After Lady Gaga kicked off Sunday's 50th Super Bowl with an extraordinarily powerful rendition of the national anthem, it was all downhill for everyone but the Denver Broncos and their fans. The NFL reached an all-time low for its apparent approval of a predictably trashy and politicized halftime show featuring President Obama's close friend, pop superstar Beyonce Knowles, bringing Black Panther chic and a Black Lives Matter message to family audiences nationwide.
As the UK's Daily Mail Online reports, Beyonce led a troupe of dancers dressed as slutty Black Panthers on the field to perform her new single "Formation," which is being considered a sort of rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement. At one point during the song, the dancers formed an "X" on the field - an apparent reference to black power icon Malcolm X - and then raised their fists in a stylized black power salute.
You may recall that the Black Panther Party was, as the Freedom Center's Discover the Networks site describes them, a violent revolutionary organization of the 1960s and 1970s whose members engaged in drug dealing, pimping, rape, extortion, assault, and murder. Their aim was to harass the police, protest against “police brutality” and America’s allegedly racist power structure, and ultimately ignite a violent race war in the United States. Malcolm X was (again quoting Discover the Networks) a civil rights activist, vociferous anti-Semite, and Nation of Islam member who called for black separatism, exhorted blacks to combat racism “by any means necessary,” including violence, and said: “History proves that the white man is a devil.”
Great role models for a Super Bowl halftime performance viewed by nearly as many people as last year's Super Bowl, which was the most-watched TV event in history.
Following the show, several of the dancers were pictured giving the same salute around a piece of paper that read "justice 4 Mario Woods," a black man shot dead by police in San Francisco last December.
The day before the Super Bowl, Beyonce released the video for "Formation," which features the singer lying on top of a sinking police cruiser in a flooded, post-Katrina New Orleans, as well as a black child in a hoodie dancing in front of a line of police officers in riot gear, and graffiti on a wall that says, “Stop shooting us.”