We were weak. Now that we have collected ourselves, get the play-by-play on each track:
1. “PRAY YOU CATCH ME” - Bey opens up Lemonade on a somber note, with the line “You can taste the dishonesty.” Relationships are hard, y’all. Was anyone else nervous that the almighty Queen Bey was about to announce a separation from Jay during her HBO documentary?
I saw a few seconds of this and didn’t think much of it, now seeing the whole video though, I have to give her
credit for being able to condense such a high level of bullshit into a 2 minute
The first point she makes is pure fabrication; that recent
protest about police shootings have been centered around an idea that “black
lives matter more”. That hasn’t been a feature of any protest. Black Lives Matter is such a simple concept that to misrepresent or misunderstand it requires an embarrassing level of voluntary ignorance.
Her points about the performance not being about equality
but about ‘ramrodding an aggressive agenda down our throats’ and ‘getting
attention’ sound more like a description of her own speech and others alike. This whole thing felt like an
audition tape for FOX News.
Her third point is the really telling one though; that the
black panthers weren’t about equality but overthrowing white domination. It’s
so strange because in another video she states that she ‘isn’t a racist’, yet
here the idea that a group of black people tried to abolish white supremacy
makes her visibly upset. As much as it angers me, it’s also genuinely sad to see someone who has been conditioned
to believe that to be in favour of social justice and equality is ‘anti-white’, though in a way she’s not wrong; being for racial equality does mean being
against whiteness - as it is currently known and experienced; whiteness
as we know it embodies a socio-economic advantage procured by the genocide, slavery or oppression of other ‘races’, and so calling for the end of such power relations means calling for the end of the current white experience.
Regarding her fourth point; I really, really would like to
understand the logic behind criticising a social justice movement for
apparently ‘not believing in change through peace but through violence instead’,
and then finishing that same speech by saying God bless the country that has
spent $1.7 trillion dollars on war in just over the last decade, how does that
work out exactly? Peep the hypocrisy; an entire culture perpetuates the
oppression of a group of people for hundreds of years, and it’s not okay for a
very small number of those people to turn to violence. Alternatively; a small
number of people commit an act of terrorism on one day and it is okay for an
entire alliance of countries to invade or support the invasion of the middle-east resulting in millions of deaths.
Her fifth point I have heard before; that people who talk
about racism, are the ones who ‘aren’t letting America heal’, that they’re the
reason racism still exists. As stupid as this sounds, it isn’t an arbitrary
reaction, and this is where a person really pronounces their racism; because
this is part of a cultural habit of blaming black people for their own
oppression - and it’s also linked to this individualistic view of society (most
prominent in the U.S) which states that no matter the constraints you will
succeed if you work hard. Here’s the implication; you take an issue like the
mass incarceration of black men, ask someone like her to explain it, they will
probably tell you it’s because the black family has broken down and black
fathers aren’t sticking around, or its black culture in general or simply:
‘black people just commit more crime’. Now, by virtue of ignoring the relevant
history and contemporary social issues and patterns, and placing every inch of responsibility on the individual the underlying idea is:
‘The social position of black Americans is the result of inherent inferiority’. So she can claim to not be a racist all she
wants, but the signs are there.
Her comment about Beyoncé playing the victim and not being a
cultural leader obviously stems from the fact that she isn’t coming out with a
narrative that suits the prolongation of white supremacy; had she come out and
said something like ‘black on black crime is the real problem with our
community’ then Lahren would have been full of praise because, again, that
narrative doesn’t acknowledge a historical context consisting of a systematised
and successfully enacted plan to push black Americans into spaces where crime and drug
dependency could thrive. Being a cultural leader to her, in this case, means blaming your own
culture for the damage actually done by another, what could be more convenient for someone like her.