Toronto city councillor Jim Karygiannis is not winning any popularity contests – that’s for sure.
The former Member of Parliament told the Toronto Sun that the federal government should investigate the pop star following her rendition of new single Formation at the Levi’s Stadium on Sunday.
“Perhaps Immigration Minister John McCallum should have her investigated first?” suggested the Ward 39 councillor. “If someone wore bullets and supported (a radical group) here, they would not be welcomed in the United States — that’s for sure.”
As Vice pointed out, trying to ban Ms. Knowles from Canada is nonsensical and not at all how Canadian law even works. Simply being offended by her point of view, her Super Bowl performance, or her bullet sash is not on the CBSA’s checklist at border security.
Beyonce’s performance saw her, complete with ammo belt across her shoulders, and 30 black female dancers in berets dance to her new single on the football field. The dancers were seen holding up a sign that read “Justice 4 Mario Woods” for a teen shot by police, and appeared to give the Black Panther salute to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ‘Formation’ movement.
Some have read the ‘X’ they formed on the pitch as a tribute to slain black activist Malcolm X.
The Black Panther Party was a revolutionary black nationalist and socialist organization active in the U.S from 1966 until 1982. Its main practice was to monitor the behaviour of police officers and to challenge police brutality. At a time when people of colour are disproportionately finding themselves victim to police enforcement, it seems as relevant as ever in 2016.
But Jim didn’t see it that way. He described the event as “disturbing” at a time when “we should not be promoting gun culture or anti-police sentiments.”
Quite how Karygiannis deems this era as one where we should remain silent about important issues is unclear.
But he’s not alone. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani called the halftime performance “outrageous.” The 71-year-old said that Beyonce “used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive.”
While plenty have leapt to her defence, others noted that she sung an anti-cop song after getting a highway-clearing police escort to the game.
The trouble is, the high-profile naysayers and silencers who tell us that this isn’t the time or place to be talking about such topics only make themselves part of the problem.
Whether you agree or disagree with the message behind Beyonce’s latest single, trying to hush those with a point of view on black rights and equality has not and will never be the answer.