In Beyoncé’s latest video, which she cleverly debut on Saturday, the day before her big Super Bowl show, the mega star alludes to one of the biggest problems of our generation: police brutality.
In one scene, a young boy, dressed in a black hoodie, is seen dancing in front of police officers who are wearing riot gear. The camera then cuts to a wall with the words “stop shooting us” spray-painted on it. In another scene, Beyoncé sits atop a New Orleans police car that sinks in the water, bringing the star underneath the surface with it. Here, Beyoncé is undoubtedly alluding to the U.S.’s mishandling of Hurricane Katrina, which killed scores of people and left thousands homeless without food or clean water – many African American.
The song, and its video, is a clear message of the modern day U.S. black experience. While criticizing the ways the state has failed black people, through the Hurricane Katrina aftermath and police violence, she also celebrates her own black female identity, unapologetically.
But not everyone was applauding. "As the wife of a police officer, I am offended by this entire video," a white woman wrote on the star’s Facebook page. "Rise above and stay above the strife. For a girl who grew up in a privileged, wealthy family, she has no business pandering to those who didn't."
Sadly, for some, criticism of state violence is more threatening than the actual police-killings of unarmed youth of color.