Beyonce seeks justice for George Floyd in petition, says 'we cannot normalize this pain'
Beyonce fans thanked her, saying, 'Voices need to be heard and change must take place'
Queen Bey has spoken! She took to Instagram to talk about George Floyd's murder and begged people not to "normalize" it in a moving video.
"We need justice for George Floyd. We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We’re broken and we’re disgusted. We cannot normalize this pain. ‘I’m not only speaking to people of color. If you’re white, black, brown, or anything in between, I’m sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now," said the pop star and activist, who has consistently spoken up for the 'Black Lives Matter' movement.
In her plea to fans to sign her petition to seek justice for George Floyd, she added, "No more senseless killings of human beings. No more seeing people of color as less than human. We can no longer look away. George is all of our family in humanity. He’s family because he’s a fellow American."
She continued, "There have been too many times that we’ve seen these violent killings and no consequences. Yes, someone has been charged but justice is far from being achieved. Please sign the petition and continue to pray for peace, compassion and healing for our country. Thank you so much."
The petition page itself references how George Floyd gasped "I can’t breathe!", before going limp and unresponsive, as police officer, Derek Chauvin, continued to kneel on his neck. Titled #WECANTBREATHE, the web page features a black and white photo of George Floyd, with the words "Rest in Power" under it and links to Change.org, Color of Change, We Can't Breathe and NAACP.
This appeal is the latest in the Grammy winner's long history of using her star power as an activist. Way back in 2015, for the 57th annual Grammy Awards, Beyonce's performed “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” that featured an all-male choir providing the background vocals. In the 'Behind The Scenes' documentary, she released to coincide with the performance where the men in the choir shared their experiences of being black men in America. In the documentary, Beyonce also explained that she had selected these men because it was "an opportunity to show the strength and vulnerability in black men". Before that, she and Jay-Z attended a rally in 2013 in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
In 2016, in her Super Bowl halftime performance, she paid homage to the Black Panthers, a political group that advocated for civil rights for African-Americans. This was right after the video for her single, 'Formation', dropped, which featured her atop a sinking police car as the camera panned across a wall with the text “Stop Shooting Us” — giving a boost to the 'Black Lives Matter' movement. She also spoke passionately and publically about the 'Black Lives Matter' movement that was picking up momentum around this time. The film for her sixth album, 'Lemonade', included the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, holding pictures of their sons in the video for 'Freedom'.
In 2017, she supported the then-NFL Player Colin Kaepernick's actions of protesting while the national anthem was playing by kneeling to advocate against police brutality. She showed her support by presenting him with the 'Muhammad Ali Legacy Award' at the 2017 Sports Illustrated awards ceremony. Then in 2018, she headlined at Coachella by recreating the black college experience, performing with a live marching band with over 100 dancers, as if they were at a homecoming rally. On December 2, 2018, Beyoncé alongside Jay-Z headlined the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 for charity, which was held at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her outfits celebrated Africa's diversity, which was praised.
In addition to her activism around race issues, Queen Bey has always emphasized that she is a "modern-day feminist" and has advocated for women's rights at different forums and through her songs. She co-founded 'Chime for Change', with actress Salma Hayek and Gucci to promote global gender equality. In her song 'Flawless', Beyonce sampled a speech by the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, titled 'We Should All Be Feminists'. She also rallied voters in support of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election because she wanted to make history "by electing the first woman president". In an effort to mobilize young voters, she took to the stage and delivered a speech endorsing Clinton ahead of Election Day. Her support for Clinton had roots in her earlier work for the 2014 'Ban Bossy' campaign, which uses TV and social media to encourage leadership in girls. In addition to this Beyonce has also spoken up about LGBTQ rights on several occasions and publicly endorsed same-sex marriage.
Fans are applauding Beyonce's move to start the 'Justice for George Floyd' petition with comments like "glad you are on this" and "Thank you, Bey!! Voices need to be HEARD and CHANGE MUST Take Place!!" on her Instagram video. Any person commenting on the fact that she had used a soft-focus filter or that the speech sounded rehearsed was immediately shut down by the Beyhive.