Thursday, February 11, 2016

Here's What Beyoncé Haters Get Wrong About Her Black Panther Homage at Super Bowl 50
Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 11:22 AM

It may be time for America to tweak its fundamental tagline because "The land of the free, the home of the brave," no longer fits.

In the face of the mounting criticism of Beyoncé's Super Bowl performance on Sunday, it sure seems like America has become "The land of the Amnesia Patients."

Beyoncé’s show was rich in symbolism that haters and the wrong-headed willfully misunderstood.

Beyoncé’s show was rich in symbolism that haters and the wrong-headed willfully misunderstood.

On the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (its original name), Beyoncé crashed Coldplay's rainbow-lit stage to deliver a message:

People of color are tired of being killed; tired of being shortchanged; tired of having their feelings being mocked by the very demographic that continues to hold them back.

The picked-out afros, the all-black attire, the militant garb (and song to match) had some viewers asking why the NFL allowed Beyoncé to make the radical chic.

How quickly we all have forgotten the pain this country has inflicted on people of color and continues to do so today.

The land of the shortened memories empowered police to sic dogs on innocent people and spray them down with powerful water hoses simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This great America barred its deep-complexioned citizens from riding in the front of the bus and using the same water fountain as others — among countless other outlandish inequities and indecencies.

The revolutionary group born in Oakland, Calif., in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, provided demands for the improvement of life for black people, a “radical” list that included:

1. Freedom

2. Full employment for black people

3. Decent housing

4. Education

5. End police brutality

Beyoncé and other public figures have remained silent on this issue for far too long. But now that she has a child who could easily become the next hashtag victim, Mrs. Carter has chosen to speak up.

And for that, she’s being called a racist and anti-police. But ignoring the points of her halftime show and the video for her new song, “Formation,” is its own form of racism. And racism comes from fear of the unknown — which should be expected in a country where even something as simple as Black History Month lessons in schools is under fire.

Beyoncé led her beret-clad dancers during her symbolically rich Super Bowl performance on Sunday.
People fear what they don’t know. And they don’t want to learn, so the fear grows.

It is a grave misconception that Black Panthers promoted the killings of police, just as it is so that Black Lives Matter means every other life doesn't.

Black pride — the message Beyoncé was trying to convey — means being proud of who your are, what you look like and where you come from.

Black people — with our full lips, kinky hair, and dark skin — have been called ugly, ignorant and uneducated for so long, that there wasn’t a better stage for this type of moment.

The symbolism of Queen Bey’s efforts missed some people — and that’s because the message wasn’t for them.

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