Friday, May 6, 2016 at 8:20 AM

For LGBTs in North Carolina, Beyoncé Is a Sellout

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

In the mid-1980s, Miles Davis, U2, and Run-D.M.C. headlined a long list of entertainers who boycotted South Africa. They did so because they knew performing there would be tantamount to endorsing the Apartheid government’s discrimination against blacks.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 8.10.32 PMBear that in mind as you read the rest of this commentary.

Laws in North Carolina and Mississippi that restrict the rights of transgender Americans are hateful and should be repealed, Education Secretary John B. King Jr. said Monday…

The North Carolina law requires transgender people to use bathrooms in state government buildings and public schools and universities that correspond to the gender on their birth certificates. It also established statewide anti-discrimination protections that exclude LGBT people, and it bans communities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances that go further.

(Associated Press, May 2, 2016)

Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, and Sharon Stone headline a growing list of entertainers who are boycotting North Carolina. They are doing so because they know performing there would be tantamount to endorsing this anti-LGBT law. Incidentally, this stands in refreshing contrast to far too many celebrities – whose idea of political activism these days is publishing vacuous tweets and self-promoting selfies on social media.

33D6054C00000578-3572696-Queen_Bey_stunned_in_a_glittery_nude_bodysuit-m-88_1462379235727The point is that ending discrimination against LGBTs is the civil rights struggle of our time. And, in a dismaying bit of symmetry, yet another Southern governor, North Carolina’s Pat McCrory, is attempting to enforce discrimination against LGBTs today, the way Alabama’s George Wallace attempted to enforce discrimination against blacks in the 1960s.

Indeed, nothing betrays this law’s intent quite like its  dark little secret:

Tucked inside is language that strips North Carolina workers of the ability to sue under a state anti-discrimination law, a right that has been upheld in court since 1985. ‘If you were fired because of your race, fired because of your gender, fired because of your religion,’ said Allan Freyer, head of the Workers’ Rights Project at the North Carolina Justice Center in Raleigh, ‘you no longer have a basic remedy.’

(Mother Jones, April 5, 2016)

In other words, in a misguided attempt to insulate itself from claims of discrimination against LGBTs, the state has legalized discrimination against all constitutionally “protected classes.”

Regrettably, the categorical imperative upon blacks to oppose this law seems lost on Beyoncé:

Thousands of fans braved severe weather and traffic delays to see Beyoncé perform in Raleigh, North Carolina, Tuesday night…

The concert, one of the most highly-anticipated of the summer, takes the stage in a political atmosphere that other artists have chosen to boycott.

(WRAL, May 4, 2016)

I hasten to clarify that I would be a little sympathetic if, before breaking this boycott, Beyoncé had followed Cyndi Lauper’s lead and issued a statement like this:

I will be donating all of the profits from the show to Equality North Carolina’s efforts to repeal HB2 and I am proud of my manager and agent for joining me in this effort by donating their commissions from the show to this vital effort.

(Entertainment Weekly, April 17, 2016)

Unfortunately, Beyoncé waited until the morning after to issue her self-serving statement on “Equality NC Works To Prove ‘Y’all Means All” — complete with her signature: #BeyGood.

article-2546505-1AFC370E00000578-764_470x7791-181x300It’s bad enough that her statement reeks of a PR afterthought. But it reads like the contrived lyrics of her latest album, Lemonade.

After all, Lemonade is all about Beyoncé playing her fans for suckers; you know, the way Donald Trump plays his supporters. Therefore, if you believe her I-am-woman-hear-me-roar-against-my-cheating-husband schtick, then you probably believe his “Make-America-Great-Again” schtick too.

Frankly, even the Kardashians can’t keep up with the way Bey and Jay exploit the intimacies of family life, including infidelities. Which is why it’s hardly surprising that he’s planning to mix his “Iced Tea” with her Lemonade.

If you interpreted Beyoncé’s Lemonade to be the conclusive mic drop on speculation about her marriage to Jay Z, you may have been wrong. A new report states that Bey’s husband of eight years is planning on responding to his wife’s many lyrical accusations — that he cheated on her, took her for granted, and did not treat her like the queen she is — with his own album telling ‘his side of things.’

(Vanity Fair, May 4, 2016)

Sadly, Bey and Jay have just cause to believe millions of suckers will pay to see them act like Ike and Tina Turner – complete with Jay playing an alpha dog who can shag as many “Beckys” as he wants to.

Jay-Z-Beyonce-Lemonade-2With all due respect to Michelle Obama, however, Bey is misleading young women to think that venting psychotic violence is the way to deal with infidelity. She reinforces this in the epic video for her album by burning houses, smashing up cars, and even hinting at skinning his mistress(es) alive. Then, after her “waiting-to-exhale” rage, she reforms, forgives him, and takes him back.

Far from paying tribute to love and reconciliation, Lemonade serves up little more than sour-tasting male chauvinism. Only this explains Bey portraying a subjugated wife who, despite her purported intelligence, independence, and resourcefulness, feels she has no choice but to reconcile with a husband who disrespects and abuses her. Even worse, her idea of redemption has her musing, like a victim of Stockholm syndrome, that “my torturer became my remedy.” That is, of course, until the next cycle of disrespect and abuse….

Meanwhile, Bey and Jay are laughing all the way to the bank. This is why their marriage seems more like a business partnership than a love relationship. And, just as it is with Bill and Hillary’s political partnership, that’s fine. Just let us be sensible enough to recognize it for what it is … and call this spade a spade.

That said, her more enlightened fans could be forgiven for feeling disappointed in Beyoncé for performing in North Carolina. But she clearly doesn’t give a damn. In fact, her attempt to show solidarity with LGBTs by posting that statement on social media is as condescending as it is contrived: #ShameOnYouBey.

But where’s the outrage?!

Mind you, I used to be a big fan – as this excerpt from “The Grammys (or the Mr. and Mrs. Carter Show?),” January 27, 2014, makes wistfully clear.


I’m a huge Beyoncé fan. But I agree with Jennifer Hudson (who co-starred with Bey in the hit movie Dream Girls) that she cheapened herself and her talent with shamelessly vulgar lyrics and videos for her new, self-titled album.

article-2546569-1AFEA83500000578-485_634x720-264x300For some incomprehensible reason, the serene Bey is trying (way too hard) to be to I’m-sexy-and-I-know-it thirty-somethings what twerking Miley is to don’t-know-much-about-sex Gen-Xers, and what cradle-robbing Madonna is to desperately-seeking-sex AARPers. Got that?

But we can really do without Bey acting out on stage what she does in her bedroom, making mockery of Michelle Obama hailing her as role model little girls can look up to…

I missed Adele.


In any event, here’s to other, more conscientious and less greedy artists continuing to sing, “I, I, I … ain’t gonna play [North Carolina]” – until it repeals this infamous law.

Related commentaries:
Mr and Mrs Carter

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