Beyonce’s performance inspired an anti-Beyonce rally and a counter protest called an anti-anti-Beyonce rally. Both events are scheduled to occur outside of the NFL Headquarters building in New York City. That is 345 Park Avenue, for those interested in attending on either side. On February 16, 2016 the sides will face off at 8 a.m. EST. The anti-rally will run from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The rally supporting Bey is planned to last just 2 hours, from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. Both events are free and free tickets are offered on line.
The Beyonce inspired anti-Beyonce rally is a protest to Beyonce’s politically and racially charged shout out to “Black Lives Matter” during her Super Bowl performance as reported by Rolling Stone. Perhaps, in hindsight, her Black Panthers hats and racially charged lyrics were controversial, but the backlash has been unprecedented. Those who support law enforcement have been especially offended by the inference that police indiscriminately shoot blacks. Others support and defend Bey’s right to express herself as an artist and as a black woman.
The invitation to the anti-Beyonce rally on Eventbrite invokes the sanctity of the Super Bowl and police. There are hashtags on the invitation #Boycott Beyonce, #Blue Lives Matter and #All Lives Matter.
“Are you offended as an American that Beyoncé pulled her race-baiting stunt at the Superbowl? Do you agree that it was a slap in the face to law enforcement? Do you agree that the Black Panthers was/is a hate group which should not be glorified? Come and let’s stand together. Let’s tell the NFL we don’t want hate speech & racism at the Superbowl ever again!”
The anti-anti-Beyonce rally invitation has a decidedly different tone, defending Beyonce’s right to speak up on political issues and express her feelings about her race and gender. Apparently the women are encouraged to dress like the Beyonce dancers. Ironically the counter protest is also announced on Eventbrite.
“When Black women affirm Blackness/Black womanhood, they are attacked and silenced. This is a counter protest to a racist, a historical attack on the Black Panther Party and Beyonce, plus an excuse to celebrate a very awesome song and #BlackGirlMagic moment. Sisters, dress in your “Formation” video/Super Bowl performance-inspired gear and make this a moment a joyous one! Allies and friends, show up and show your support! We have asked our biggest stars to get political and Bey went there. Don’t let anyone make her powerful statement about the value of Black life be overshadowed by those who don’t believe that our lives matter.”
Beyonce anti-rallies and anti-anti Beyonce rallies held at the same time and place seems a potentially disastrous plan, that could result in a riot, or at least a fight. Police will likely be called out to referee the event, and so it puts black lives, white lives and blue lives at risk. So is this what Beyonce wanted?
Did Beyonce envision anti-anti-Beyonce rallies when she decided to create her Black Panther and Malcolm X references at the Super Bowl? Could anyone have predicted the reactions and counter reactions would become potentially dangerous rally or riot? She has not released any statements following her performance. Perhaps she will, before this goes too far and someone gets hurt over her art. It is likely that an explanation of her artistic statement from Beyonce herself might help clear some of this up.
Beyonce chose to make a political statement that would be a rally cry for “Black Lives Matter”. It is certainly not unprecedented for musicians to make political statements. Many musicians protested the Vietnam war. Some protested various political figures and more than a few protested the loss of family owned farmland in the mid-west, but it rarely turned into anything like this. There is no reason to think Bey could have predicted this outcome, but now she is at least somewhat responsible for this dangerous back lash.
Beyonce believes in “Black Lives Matter,” but it is doubtful that she would condone a protest rally with potential to become a race riot.
[Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]