Why you shouldn’t #BoycottBeyoncé

Beyoncé’s Formation video has drawn controversy since its Feb. 6 release.


Beyoncé’s “Formation” video has drawn controversy since its Feb. 6 release.

Jonah Hinebaugh, Entertainment Editor

Beyoncé released a video for her new single “Formation” on Feb. 6, featuring clips of Queen Bey sitting on top of a cop car as it sinks under the “weight of her female blackness,” a wall bearing the crudely painted words “Stop Shooting Us” and police officers surrendering to a hooded boy dancing. The video dropped a day after what would have been the 21st birthday of Trayvon Martin, who was shot to death in Central Florida in February of 2012.

Only a day later on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panthers movement, Beyoncé performed with 26 other women sporting black leather, afros, berets and two bandoliers crossing her chest at Super Bowl 50. The performance and video created a backlash by reactionaries brainwashed by the scare tactics used by media sources such as Fox News prompting the #Boycottbeyoncé and #BlueLivesMatter to surge across Twitter and other social media platforms. Those opposing her are calling the Black Lives Matter movement a fraud and argue she is “preaching diversity while practicing segregation.”

Personally, I think the widespread backlash is distasteful and music should be a canvas free from restriction and using it as a way to advance social justice is nothing to be appalling to no one. When people feel threatened that an artist of her stature attacks the blatant disregard for lives that some police officers seem to have towards black people and the lack of punishment they receive for murder, they think she is some extremist that has this completely unheard of idea and they need to tear her down.

The black feminist movement has existed since the latter 20th Century, arising from discontent of the feminist movement and civil rights movement. Now that the affluent artist has taken it under her power to voice the discontent of people who may otherwise have no voice, some, who live in a suburban bubble where they can shelter themselves from the outcry of people, respond in fear.

Once a mainstream artist such as Beyoncé penetrates that bubble with uncomfortable ideas, those inside try to sweep the growing movement of social change under the rug because ignorance is bliss, and as long as they don’t see it, it isn’t happening. The video stands to address attacks Beyoncé has been plagued with by the media, including the way her daughter’s hair is done. It stands to refute those who attack and lack the knowledge to read on both sides. I can see how it could get blown out of proportion, but seeing this backlash shows the lack progress society has made since the late 20th Century.