Rudy Giuliani has condemned Beyoncé’s halftime performance at Super Bowl 50 as “outrageous” because of its apparent allusions to the Black Lives Matter movement and black power imagery, Media Matters noted Monday.
“This is football, not Hollywood, and 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,” Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, said on “Fox & Friends.”
Only a day before taking the stage in San Francisco, Bey released a surprise new single, “Formation,” brimming with cultural and political references to the struggles of the black community.
The video for the track opens with Beyoncé crouching atop a New Orleans police cruiser, up to its tires in floodwater.
A young boy in a black hoodie – similar to what Trayvon Martin wore on the day of his fatal shooting by neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman – also appears multiple times dancing in front of police officers who are dressed in riot gear. Even more clearly, the camera pans to the words “stop shooting us” written in graffiti on a white brick wall.
Performing the song during halftime, Beyoncé continued the message when dozens of dancers wearing black berets, a typical accessory of the Black Panthers – a black nationalist organization formed in the 1960s that was largely influenced by Malcolm X – stood behind her in an “X” formation.
Prominent Black Lives Matter organizer DeRay Mckesson tweeted his appreciation.
— deray mckesson (@deray) February 8, 2016
When asked about his thoughts on the show during a Monday segment on “Fox & Friends,” however, Giuliani made his opinion clear with comments including:
“What we should be doing in the African-American community, and all communities, is build up respect for police officers. And focus on the fact that when something does go wrong, OK. We’ll work on that. But the vast majority of police officers risk their lives to keep us safe.”
“Can’t you [the Super Bowl organizers] figure out who you’re putting on? I mean this is a political position, she’s probably going to take advantage of it. You’re talking to middle America when you have the Super Bowl, so you can have entertainment. Let’s have, you know, decent wholesome entertainment, and not use it as a platform to attack the people who, you know, put their lives at risk to save us.”
Watch his full comments here:
Giuliani has suggested that his administration’s focus on a policing theory known as broken windows saved New York City. The theory, from criminologists George Kelling and James Wilson, suggests that cracking down on minor disorder, like vandalism, can curtail more serious crimes. Kelling, however, has acknowledged problems with the way New York has applied the approach, specifically its propensity to target minorities – a complaint of many police-reform advocates.
Giuliani wasn’t the only one with harsh words for Bey. Many people have expressed their frustration on Twitter with her song’s message.