Beyoncé has decided to call for action in the wake of brutal police shootings in the last few days. Beyoncé, who has stood by the Black Lives Matter movement, took to her website to call out the violence against young men and women in the African-American community.
Beyoncé’s statement was released just hours after the brutal deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, separate incidents, but threaded into the painful history of police brutality. In the statement, Beyoncé wrote, “We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities. It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us.’ We don’t need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives.”
She continued, “We’re going to stand up as a community and fight against anyone who believes that murder or any violent action by those who are sworn to protect us should consistently go unpunished.
“This is not a plea to all police officers but toward any human being who fails to value life. The war on people of color and all minorities needs to be over.”
In addition, she also paused one of her concerts to highlight the victims and others that have died in police shootings.
Beyoncé paused her show tonight to show the names of the victims of police brutality pic.twitter.com/ZB6oOh5hbD
— Bitch Problems (@FemaleTexts) July 7, 2016
During her Glasgow concert she paused while performing an a capella of her hit song “Freedom” featuring Kendrick Lamar. She and her dancers stood on stage as the scroll of victims, along with Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, appeared on the screen.
The response after Beyoncé came forward has been overwhelmingly positive toward the singer.
Beyoncé is the exact opposite of Trump in every way. Thank God for Beyoncé.
— eric dadourian (@ericdadourian) July 7, 2016
To everyone desperately trying to find fault and insincerity in the words and actions of Beyoncé and others, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM
— Beyoncé Receipts (@beyceipts) July 7, 2016
Some are questioning the singer’s sincerity and action towards the African American community. That said, we’ve seen Beyoncé act in her own way. She reportedly had her husband Jay Z donate $1. 5 million to the Black Lives Matter movement. At the time, Billboard wrote that the proceeds came from Tidal’s charity concert which was held in honor of the late Trayvon Martin who was shot and killed in 2012 by neighbor George Zimmerman.
Black Lives Matter wasn’t the only organization to see the donation; Opportunity Agenda, Hands Up United, Sankofa.Org, and other local groups benefited as well.
Beyoncé followed that up with a Black Lives Matter tribute during her performance at the 2016 Super Bowl. During her song “Formation” which calls for the African-American community to band together, Beyoncé and her dancers were dressed in clothes reminiscent of the Black Panther party, which existed in the ’60s as a black socialist and political organization to patrol offenders against their community.
The performance drew in critics who slammed Beyoncé’s performance as “anti-cop,” but others also praised her performance as well, and it wasn’t just people arguing on Twitter either. Beyoncé got the attention of officials and pop culture and social commentators
The “politically charged performance” was described by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as “outrageous,” going as far as to say the singer used her platform to “attack police officers.”
While Huffington Post‘s Zeba Blay said of her activism, “The song, video, and subsequent Super Bowl performance is the visual and auditory equivalent of ‘b—h you thought.’ With its nods to New Orleans, its imagery invoking the realities of police brutality, its celebration of black gay ballroom culture and the Black Panthers, Beyoncé’s latest single is perhaps the most straightforward expression of her blackness.”
To read Beyoncé’s full statement, click here.
What do you think of Beyoncé’s newest statements?
[Photo by Frank Micelotta/Parkwood Entertainment via Getty Images]