As y’all know, the Super Bowl was this past Sunday. Now here’s the thing with me and the Super Bowl — I don’t watch it. I am a proud, unashamed, non-active football watcher. I might sit in front of the TV with game-watchers to merely bask in the Super Bowl ambiance, but I pretty much am just there eating and not paying attention to the majority of the game until halftime. Which brings me to the very subject of this post: the controversy surrounding Beyoncé’s big, Black halftime performance (Happy Black History Month, btw).
Now I originally had planned to post this yesterday, but I seriously had to think, pray and meditate on this one (I’m not lying, y’all. I literally pray and meditate before I write all of my posts, actually. This one just needed some extra time.). Because folk are legitimately tripping over the new “Formation” song/video that Bey released 24 hours before singing it in a politically-charged performance at the Super Bowl. Which has since begotten hella blogs and overthink pieces, infamous Facebook rants, Anti-Bey protests, the whole nine. Some folk (most of which were of non-melanin descent), even went so far as to say her entire halftime performance was racist and “anti-police.” Mmkay.
So now that I’ve taken a moment to collect my thoughts, I’m gonna just go ahead and address a few things here:
To the people calling Beyoncé’s performance “racist” and “anti-police”: So I was listening to The Breakfast Club on my way to work yesterday, and Charlamagne was giving the Donkey of the Day to former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, who claims Bey’s Super Bowl performance was an “attack” on cops…
Please explain to me how a Black entertainer performing a song about being proud of her Negro and Creole descent and Blue Ivy’s afro full of baby hair and her husband’s massive nose and shamelessly carrying around hot sauce in her purse and treating her man to a well-deserved post-sex meal at Red Lobster is an “attack” on police officers? So you can get mad at someone symbolically “attacking” police officers in a performance but not at the police officers who have been ACTUALLY ATTACKING AND KILLING innocent Black men, women and children? So when someone Black decides to publicly express their love for their own race, that makes them racist? Mmkay. By the way, there’s no such thing as “anti-police.” There is such a thing as anti-police brutality, which is something that EVERYONE — regardless of race, color or creed — should be against. But that’s not what you’re mad about.
What you’re really mad about is the fact that Beyoncé actually had the nerve to make a video of her standing on top of a sinking police car while dancing and slaying and putting up BOTH of her middle fingers to the camera while instructing her Black female peers to “get in formation.” Oh, and let’s not forget the adorable little Black boy breakdancing in a hoodie in front of a New Orleans S.W.A.T. team before both parties raise their hands in the air as a sign of peaceful surrender just seconds before the camera pans to a graffitied message on the wall that reads “Stop shooting us.” And THEN she had the audacity to get up and actually PERFORM that same song during the highest-rated nationally televised event while wearing all-black militant gear (paying homage to the late and great MJ) with an army of beautiful Black women dressed as Black Panthers marching, dancing and throwing up the Black Pride fist behind her. And it’s not a coincidence that all of this took place on the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party (which isn’t a racial hate group like the KKK, btw. Do your research). So now she’s racist and anti-police and ought to be ashamed of herself. Meanwhile, numerous innocent Black folk are getting killed left and right at the hands of this nation’s very own law enforcement, and you decide to get angry at ONE Black female entertainer who uses her platform to make a statement about it? You obviously don’t get it, and that’s the problem. Which is why we will continue to yell and rant and make statements and rally and protest until you do. And speaking of protests…
To the anti-Beyoncé protesters: Just admit it. Y’all felt left out because your white privilege allows you the benefit of having absolutely nothing to protest about. So you decided to take Beyoncé’s performance and run with it — I get it. But let’s take a moment to actually focus on who/what you’re protesting here. You’re protesting Beyoncé. A Black female entertainer with a net worth of about $250 million, who just announced her world tour and couldn’t give two of Blue Ivy’s baby hairs about how y’all feel. Why? BECAUSE IT AIN’T ABOUT YOU, BOO BOO! It must be really hard to sit back and feel like nothing is about you when everything has ALWAYS actually been about you. That’s why Blacks, Latinos, Asians and other minorities create our own award shows and clubs and TV networks and months because everything else ALREADY BELONGS TO YOU! You don’t need to affirm your humanity with chants like “white pride” or “white lives matter” because the system this country was built upon already affirms your white privilege. When you can up and decide to protest a pop star because she somehow offended you for oh, I don’t know, proudly reminding y’all that she’s actually a person of Negro descent who can relate to the struggle (because y’all obviously forgot Bey was Black), that’s white privilege. You don’t have to worry about racist police officers constantly killing people who look like you. That’s white privilege. You don’t have to worry about being hesitant to check off your race and ethnicity on a job application from fear of not getting a call back. That’s white privilege. You don’t have to boycott the Hollywood elite for not acknowledging your noteworthy talents and achievements in the film and music industry. That’s white privilege. All you have to worry about is gathering your little picket signs and march around outside the NFL headquarters because you’re mad at Beyoncé for dropping some gems y’all couldn’t relate to. Must be nice.
To the “Pro-Black” folk claiming Beyoncé (among others) isn’t really “down for the cause”: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But I’ll say this: Publicly patronizing and slandering a member of your own race (Stacey Dash doesn’t count) just because you don’t feel like they’re really “down for the cause” is not being pro-Black — that’s called being foolish. Because for you to sit up and dismiss another Black person’s efforts to promote Black awareness solely because they’re not dark or conscious or hotep-y enough for you is downright ignorant. I’ve heard darker-skinned Black people accuse lighter-skinned Black people of not being “really Black.” I’ve heard conscious (aka “woke”) folk boast about knowing their history and being connected to their Motherland roots, while everyone else is “sleep.” I’m here to tell you that y’all are a part of the problem, and you need to check yourselves. Since when does being pro-Black mean rejecting a whole ‘nother part of your own race? Since when does that mean you get to criticize and patronize your Black brothers and sisters because you know more about your history than they do? How is any of this supporting “the cause”? Don’t y’all know that your mindset is contributing to the struggle and divide of YOUR own people? The people you claim to be so “down” for? Please have a seat (no shade. Like I mean literally, have a seat) and take a few moments to reflect on your way of thinking. Stop competing against your own people because we’re clearly not the enemy here. And when you’re ready to join the rest of us, feel free to get in formation.
Oh, and for all the non-melanin folk who find my posts affirming my Blackness offensive and uncomfortable to read, the ones who more than likely side with Stacey Dash on her ignorant viewpoints, here’s another post written by one of my favorite bloggers that thoroughly explains my sentiments as a proud Black woman. Good day.
Edit (I had to add in this quote): “When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” – Rep. Brian Sims, PA House.