Beyonce's "Formation" was very clearly a song about empowerment from the start, but when right-wing police chiefs and opportunistic politicians got ahold of the bumpin jam they somehow saw something entirely different. The controversy surrounding the track reached it's peak when disgruntled people attempted to protest at NFL headquarters for allowing Bey to perform a song that the claimed amounted to "hate speech" at the Super Bowl. Of course, fair-weathered racists were put off by the snow when the day finally arrived, leading to an impromptu pro-Beyonce and #BlackLivesMatter celebration.
Here's the "Formation" video again, in case you've forgotten:
Now, Beyonce herself is clarifying where she stands on the (non-)issue. Mrs. Carter opened up to ELLE Magazine, explaining her political position vis a vis the pop song:
"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."
Fair enough! Also:
"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."
Wow. That is literally the least controversial and most diplomatic answer a human could possibly give on the subject!
As a bonus, Queen Bey also added her similarly-innocuous thoughts on feminism to the conversation:
"I put the definition of feminist in my song ["Flawless"] and on my tour, not for propaganda or to proclaim to the world that I'm a feminist, but to give clarity to the true meaning. I'm not really sure people know or understand what a feminist is, but it's very simple. It's someone who believes in equal rights for men and women. I don't understand the negative connotation of the word, or why it should exclude the opposite sex. If you are a man who believes your daughter should have the same opportunities and rights as your son, then you're a feminist. We need men and women to understand the double standards that still exist in this world, and we need to have a real conversation so we can begin to make changes. Ask anyone, man or woman, "Do you want your daughter to have 75 cents when she deserves $1?" What do you think the answer would be?"
Oh Beyonce, how reasonable.