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Twitter

“I’ve been told to stay in my lane. Ha there is no lane for 65mil refugees who’s lanes are blown up!”

Afropunk London tried it when they announced M.I.A. would be headlining their upcoming show, but concert goers weren’t having it, prompting the rapper to announce that she would no longer be doing the show via Twitter:

Afropunkers had absolutely every reason to be critical. Just recently, M.I.A. had the nerve to launch criticisms against both Beyoncé and Black Lives Matter for not addressing the plight of other minorities and downplay the reality of the black struggle.

“It’s interesting that in America the problem you get to talk about is Black Lives Matter,” she told ES Magazine in an interview.

“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.”

Twitter

Twitter

Twitter

Twitter

Since when is pitting any minority struggle against another interesting?

Certainly the struggle of African-American people with America’s racist police state should not be new to M.I.A., considering the artist forged an entire career by participating in the Black artform– Hip-hop– that, from its inception, addressed racism, police violence and inequality. And yes, it is true that both Lauryn Hill, Public Enemy and a host of other important black artist made music that highlighted the nature of inequality in the United States of America. But how, precisely do either of these facts diminish the Black struggle against racial injustice? Or the continued fight against these injustices?

M.I.A.’s attempt to build awareness of the plight of some “kid in Pakistan”, Muslim or Syrian people, at the expense of Black activism speaks to a willingness to benefit from Black social movements and cultural property, while simultaneously throwing black people under the bus. Her words were no less damaging than Whites dismissively claiming #alllivesmatter. And sadly, many non-black minority people have proven, time and time again, that their relationship to black people is tenuous in this precise way.

But guess who came to cape for the Paper Planes Singer? Non other than the infamous, Azealia Banks whose Twitter account still remains suspended after she went on a long, racist tirade against Zayn Malik.

Leave M.I.A the fuck alone. You guys are idiots and have COMPLETELY missed the point of what she’s trying to tell you. THIS IS A BLACK PERSON. SriLankans/Indians are BLACK. U guys keep for getting that black is not something we share as an ethnicity it’s something we share as a GLOBAL STRUGGLE. Everything/Everyone that is on the opposite side of the Aryan/Christian/Zionist world supremacy agenda has been marked as BLACK. And has been marked FOR DEATH. This includes, Africans, Indians, African Americans, Arabs, Muslims, south East Asians, aboriginal people, ETC. you motherfuckers DONT GET IT. m.I.a is trying to explain this deeply complex idea to you all with examples of current events but the LIBERAL MEDIA has its dick so far down you sheeples throats that you can’t even understand what she’s saying. SHES TELLING YOU THAT HER PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING JUST AS OURS ARE. LEAVE MAYA THE FUCK ALONE AND LET HER DO HER PERFORMANCE. FOR FUCKS SAKE. (Ps: no one said Muslim is an ethnicity! Just like “black” isn’t !)

A photo posted by Azealia Banks (@azealiabanks) on

Um, sit Azealia Banks. If M.I.A. identified herself as Black or an ally, she wouldn’t be busy trying to marginalize the hell out of the black struggle against inequality. Or trying to come in first place in the Oppression Olympics, while simultaneously demanding Black artists speak on behalf of other groups.

This particular brand of dismissal and marginalization by other minorities is neither new nor surprising. Matter of fact, just recently, I wrote a piece that stressed: Black Women Do Not Owe Other Non-Black POC Their Voice. In it, I detailed the reality that far too frequently, whenever I write pieces that outline the racist reality Black people face in the United States of America, my hard work is met with comments like “racism isn’t a black and white thing” or “but why doesn’t this piece address the racism [any other minority group] endure?”, by non-black minorities.

I am an avid world traveler, reader and documentary enthusiast. Yet, you want to know one thing I have never encountered or been made privy to movements, started by of other minorities, to better the social or economic circumstances of African-American people. Matter of fact, my experience with other groups, has revealed to me that many non-Black minorities have a vested interest in maintaining White supremacy and forcing Black people into inferior positions in the global world. I cannot count the number of times I was explicitly discriminated against by Hispanics, Asians, Syrians and even some kid from Pakistan: They are far too many.

For quite some time, I figured the only people who did/do not actively discriminate against Black people were the Native Americans, and then I read about the Cherokee Nation’s expulsion of its Black citizens.

Yet, the sacrifices made by African-Americans, on behalf of all minorities are far too many; despite our struggle remaining persistently enduring. And while reciprocation has been nil, Back people have dedicated energy and resources into movements that have impacted the entire world. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Global Peace Movement, protesting the US invasion of Iraq, culminated in the largest simultaneous peace demonstration in history– involving 22 different countries and millions of people around the world. The impact of the Civil Rights Movement had a worldwide ripple effect, inspiring various groups and nations to stand and fight for their own freedom and nationally, many of the benefits won by the efforts of Black people during that time positively impacted all minorities (Affirmative Action, for example).

Still, there is the expectation that somehow we must do more? The social movements built with the literal blood, sweat and tears of Black men and women, somehow are not all-inclusive enough or representative enough? Somehow, freely participating in Hip-hop, the art form created as a mode of self-expression to give voice to the struggles of Black Americans, and making millions from that participation isn’t enough for M.I.A.? While M.I.A. is waiting for Black people to do more for other minority groups, what the heck has she done for the people whose cultural property has made her a celebrity?

No darling non-black, minority folk– including you M.I.A. — Black people most certainly do not owe you their voice or activism and we definitely do not owe you the platforms we build to showcase our culture and talent. Stay in your lane, especially if you have no intentions of being a true ally.

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