In the wake of the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, Beyoncé is demanding justice.
The singer, who, while bold, is also notoriously press-shy, issued a powerful statement Thursday castigating police violence perpetrated against communities of color, demanding not only that it stop but that people contact their Congress members.
“We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,” she wrote. “It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us.’”
Beyoncé has been especially outspoken against police brutality since the surprise release of her music video for “Formation” in February. Politicians and political pundits have accused her of being “anti-police” for her criticisms. Boycotts have even been held against her. But while she’s stated her “admiration” for law enforcement, she stands firm that a police badge doesn’t absolve anyone of accountability:
We don’t need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives. We’re going to stand up as a community and fight against anyone who believes that murder or any violent action by those who are sworn to protect us should consistently go unpunished.
These robberies of lives makes us feel helpless and hopeless. But we have to believe that we are fighting for the rights of the next generation, for the next young men and women who believe in good.
This is a human fight. No matter your race, gender, or sexual orientation. This is a fight for anyone who feels marginalized, who is struggling for freedom and human rights.
This is not a plea to all police officers but toward any human being who fails to value life. The war on people of color and all minorities needs to be over.
Fear is not an excuse. Hate Will Not Win.
You can read the full statement here.
Beyoncé later reiterated her thoughts on police brutality, during a performance for the Formation World Tour in Glasgow, on Thursday evening. The singer commanded a moment of silence while displaying names of those killed by law enforcement.
Beyonce just paused her Glasgow show for a moment of silence, displaying victims of police brutality #AltonSterling pic.twitter.com/REajdvlmUf— Will (@TheAussieSide) July 7, 2016