NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Beyonce has a message for police: “Stop killing us.”
The pop superstar posted a statement on her website following the fatal police shootings of two black men this week – Philando Castile, 32, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling, 37, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,” Beyonce’s statement reads. “It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us.’ 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.”
Beyonce said that these shootings “make us feel helpless and hopeless.”
“This is a human fight. No matter your race, gender or sexual orientation. This is a fight for anyone who feels marginalized, who is struggling for freedom and human rights,” the statement said.
It continued, “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. Fear is not an excuse. Hate will not win.”
Beyonce’s website also allows people to contact their congressional leader to take action.
Earlier this year, critics slammed Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime performance, claiming it attacked police officers.
Beyonce’s dancers donned berets, sported Afros and wore all black, similar to the style of the Black Panther party, founded 50 years ago by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in the Bay area — the location of this year’s Super Bowl. At one point during their routine, the dancers formed an “X” on the field, which some people are taking as a tribute to slain black activist Malcolm X.
In addition, Beyonce and her dancers raised a fist to the sky, reminiscent of the black power salutes of the 1960-70s, made popular internationally by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who raised their fists to the sky after winning gold and bronze at the 1968 Summer Olympics.
“This is football, not Hollywood, and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive,” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Fox News in February. “And what we should be doing in the African-American community, and all communities, is build up respect for police officers, and focus on the fact that when something does go wrong, we’ll work on that.”
However, several people applauded her embracing the history of black activism and of her own identity. Her song “Formation,” which she sang during her performance, includes the lyrics “I like my baby hair, with baby hair and Afros. I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.”
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