NDP Candidate Removes Post with Beyoncé Lyrics after Cultural Appropriation Accusations

Niki Ashton at the NDP Leadership Convention in 2012. (Reuters photo: Mike Cassese)
Another case of PC in Canada

New Democratic party candidate Niki Ashton has deleted her social-media posts containing Beyoncé lyrics because a Twitter account attributed to Vancouver’s Black Lives Matter said that using those lyrics was “appropriating black culture.”

Ashton had posted “Like Beyoncé says, to the left. Time for an unapologetic turn to the left for the #NDP, for social, racial, enviro, and economic justice. #ndpldr” above a meme that read “To the Left, to the Left.,” according to a screenshot of the tweet obtained by the Huffington Post Canada.  

Now, this may seem like a harmless post. It may seem like just another politician shamelessly trying to connect with voters by demonstrating that she, like, knows things about pop culture. 

But apparently not, because in response, a Twitter account attributed to Vancouver’s chapter of Black Lives Matter tweeted: 

Ashton, being the self-described “intersectional eco-feminist” that she is, immediately removed the post and thanked BLM for calling her out on her ignorance: 

Well, Ashton, since you asked, here’s my feedback: What the f$%^ is happening?

Maybe this is the cloud of my white privilege blinding me from the light of the truth, but I really just cannot understand how using lyrics from Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” (and crediting Beyoncé) equals “appropriating black culture.” It would be one thing if Ashton had taken lyrics from a song that was about “black culture,” but “Irreplaceable” is a song about a breakup, and I can tell you based on personal experience that breakups are definitely a thing for white people too.

So what does this Black Lives Matter group want? They want white people to not reference songs from black artists? They want white people to reference lyrics from white artists only? Maybe, but I’m pretty sure that the people who complain about cultural appropriation are the same people who complain that white people aren’t making enough of an effort to include black artists in mainstream culture, and forbidding white people from even referencing black artists seems like a really odd way to go about solving this problem. 

Most Popular

White House

The Trivialization of Impeachment

We have a serious governance problem. Our system is based on separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority -- that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other: The federal and ... Read More

Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More

‘Texodus’ Bodes Badly for Republicans

‘I am a classically trained engineer," says Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, "and I firmly believe in regression to the mean." Applying a concept from statistics to the randomness of today's politics is problematic. In any case, Hurd, 42, is not waiting for the regression of our politics from the ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More