In the wake of Super Bowl 50, this week’s blazing hot topics throughout the country have involved more than just the recap of the actual game itself. More than a fair share of the discussions have been centered around one Beyonce Knowles-Carter, the multi-talented entertainer who’s captured the collective attention of the world yet again.
While many individuals have contributed their perspectives on whether her halftime performance (based on her newly-released video/song titled Formation) was a necessary gesture to highlight pressing matters in Black Society, perhaps the dominant society’s reaction to Formation should pose the REAL issue. For much of the past two decades, Beyonce’s star power has grown exponentially, and her extensive body of work has elevated her to a rarefied air that very few recording artists–especially Black artists–get an opportunity to experience.
Here are a few Tweets that highlight the white supremacists’ reaction to Beyonce’s Super Bowl 50 halftime performance.
— William Kelly (@kellyw1964) February 8, 2016
@Beyonce you tried to look like ur African Am. With a half ass fro that u straightend already but supporting blk panthers is a Nigger move
— Ronnie (@ShoPny13) February 9, 2016
Beyonce is nothing more than a LOW-LIFE RICH BIGOTED GHETTO NIGGER WHO KISSES THE SANDNIGGER OBAMA'S ASS
— franklin wolfe jr (@9killhim) February 9, 2016
The Tweets shown above are a drop in the bucket when it comes to illustrating the vitriol white supremacists spew toward Black recording artists when the artists don’t play by a certain script. Although these men have been deified posthumously, many seem to forget the amount of resentment that Tupac Shakur, Bob Marley, and Michael Jackson received. Much like Beyonce’s smash hit song Single Ladies, Tupac’s California Love can be heard blasting on any given day in any given place in the world in the homes, cars, and social gatherings where large numbers of non-Melanoid people are located. On the flip side, Tupac’s revolutionary background has been highly scrutinized by people in the dominant society.
Creatively speaking, perhaps nothing was more revolutionary than Michael Jackson’s decision to put together the music video for the hit single from his 1991 Dangerous album titled Remember The Time.
To the surprise of many during that time, the video featured an all-Black cast, and not just a typical all-Black cast for a music video. Besides the fact that the video was laced with a star-studded cast, the video’s actors all depicted people in an ancient Kemetian (Egyptian) setting, which gave credence to the historical accuracy of the African nation. As expected, Jackson was ridiculed because of the video, which was also around the time when the assassination attempt on his character began–besides the fact that he owned half of the Sony Music catalog, but that is an entirely separate ordeal all to itself.
Bob Marley, whose music has warmed the hearts of multitudes of people, was no exception to the aforementioned collection of exceptional Black star power.
The work that Mr. Marley left behind includes highly-celebrated classics, such as Redemption Song and One Love, and these were just a couple of his musical masterpieces that the world-at-large embraces. While the music of Bob Marley (and/or Marley’s group, The Wailers) continues to wax poetic in the ear and hearts of non-Melanoid people everywhere, it is no secret that Buffalo Soldier was a song that spoke directly to the trials, tribulations, and untapped greatness of people in the African Diaspora.
In the eyes of white supremacists in the dominant society, Beyonce is nothing more than a “trouble making” superstar singer/dancer who has offended (and disappointed them) by her latest act. In the eyes of members of many non-Black people, Tupac Shakur was a young and angry rapper who, in their minds, made it cool for them to reduce the originally brilliant concept of ‘Thug Life’ to an ongoing series of viral videos based on nothing more than various scenarios involving slapstick humor.
Michael Jackson too, was viewed in the same light as the other musical luminaries. It was more than ok for Mike to give the world Thriller and Billie Jean, but as soon as Remember The Time’s video debuts on national television, white supremacists now have a problem…much like how “cool” it is for non-Melanoid youths to idolize Marley for the simple fact that he smoked weed–largely unaware of Marley’s Pan-African ideologies and Rastafarianism.
Is it up to us as Melanoid people to go to great lengths to convince the dominant society that some of their favorite Black artists chose to use their platform to convey progressive Black propaganda in their music? No. Is it up to non-Melanoid people to care that their favorite Black recording artist just might occasionally make a song filled with progressive Black lyrics? Absolutely not.
In response to white supremacists’ full-fledged attack on Beyonce for her latest performance/song, we must quote the words of the Late, Great Michael Jackson when he sang: They Don’t Care About Us.
They don’t care about us, nor should we value how they feel about how we choose to express ourselves artistically.