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#BeyGood: Top 3 Toxic Takeaways From The Negative Response To Beyoncé’s "Formation" Performance/Video
3 Reasons Why #BoycottBeyoncé Backlash Should Scare You
If you think #AllLivesMatter, then the public's reaction to Beyoncé's #formation Super Bowl performance/music video will make you feel existential embarrassment on the behalf of humanity. This is how far we haven't come along after all these years.
When Beyoncé performed during the Super Bowl Halftime show, she and her dancers did more than provide an artistical portrayal of very real injustices that we’re facing today. They exposed the toxic ways people think about police reform, racism, and black pride. In case you haven’t heard, only 2 people showed up to the Anti-Beyoncé protest outside the NFL’s main building on February 16, 2016. While people clearly aren’t as serious about boycotting Queen Bey as expected, civilians and police alike are scoffing at Beyoncé’s performance because they claim it is anti-white and anti-cop. The backlash against her support for #BlackLivesMatter and Black Pride imagery exposed how many people lack an understanding of how oppressive systems like racism and police brutality are still huge problems. Although the public awareness of police brutality is at an all-time high, people are quick to rationalize cops’ violent conduct.
1.) Whitewashing has deluded people’s historical understanding beyond coherent comprehension.
The Super Bowl performance was not only a tribute to modern black culture, but also a salute to the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party’s “formation” in 1966. On Fox Business, Sheriff David Clarke describes the Black Panther Party as “a subversive hate group.” He also insinuated that “Beyonce in those Black Panther-type uniforms” was akin to a white performer coming out dressed as the KKK.
“Would that be acceptable if a band, a white band came out in hoods and white sheets in the same sort of fashion?” Clarke, a POC sheriff, said. “We would be appalled and outraged.”
It’s not shocking to hear a black sheriff espousing the same whitewashed rhetoric that white people seriously believe: the Black Panther Party as a hate group on par with the KKK. Even I remember being shocked (#notreally) when I found out that most of the stuff I had heard about the Black Panthers aren’t the black supremacist group that the world makes them out to be.
Meanwhile, the Black Panther Party doesn’t even begin to compare to the KKK. The Ku Klux Klan made it their business to inflict violence upon black people, so the Black Panthers protected them with arms. The Black Panthers haven’t abused or murdered as many people as law enforcement agencies have already killed this year. The Black Panthers began “as a way of pushing back against acts of violence committed by the Oakland Police Department. Although the Black Panther Party described themselves as revolutionary anti-imperialists and were the opposite of Martin Luther King’s peaceful movement, nothing in their 10-point manifesto talks about committing acts of violence specifically against white people.” It is not fair to compare the Black Panthers to a white terrorist group that’s responsible for killing thousands of people, especially since the Black Panthers were specifically protecting people from KKK violence.
This widespread level of ignorance and historical misunderstanding is very concerning. It reveals that after all these years, white America still doesn't get it.
2.) People think pro-black is anti-white or on par with white power.
Beyoncé’s powerful song and dance number has inspired an eruption of outrage because she evoked imagery from the Black Panther Party, Michael Jackson, and Malcolm X. The widespread negative reaction to #Formation was truly a textbook case of white fragility. People misunderstood Beyoncé’s public display of black pride to be “race-baiting” and insulting to white people. Beyoncé’s performance served as a musical shoutout to how the black community is triumphing over an institution that still actively tries to enslave them through mass-incarceration. Nothing about it was anti-white, yet somehow, they take offense to the pro-black nature of her performance.
The “Formation” music video is also blacked with pro-black symbolism like a young African American boy holding up his hands to cops, #BlackLivesMatter references, and graffiti that read, “Stop shooting us.” Apparently, people are receiving this as anti-white. Anyone who blasts her music video for being anti-white is basically admitting that white people run the system right then and there. Anyone who says it's “anti-white” to question the cops and fight against institutional racism is a living contradiction of the point they're trying to make.
These are usually the same people who don’t see why “white pride” is inherently racist. They're the kind of people you unfollow because they inundate your feed with posts that erase or shame people for questioning the police. In other words, they're allying with a force that blatantly bullies people to death when it's supposed to protect and serve us. Wouldn't someone who was pro-cop also embrace police reform as a way to make conditions better for everyone? Apparently not. They're content with the rest of us suffering in silence and take any criticism as evidence of ingratitude. Of course everyone appreciates the officers who put their lives on the line for us. But we also do not appreciate the officers who abuse their power and it's important for them to be held accountable for the crimes they committed.
Oh yeah. These people don't actually give a crap about the people who fall prey to law enforcement. They only want people to stop criticizing the cop. While police do put their lives on the line every time they go to work, that doesn't make them immune to criticism and it especially doesn't make them immune to the consequences of abusing your power.
3.) The reaction implies that criticizing the police or advocating for police reform absolves law enforcement from protecting us.
The Miami Fraternal Order Of Police is refusing to patrol Beyoncé’s shows or protect her. Javier Ortiz, the president of Miami’s FOP, said in a press release that they decided to #BoycottBeyonce because “Beyoncé used this year’s Super Bowl to divide Americans by promoting the Black Panthers and her antipolice message shows how she does not support law enforcement.” Ortiz is also calling on "law enforcement labor organizations to join our boycott across the country and to boycott all of her concerts." Blue Lives Matter’s Facebook page posted a call to action #BoycottBeyonce gotten over 1,900 shares.
The most recent Beyoncé protest certainly didn’t live up to its hype, but the cops aren’t making empty threats. These police are uniting in their refusal to provide protection for someone who dared to speak out against them. In other words, if you want the police to have your back, you'd better keep your mouth shut. At best, that's troubling and problematic.
Police brutality and institutional racism are ugly realities that have grown to such grotesque levels that they can no longer ignore. We don’t distrust them because we’re ingrates; it’s because we’re of afraid of the things they’ve already done to us. They hate Beyoncé because she expressed our nation’s anger with a work of art that was a public rebuttal against the atrocities committed by their institutions. In 2015, cops killed 1,205 people and have murdered 164 individuals during the first 2 months of 2016. Far too many of us know what it’s like to get the shit-end of the nightstick, especially those of us who aren’t white.
The Nation of Islam has stepped up by offering their protection to Beyoncé, but they shouldn’t have to. Even worse, the Beyoncé hatred communicates that people like Beyoncé’ are being villainized for advocating against racism and in favor of police reform. Critics took to social media to call her a hypocrite for having the police escort her to and from her show. This reveals a very toxic way of thinking that promotes a dangerous attitude towards those who dare to speak out against police brutality and institutional racism. It sends the message that it’s not okay to call out the cops for abusing their power over the United States population. It’s clear that these “pro-cop” people think Beyoncé forfeited her right to be protected because she spoke out against them. Calling out the cops shouldn’t have to involve surrendering your safety. This dangerous is based on a twisted misconception that cops and white people are actually facing more discrimination than POC people.
These attitudes and thought-trains can destine our country to wreckage if we don’t rise above them. Right now, Queen Bey is the person getting flamed for speaking out against the cops and being black. There are too many people who suffer wrongful consequences for calling out police brutality and/or not being white. You might not be the 1 facing that enemy now, but know that you still live among people who are poisoning our world with their toxic attitudes.
#Real #GhiaVitale #BoycottBeyonce #BeyGood #BlackLivesMatter #PoliceBrutality #Racism #Wtf #Formation #WhiteLies
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