M.I.A is no stranger to speaking her mind and she does so unapologetically despite the flashing lights and the social media feeds. Recently, M.I.A shared her thoughts on Beyonce’s performance at Super Bowl 50 and Kendrick Lamar’s lack of involvement in the Muslim Protection movement.
“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,” M.I.A said in the interview. “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.”
After sharing her feelings without having seen the actual performance, she tried to explain her comments on Twitter.
Many festival goers and fans had a real issue with her statements, but M.I.A has repeatedly expressed that her comments weren’t meant to be racist, her point was to simply point out the limitations of which problems an artist can and can’t talk about on American televison programs. However, her wording has rubbed so many people the wrong way that she will no longer be headlining the Afropunk Festival in London.
It is clear, if you scroll through M.I.A’s Twitter profile that she’s an activist and advocate for people who have been attacked and displaced due to global war. However, making the BLM Movement responsible for using their platform to promote issues other than their own is a tad bit unfair, considering the state of both communities, that of African Americans and Middle Easterners. I guess moving forward, one just has to be more cognizant of what they’re saying and who they mention while saying it.