Beyonce angers US Right by bringing up African-American Rights at Superbowl

TeleSur | – –

Beyonce and her powerhouse backup dancers are facing threats of a boycott for speaking out against police brutality.

Social media has been awash with both criticism and praise for Beyonce’s halftime show at the Super Bowl Sunday.

Critiques of the U.S. policing system and support for the Black Lives Matter movement were featured in her performance, earning her praise for speaking out against institutional racism as well as complaints that she denigrated law enforcement.

WATCH: Beyonce Does It Again

In particular, the performance, as well as the release of a new video "Formation" the day before, have offended pro-police elements in the U.S., who are now calling for a Beyonce boycott.

Beyonce’s performance featured her and her dancers wearing outfits that paid tribute to the Black Panthers, the radical socialist organization in the U.S. that challenged police brutality against African Americans between the 1960s and 70s.

The dancers were also photographed after the show with fists raised in the air, similar to the black power salute made famous in the 1960s.

Another group of dancers was photographed holding a sign that read, “Justice 4 Mario Woods,” a Black man who was killed in December by San Francisco police. He was shot at least 20 times, with officers claiming that they suspected he was holding a knife.

The photos were then widely distributed over social media.

Beyonce’s Super Bowl political commentary was foreshadowed in her new video released Saturday. That video opens with a reference to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans—when the most poor and largely Black sections of the city were left without humanitarian aid for days.

It also references the U.S.’s colonial and slave-owning history, and ends on a note more known to modern viewers: a Black child holding up his arms in front of a row of policeman while the camera pans across graffiti reading “stop shooting us.”

Some people have taken offense to the video. One woman wrote on Beyonce’s Facebook page, “As the wife of a police officer, I am offended by this entire video … Rise above and stay above the strife. For a girl who grew up in a privileged, wealthy family, she has no business pandering to those who didn’t.”

Another woman wrote, “Beyonce is nothing but a MIDDLE AGED has been! The hypocrisy of trashing out police officers while getting them to escort and protect her did not go unnoticed. You are finished old woman!”

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, meanwhile, denounced her Super Bowl performance as "outrageous," claiming she used her platform to "attack" police officers.

Of course, supporters of Beyonce and the Black Lives Matter movement have fired back.

Beyonce’s husband, rapper Jay-Z, on Friday backed his wife’s statements with money, announcing a US$1.5 million donation to the Black Lives Matter campaign and other organizations, including the Trayvon Martin Foundation and the Michael O.D. Brown We Love Our Sons campaign.

Via TeleSur

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

AJ+: “Beyoncé Backup Dancers Send Powerful Message At The Super Bowl”

6 Responses

  1. Half a century after the civil rights movement, the problem of racial divisions in the US, especially between “blacks” and “whites,” is still a mess.

    I think ideas, images, and most importantly, actions that have the effect of cooperation, empathy, and harmony are needed most. Least productive are ideas, images and actions that tend to polarize.

    Even those with ostensibly noble motives may err, as I think Beyonce has, by approvingly waving the polarizing image of Black Panthers. In their early days, the Black Panthers said and did some stupid things. For example, along with their military-style uniforms, they carried guns. A popular poster at the time was a photo of one of the Black Panthers founders, Huey Newton, posing with a rifle.

    (Another of its founders, Eldridge Cleaver later became a fashion designer whose claim to fame was to bring back the cod-piece. Then he became a Republican.)

    If it’s one thing the world does not need, its more glorification of militarism, no matter who are supposed to be the “good guys.”

    • My response to this has not changed in 30 years.
      The colonists rebelled against the Redcoats for less – by the norms of their time – than what our police do to African-Americans and other racial minorities today. Should Samuel Adams and Ben Franklin have stopped polarizing the colonists by advocating violence?

  2. Absolutely nothing wrong with what she did. Artists depict the current world around them. They create a view of the current state of things from there perspective. It was no where near the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction – lol. What happened to – “you don’t like art – don’t look at it”. Truth is she is right and that bothers those responsible for a lot of these preventable issues we have today.

  3. Maybe psychological testing for police recruits should include shamelessness. Because that seems to define the police culture of the United States more broadly than violence; and potentially a greater threat to its liberties.

  4. Finally, Beyonce and Jay-Z are doing something for their people and our entire culture. Police violence must be stopped, and the pro-police apologists must open their eyes. Good for Beyonce to finally do something really worthwhile.

  5. PS: I had to laugh: how many “police boycotts” are these cops going to call for whenever anyone in the news calls out police violence? Do they really think that people aren’t going to watch “The Hateful Eight” or Beyonce because of it? LOL – wake up, coppers. Your day has come. And it’s over.

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