Pop singer Beyonce is selling merchandise on her new world tour that says "Boycott Beyonce," a move that some critics say is anti-police.
The conservative website Breitbart.com reports that the hashtag "#BoycottBeyonce" began trending on social media after Beyonce's Super Bowl tribute to the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter movement. Also in the timeline was the release of her "Formation" video, which criticized the New Orleans Police Department, in February.
At the time, the Miami Fraternal Order of Police called on cops to boycott the singer's performance in Miami on April 26. However, the boycott flopped, according to Pitchfork.com, as the show was staffed with police.
The police union said in February: "The fact that Beyonce used this year’s Super Bowl to divide Americans by promoting the Black Panthers and her antipolice message shows how she does not support law enforcement," notes Breitbart.com.
In response, Beyonce told Elle magazine:
I mean, I'm an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood. But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken. I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe. But let's be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice.
Those are two separate things. If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me. I'm proud of what we created and I'm proud to be a part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way.
Breitbart.com countered: "To be clear, the anti-police imagery in Beyonce's Super Bowl performance and music video for 'Formation' is overt. Beyonce is seen sitting on a sinking police car. Another scene shows a graffitied wall with the words 'Stop Shooting Us,' while other images show police officers raising their hands in the air, a la Michael Brown, who did not have his 'hands up' when Officer Wilson fired on him."
Breitbart.com made no mention of the New Orleans police shootings of six unarmed, innocent black people (two were killed) on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina Sept. 4, 2005, which is what Beyonce has been referring to in her music and videos.
NOLA.com reported that four of the now-ex-cops were sentenced April 20 to prison terms of seven to 12 years for the shootings, while a fifth former officer got three years in prison for his part in a cover-up of the shootings.