Beyoncé’s music video for her new song “Formation” literally broke the Internet over the weekend along with her bold Super Bowl 50 performance that paid homage to the Black Panthers.
Expectedly, Beyoncé is receiving both praise and criticism for her song’s provocative lyrics and politically charged music video. However, no response is more preposterous than the #BoycottBeyonce movement that was started to stand in solidarity with law enforcement.
Law enforcement supporters are claiming the music video is “anti-police” because it acknowledges the Black Lives Matter Movement, features a “Stop Shooting Us” graffiti tag, and shows a little boy dressed in all black dancing in front of police officers wearing riot gear.
Many people of various racial identities considered those images to be powerful as they send a clear and profound message about the current state of the relationship between U.S. law enforcement and black communities. However, to others that message translates to anti-police rhetoric and the notion that Beyoncé hates cops.
The hashtag #BoycottBeyonce was established shortly after the video began circulating the Internet on Saturday, prior to her big game performance.
A Challenge...everyone take a moment to pray for our police officers during Beyonce performance...lift them up.#BoycottBeyonce— Rachel Toler (@RachelToler2) February 8, 2016
NFL should be ashamed that it is going to let Beyonce sing a song that smears police officers. #boycottbeyonce— Kathy Camp (@TNKingsKid1) February 7, 2016
It wasn’t just a bunch of angry Twitter users that took offense to Queen Bey’s video; sheriffs across the country also took part in the “boycott.” Members of the National Sheriffs’ Association turned down the volume during their Super Bowl party while she performed, according to Uproxx.
In fact, Rep. Pete King (R-New York) released a lengthy statement on Monday, calling her video a "platform to attack police officers."
"The mainstream media's acceptance of her pro-Black Panther and anti-cop video 'Formation' and her Super Bowl appearance is just one more example of how acceptable it has become to be anti-police when it is the men and women in blue who put their lives on the line for all of us and deserve our strong support," King said.
Even former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani got in on the action to slam Beyoncé, “I think it was outrageous,” he said on Fox News Monday. “The halftime show I thought was ridiculous anyway. I don’t know what the heck it was. A bunch of people bouncing around and all strange things. It was terrible.”
“This is football, not Hollywood, and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive,” he added.
“And what we should be doing in the African-American community, and all communities, is build up respect for police officers. And focus on the fact that when something does go wrong, okay. We’ll work on that. But the vast majority of police officers risk their lives to keep us safe.”
The fact that Giuliani nonchalantly addressed the overwhelming incidents of police brutality against blacks by saying, “when something does go wrong, okay, we’ll work on that” proves exactly why aggressive action such as Beyonce’s video is necessary.
The issue here is that something is always going wrong and no one is working on it. Black people, including Beyoncé, are tired of it.
Not only does she directly tell the world that she is tired of the brutality with this new video, she also reclaimed certain aspects of black culture that are ridiculed and slammed in mainstream media to justify police behavior — such as certain clothing choices that are associated with being a thug or criminal (little black boy wearing black hoodie) and black activism mistaken for radicalism or declaring "war" on cops ('Stop Shooting Us' graffiti and sinking police car).
Watch the new video that's causing such a stir below!
WARNING: Video contains explicit lyrics and graphic images.
Banner Photo Credit: YouTube Screengrab