Beyoncé's "Formation" will undoubtedly be one of the most explosive works of the year. With images from the Black Lives Matter movement, a quick flashing of the words "Stop shooting us" graffitied on a wall, and the image of Beyoncé sitting atop a sinking police car, many deemed the accompanying video, and her Super Bowl performance, to be "anti-police." At Beyoncé's Houston, Texas, stop on her Formation tour on Saturday night, members of the Coalition of Police and Sheriffs (COPS) protested against the singer's performance.
Gathered about a mile away from NRG Stadium, where the concert was held, the group shone a blue light in the direction of the performance. They also wore T-shirts that read, "Police Lives Matter," which goes to show how misconceptions surrounding the term "Black Lives Matter" are still unfortunately alive and well.
"Some of her performances we believe to be anti-police," Tony Ragsdale, a member of the Pasadena Police Department C.O.P.S. told KHOU. As Beyoncé has clarified before, they are not.
"I mean, I'm an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood," she told Elle. "But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken. I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe. But let's be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things. If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me. I'm proud of what we created and I'm proud to be a part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way."
Ultimately, "Formation" was meant to incite discussion about race and injustice, not anti-police sentiments. And here we were thinking that was obvious.