A left-wing Canadian politician has been accused of “appropriating black cultures” by lobby group Black Lives Matter after she used one of Beyoncé’s song lyrics in a political ad.
New Democratic Party leadership candidate Niki Ashton posted a political picture about her bid which contained lyrics from Beyoncé’s song “Irreplaceable” and emphasized her promise to take an “unapologetic left turn” with the party.
“To the left, to the left,” the ad posted on Twitter read. “Like Beyonce says, to the left. Time for an unapologetic turn for the #NPD, for social, racial, enviro, and economic justice,” she added above the ad.
However, this wasn’t to everyone’s taste.
On Tuesday, the Vancouver chapter of Black Lives Matter tweeted at the politician saying that “Appropriating Black culture is not intersectional feminism. Please delete your “to the left” FB post & address the issue.”
Ashton quickly followed the order and deleted the post, replying to the BLM group that it was “not our intention to appropriate. We’re committed to a platform of racial justice+would appreciate ur feedback.”
Most Twitter users criticized the politician for giving in to the demands of the radical group. “Apologising for using a Beyonce lyric is abhorrent capitulation. Embarrassing. Have a backbone,” said one. “How is reciting extremely popular lyrics appropriating culture?” another Twitter user complained.
Ashton, who claims to be a democratic socialist and intersectional feminist, sent out two tweets explaining her position on Wednesday, saying she welcomed BLM Vancouver’s feedback and won’t tolerate racism towards anyone.
“As noted I appreciate the msg from @BLM_Van. Showing respect is what building a movement is all about,” she wrote, adding “I will not tolerate racism or hate speech directed at #BLM or any community.”
According to the Huffington Post, the politician didn’t say whether she thought using Beyoncé’s lyrics was cultural appropriation. Her campaign has refused to comment.