kicked off the show’s line up that will take place in London, England on September 24, 2016.
AfroPunk Music Festival was founded in 2003 by Matthew Morgan, who produced ‘Afro-Punk’, the seminal cult classic documentary spotlighting Black Punks in America that was written and directed by James Spooner.
AfroPunk prides itself on giving a voice to thousands of black and multi-cultural kids that love the sound of indie rock, punk, and harcore alternative music. The festival represents a majority of people who enjoy punk culture in predominantly black regions of the world including Africa.
The first AfroPunk Music Festival took place in Brooklyn, New York in 2005. The festival has expanded to other cities like Atlanta, and even to other countries like Paris, France!
M.I.A who was annouced as the headliner for the AfroPunk Festival earlier this year, had an interview with London’s ES Magazine, on her opinion on the #blacklivesmattermovement.
M.I.A stated in an interview ” 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. And you cannot ask it on a song that’s on Apple, you cannot ask it on an American TV programme, you cannot create a tag on Twitter, Michelle Obama isn’t going to hump you back.”
She then clarified her answer in a tweet to be a little bit more politically correct .
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.
Good is good evil is evil no matter what colour. Wake up!
I saw a few tweets by unruly tweeters saying ‘We don’t care. It is not your platform to be headlining on. You’re not BLACK anything.’
Many missed the message, like with all things ! M.I.A wasn’t saying black lives didn’t or don’t matter, she was just simply wondering why people with large platforms who have power only speak on #blacklivesmatter , yet tour all over the world to other countries, earning an income, and don’t speak on the distress happening in other countries such as #Muslimlivesmatter , #Indianlivesmatter or #WomensLivesMatter.
I believe that is the difference with this generation compared to prior generations. When you think about bands like the Beattles, and great musicians like Jimi Hendrix and James Brown, they allowed their music to be the voice for people all over the world!
In the western society , we believe EVERYTHING (the whole world) revolves around us.
There are still people in this great country of America that think MLK Jr got killed just for being a black man and for speaking against racism and the injustices black people dealt with during the civil rights movement .
People forget to do their research that after MLK Jr. came back from his voyage to India and learned about Ghandi’s principles of peace and non violence, he began to advocate for #HUMANRIGHTS all over the world , speaking on communism and against the government’s tactics of war when it came to Vietnam and the propaganda of the Cold War.
My question was,on American platforms what do they allow you to stand up for in 2016. This has been the number 1 question for me.
The #BlacklivesMattermovement only matters to those who have a personal connection to it. Just like I’m sure in the eyes of M.I.A the cause she is fighting so hard for , only matters to those who can identify with what it may be like to endure a Civil War, terrorism, or gender inequality.
What’s pretty ironic , is that we are all fighting for the samething yet we are labeling the cause we are fighting for all wrong. Instead of #blacklivesmatter #muslimlivesmatter or even #gaylivesmatter shouldn’t we be advocating for #HUMANRIGHTSMATTER.
If you think about it, the only ethnicity in America that we are trying to have understand the #blacklivesmattermovement is our white counter partners that seem to lack understanding and truth in acknowledging that America can still be an unjust country to live in.
Yes, there are white Americans who don’t recognize their privilege of being white in America and do nothing to help others (whether black, hispanic, latina, or japanese Americans). Yes, there are white Americans who are oblivious to some of the trials and experiences blacks go through on a daily basis. Yes, there are white Americans who fail to realize that the justice system was only set up for them to get a head in life— because it began with the Founding Fathers in America.
However mentioning #blacklivesmatter in all aspects of life will only cripple other causes that also matter to other people as well. Social media and mass media has hyped up police brutality against blacks in every way possible thanks to the evolution of technology.
However #blacklivesmatter isn’t the only movement we need to contiue to talk about. What about other movements that we can include in the #blacklivesmattermovement , like preventing domestic violence and violence against all women, preventing child neglect , preventing sexual assault, and terrorism.
If you knew anything about M.I.A’s background you would understand why she is passionate about the rights of all humanity and why she cannot be for one cause without advocating for the other.
In the beginning of M.I.A’s life, her family fought to stay a live! There was a civil war in Sri Lanka and contact with her father was very limited as he was a political activist and fought in the civil war.
The environment in Sri Lanka became so unsafe that her family eventually moved to India with still limited contact from her father. In 1986, M.I.A was moved again, ‘this time around to London as a refugee along with her family.’
It was in London, where M.I.A learned English and then enrolled to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, with a degree in fine art, film, and video.
Why wouldn’t this woman who has seen so much trauma and violence in her life not speak up for other causes that are bigger than #blacklivesmatter ? And why on Earth would anyone have a problem with her addressing the real issues that exist in the world today.
Some followers even made the notion that MIA was racist for standing up and using her platform to end injustices everywhere.
Accusing me of racism is no better then being accused of terrorism – yet the number of people killed by Americans stamped wars continue ..
As previously noted in a blog post I made on ‘Why Blacks Can’t Be Racist’ , I brought up the point on how race is socially constructed by those who are supremacist to keep others who think they are not equals oppressed.
If you look at the outer appearance of M.I.A you will see that she is not fair toned and has darker shades of melanin . There are various colors of brown and black , and it is pretty interesting how my shade of brown is SIMILAR to M.I.A’s shade of brown.
Look at the photos below
So please tell me how M.I.A is racist again? You do know she can be killed for even USING her platform the way she is using it !
I commend M.I.A for standing up for what she believes in by voicing her political views on the injustices that are being created globally through race, religion, gender, and age.
I’ll can tell you what works and what doesn’t – I’ve lived through a revolution that ended in bloodshed – we made 20% of the population
In 2009 I came to the US and made it as a pop star to be to tell people 400, 000 people were going to die – nothing happened!
As a black woman , I refuse to just use my platform to speak on #blacklivesmatter . I am a feminist , so I will also speak on #WOMENEQUALITY #HumanRights and justice for all people!
Check out more of MIA’s tweets on human rights and equality for all people .
The hood is poor ! Do not become aggressive because the prison system is a business and they need people to fill it.
Why don’t we look at how many ex military personal after killing elsewhere go home to the US and work in the police force
When I stand for people from all over the world – it’s hard to say if anyone is more important then the other. Surly equality is key.
It’s not the first time my words have been twisted – when u see drones we don’t think what’s the colour of the person flying it? We c USA