Beyonce's damning words about police shootings: 'Stop killing us'

Beyonce has spoken out about the latest police shootings, saying the fight is now for 'the rights of the next generation'. Photo/AP
Beyonce has spoken out about the latest police shootings, saying the fight is now for 'the rights of the next generation'. Photo/AP

Beyoncé has posted a message on her website today in response to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both black men who were shot by white police officers.

The singer took an empowering approach to the tragedies, urging action.

"It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they 'stop killing us,'" she wrote in an all-caps message.

"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."

Beyoncé posted this message to her website about recent police shootings.
Beyoncé posted this message to her website about recent police shootings.

She also encouraged people to contact those in power to make changes.

"We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial change," the message read, and included links to help readers find the appropriate congressman to contact.

It's a powerful message from the singer whose Super Bowl halftime show was hailed as a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

During that performance, Beyoncé sang Formation amid a few dozen dancers marching to the beat in Black Panther berets. (The music video for that song featured Beyoncé singing from the top of a police car, stuck in a New Orleans flood, not to mention a young black child dancing in front of a group of police officers in riot gear.)

"She knows how to make her politics acquiesce to pop's pleasure principles," pop critic Chris Richards wrote after the Super Bowl performance.

"Even when our angriest protest artists - Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine, N.W.A. - sounded like they were gargling the blood of the GOP, they knew how to make it feel good. Beyoncé goes further, foregrounding the pleasure, pushing it from the celebratory toward the ecstatic."

Beyoncé's message stands in stark contrast to some of the other celebrity reactions to the deaths of Sterling and Castile. Former OC actress Mischa Barton, for example, has gotten heat for a tone-deaf Instagram post that featured a photo of her in a bikini on a yacht, cocktail in hand, with a caption that read, in part, "thank god the pigs get caught on camera now".

Mischa Barton's controversial Instagram post.
Mischa Barton's controversial Instagram post.

Other celebrities offered the usual: thoughts, prayers and laments. Beyoncé was one of the few to give some useful advice.

Beyonce

"We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities. It is up to us to take a stand and demand they 'stop killing us.' We don't need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives."

- Beyonce in a long post on her website that includes links to contact Congress

Nate Parker


- Nate Parker, actor and director of the upcoming The Birth of a Nation film

Reese Witherspoon


- Reese Witherspoon on Twitter

Jesse Williams

"In the interest of time, would ye noble patriots please provide a list of infractions punishable by spontaneous public execution? Thanks! ... Upon receipt of this list, we'll return to our quarters and study up, eager to enjoy freedoms of white mass murders. #LIFEHACK"

-Actor Jesse Williams, on Twitter

Questlove

"Don't forget to set your clocks back 300 years tonight."

- A meme posted by Questlove of The Roots on Instagram

Susan Sarandon

"This is not acceptable. One more life taken. One more family heartbroken. Another fatherless child. Accountability. #PhilandoCastile"

- Susan Sarandon on Twitter

Niecy Nash

"I can't keep calm I have a black son."

- A meme posted by actress Niecy Nash

Torrey Smith

"I would say good morning but it's not. Bs like this keeps happening. This is sickening. When will it end?"

- San Francisco 49ers player Torrey Smith

Chris Brown

"Yo man, something's gotta give, bro, it just has to. ... We're getting killed every day. ... This (expletive) is (expletive) horrible, and it needs to (expletive) stop." " Singer Chris Brown, in an Instagram video.

Lee Daniels

"And now I come home to this??????? !!!YES!!!!! We all NEED to see this OVER and OVER ... because it's REAL...And it's happening NOW!!!! I'm sad and sadly not shocked. The gig is up and we need to fix it!!! My prayers to this man's family."

- Empire producer Lee Daniels, posting a video of the Alton Sterling killing

Gabrielle Union

"Ppl have the ability to be outraged about failing to see the humanity of a GORILLA, but magically don't have the ability to see our worth."

-Actress Gabrielle Union, on Twitter

Adrian Grenier

"Perhaps if we witness enough tragedy we will reflect on our shortcomings & make decisive change. #PhilandoCastile"

-Actor Adrian Grenier on Twitter

- Washington Post

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