You know you that B* when you cause all this conversation” ~Beyoncé, ‘Formation’
Saturday Night Live aired a hilarious skit a week after the release of the “Formation” video entitled, “The Day Beyoncé Turned Black”. The skit depicted the not so exaggerated reaction of whites to the “Formation” video, uncomfortable with Beyoncé touching on a history of systemic racism, displaying her blackness in all of its “Who Run the World? Girls!” glory. Most white people were comfortable when she was just singing about generic topics of love, single life and being a “naughty girl”, but the moment she addressed a relevant topic of systemic racism and police brutality (not anti-police, mind you), she was denigrated by certain members of society and is being boycotted by some police unions nationwide. The same unions I don’t recall protesting any of the various past KKK rallies across the country. The accusation is that her song “Formation” and performance advocated violence against police. The NYPD is even going as far as wanting Beyoncé to publically apologize for what they consider an “Anti-Cop performance” and go into detail about the real meaning.
The irony and hypocrisy is that those who are angered over what they view as a misrepresentation of the majority of police officers in the media, are the same ones who simultaneously bash the Black Lives Matter Movement as a hate group comprised of “thugs”, all while remaining deliberately obtuse to the true meaning of and need for Black Lives Matter. Deflections such as “All lives matter!” are cried and accusations of self-segregation are hurled into a conversation much larger than just Beyonce’s performance. But somehow opponents of her message are attempting to use her as a scapegoat for a negative social dynamic that has been present for decades. In fact, Senior Justice Writer Shaun King wrote a detailed and in-depth article about Blacks taking the heat for crimes against cops committed by whites. I feel like there are many waiting with bated breath to see what Beyonce’s personal response to all of this will be. Amid the police boycotts and uproar, outside of her upcoming, almost sold out Formation Tour and her charitable initiative #BeyGood fundraising for children suffering from the Flint Water Crisis, Beyoncé herself has been relatively quiet. Regardless of what happens next, I thank artists like Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar for raising their voices.