*This article was originally posted on SlantNews*
As soon as Beyoncé unexpectedly dropped her new single “Formation,” fans everywhere rejoiced at the obviously pro-Black anthem. The video and song touched on natural hair, rejected Black features, Hurricane Katrina, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
It made sense that she would perform her newly debuted song at the biggest event of the year but the lyrics and images from the video coupled with the performance have put many people on the defensive.
The former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, was one person that spoke out about his disappointment in the performance.
Giuliani said he thought it was “outrageous that she used [the Superbowl] as a platform to attack police officers who are the people that protect her and protect us and keep us alive.”
The irony of Giuliani’s statement is laughable when looking at the 986 people that were fatally shot by police officers in 2015, a problem that Beyoncé highlights in her video.
It wasn’t only about the most recent publicized police brutality but about the erasure of systematic mistreatment that the Black community faces.
“Formation” shows Beyoncé on top of a sinking cop car, drawing parallels to the horrors that befell New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina where the Black population was brutalized by local police and left to starve and drown.
There has been an outpouring of negativity from White “fans” who labeled the song racist because of these motifs and Giuliani’s out of touch comments have fueled their rage. The hashtag #BoycottBeyonce has had constant activity since but fans are not taking the hate lightly.
— Cheri (@thinkfast1984) February 8, 2016
Something is wrong with the world when the response to Beyoncé at the #SB50 is “boycott bey” rather than WE MUST STOP MURDERING BLACK PEOPLE
— Van Badham (@vanbadham) February 8, 2016
“Formation” is a song for Black culture and about Black culture with references and vernacular that has Black fans rejoicing as Beyoncé uses her spotlight to illuminate them.
— Stef (@FLOTUK) February 6, 2016
Although Giuliani chalked it up to being outrageous, ridiculous, and “a bunch of people bouncing around,” the Super Bowl performance of this song was obviously meant to be statement and an homage to great influences in the Black community.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 8, 2016
— The Dream Defenders (@Dreamdefenders) February 8, 2016
More importantly, it was meant to show unity in a community that has been constantly targeted, mistreated, and misrepresented.
The racist dialogue that emerges when Blackness is celebrated and affirmed is in no way an attack against White America and should not be seen as such. The Super Bowl is the most watched program in the United States and there would not have been a better time for to showcase Black pride and talent.
Beyoncé’s song and performance encourage more positivity than anything else and the message behind them should be given priority over people that choose not to understand it.
But at the end of the day: