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Afropunk Responds to Controversy Surrounding M.I.A.’s Black Lives Matter Comments

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: M.I.A. performs onstage at the Vulture Festival Presents MIA + Solange at Webster Hall on May 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for New York Magazine)

Afropunk is getting ready to hold its first festival in London and it’s already dealing with a social justice flare-up thanks to M.I.A., the scheduled headliner. Potential attendees and activists have spoken out against the Sri Lankan singer because of the comments she made about the Black Lives Matter movement back in April (“Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? Or this kid in Pakistan matters?”).

After British fans threatened to boycott Afropunk, M.I.A announced on Twitter that she would no longer perform at the festival.

Instead of giving into the outrage, Afropunk released a statement defending M.I.A and confirming that, despite the tweet, she’s still part of the lineup.

“We hope that this event also brings to light the experiences of black Brits, immigrants, and refugees in the U.K., who are continuously erased,” the statement says. “Let’s love and struggle along with one another — and turn up on the system.”

Afropunk London takes place on September 24. You can read the festival’s statement in full below. And if you must know, Azealia Banks also supports M.I.A. You can read what she has to say, too.

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