Dear Beyonce, Don’t Apologize for “Formation”
An open letter to the superstar
It’s not easy being you. Everything you do and say is on the world stage. Literally billions of people watch—and scrutinize—your every move. For the past 20 years, you’ve been the paragon of what a pop star should be. While other stars fall by the wayside to scandal or irrelevance, we’ve never even seen you sweat, Bey. Talented, gorgeous, always poised under pressure; you’re otherworldly. You have an entire hive of fans that swarm for you, stan for you and worship you. From Michelle Obama to Adele, anyone with two ears and a heart loves you.
But right now, a lot of people don’t love you. After releasing “Formation” and performing the racially charged track at the Super Bowl, haters are coming for you. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani called your performance an “attack” on police officers. "I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive," he says. Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin added, “Cuz nothing brings us all together better than angry @Beyonce shaking her ass & shouting "Negro" repeatedly.”
They want you to apologize. They want you to apologize for bringing the topic of race into living rooms across America. Beyonce speaking out about Hurricane Katrina? How dare she! They want you to apologize for commemorating the anniversary of the Black Panthers. They want you to apologize for caring about Black Lives Matter. They want you to apologize for being a black woman, proud of where you come from and your accomplishments. Hell, I’m convinced some of these people forgot you were black in the first place.
Don’t apologize, Beyonce. “Formation” is by far the riskiest and most topical song you’ve ever made. You’re forcing us—fans, the media, everyone—to open our eyes and to address topics that make some folks very uncomfortable. Good. That’s the point. Art has the power to affect change. You, Beyonce Knowles, have the power to affect change. Don’t apologize for making the most important song of your career.