Thursday, April 28, 2016

Piers Morgan, No One Gives a Fuck What You Think about Beyonce's Music

by Zil Nabu

Piers Morgan has had me in my feelings for the better part of 24 hours. I wasn't going to post about this but I'm high on benzodiazepine and lawd knows what other sedatives that have depleted my supply of fucks to give. After reading his opinions on Beyonce's new visual album Lemonade and its preceding lead single "Formation" I'd like to tell this white British man who knows nothing of being a Black woman to "suck on my balls. Pause. I've had enough." First and foremost, this album was not written, created, choreographed, performed, filmed, edited, or released with any concern for YOUR consumption. You, and people like you, should have learned like I did as a child that not everything is about you boo boo.
So let's break down all of everything that you (and people like you) got wrong. 

"But just lately, Beyonce’s been adding a far more serious, deeply political and race-fuelled tone to her work." - Piers Morgan
And? So what? Yes, her visual work has become markedly more political. While her lyrical content has grown more sophisticated in terms of word play it actually isn't overtly political. But even if it was, why shouldn't it be? Did not Marvin Gaye move from "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" to "What's Going On" and "Mercy Me"? Do our entertainers not live in the same world that all of us inhabit? Does entertaining for income mean that one cannot have opinions about what goes on in the world and wouldn't those opinions and their values be expressed through their art? Beyonce is no longer the 20 year old writing that "I don't think you're ready for this jelly." She's a 34 year old mother who now has autonomy over her creations. What makes you uncomfortable about that? Is it because you've literally watched her grow up? Maybe it's difficult not to see her as a teenager who shouldn't have political leanings. Now, if you think her newer work has a race-fueled tone to it, then you must not have really been listening to her earlier recordings. She's been celebrating and proclaiming her Blackness for over a decade. Maybe it wasn't as overt as liking her Negro's nose with Jackson 5 nostrils, but proclaiming that you weren't "ready for this jelly" was hardly race neutral if you know anything about beauty standards within Black communities. 
"In February of this year, she dropped the song 'Formation' which contained references to the activist movement Black Lives Matter. 
"A video accompanying it included Beyoncé strewn across a sinking police car in a withering throwback to police mistreatment of the black community in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. 
"Other scenes showed a wall bearing the graffiti “Stop Shooting Us” and a young black boy dancing in a hoodie in front of a line of policemen. 
"It was seen, understandably, as an attack on U.S. police." - Piers Morgan
Actually, it's not understandable to me why that was seen as an attack on police. Was there not police mistreatment and government neglect and mishandling, especially affecting Black citizens in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? Have unarmed Black men and women lost their lives in state sanctioned violence for petty crimes for simply existing? Yes. How is pointing out FACT anti-police? If the people who are supposed to be being served are not being served well then should they not speak out? The actual song "Formation" contained no references to BLM, but the video's imagery implicitly did. If you listened to the song without the visuals you would see it as a danceable song with specific lyrics celebrating Black southern culture ("hot sauce in my bag swag") but nothing political. That is unless you see the mentioning of one's Blackness as a political statement. Let me ask you this, when Eric Clapton sang, "She'll put on her makeup and brushes her long blonde hair," was that also a political statement? I highly doubt that you saw it as such. That lyric is innocuous to you, yet verses from Black artists that affirm the beauty of specifically Black features are political in your eyes.
"Her back-up dancers had Panthers-style afro hairstyles and black berets, formed an X on the pitch and punched the air in the style of the famous black power salute." - Piers Morgan
Sigh...."Panthers-style afro hairstyles"? Aww, poor tink tink. You thought the Black Panthers invented the afro. No boo boo, this is how Black people's hair has been growing out of our heads since we got on this earth. There is NOTHING political about the natural naps that I allow to grow unaltered from my scalp. You see, that's just us existing as we are and not only accepting ourselves but embracing the beauty in our glorious coils that grow out toward the heavens. As for the black berets and dancing in an X formation and the Black power can stay mad.
"The Black Panthers, set up as a group who would protect black Americans from police brutality, became infamous for their own brutality, especially against police, and widespread criminal and murderous membership within their ranks." - Piers Morgan
You know the Panthers also became famous for establishing free breakfast programs for children, which were the precursor for today's free lunch and WIC programs, but you neglected to mention that. Also, look up Co-Intelpro before you talk about "widespread criminal and murderous membership within their ranks." If you're going to tell the story, tell the WHOLE damn thing.
"My mind went back to my CNN interview with Beyoncé and the moment when we discussed her live performance at President Barack Obama’s first inauguration ball in 2008. "‘Did you experience racism as you grew up?’ I asked."
"‘A bit, but I feel like with my career I’ve now broken barriers. I don’t think people think about my race. I think they look at me as an entertainer and a musician and I’m very happy about that because that’s how I look at people. It’s not about color and race, and I’m happy that’s changing.’" - Piers Morgan
Piers, Piers, Piers, nowhere in this statement was Beyonce saying that she has transcended Blackness. She is making a factual statement that if you make good music and entertain people then her race is not a factor in whether or not they can enjoy it. This quote does not justify the next bit of your fuckery...
"Beyoncé then was unrecognisable from the militant activist we see now. Then, she was at pains to be seen as an entertainer and musician and not as a black woman who sings. Now, it seems to be the complete opposite.
"The new Beyoncé wants to be seen as a black woman political activist first and foremost, entertainer and musician second." - Piers Morgan
What in the entire fuck?? Beyonce has always been a Black woman. I saw her as a Black woman the first time I saw the Destiny's Child video for "No, No, No, No." Blackness isn't a garment one puts on and takes off at will. Her Blackness is not a costume. The fact you (and other fans) chose to ignore it in order to make her more palatable to you does not mean that it wasn't there. Is she more of an activist now? Yeah, I'd agree with you on that. But she is no more Black today than she was on the day she was born.
"But I have to be honest, I preferred the old Beyoncé. The less inflammatory, agitating one. The one who didn’t use grieving mothers to shift records and further fill her already massively enriched purse.
"The one who didn’t play the race card so deliberately and to my mind, unnecessarily. The one who wanted to be judged on her stupendous talent not her skin color, and wanted us all to do the same." - Piers Morgan
You see, what you did there? You done fucked up now. No one gives a fuck who or what you prefer. Let me ask you something? What about Blackness do you find inflammatory or agitating? And don't you dare go dragging Martin Luther the King into this with your weak paraphrase of his words. When he said that people should "be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" he did not say that the color of one's skin is irrelevant. Judgement is not the same as recognition. You (and your ilk) took those great words of that great man and twisted them to suit your own agenda. Because you could not tolerate Blackness you chose to simply ignore its existence and then had the audacity to try to require Blacks to help you with that by muting who we are to make you more comfortable. Newsflash! Beyonce never asked to be JUDGED by her skin color. She is asking to be judged by the content of her artistic work, which if it's fueled by WHO she is (a BLACK WOMAN), will exemplify, promote, celebrate and speak to Black womanhood. And what is this race card that you speak of? This is not a game of spades and being Black is not the Big Joker. She is existing. And if in the first 33 years of her existence you chose to ignore what every Black person saw, well that's on you. She will, and we will, continue to exist and thrive in all our wide nose, afro haired, bat wielding glory.

And if anyone has a problem with anything I've said...It's yours, not mine. ‪#‎unapologeticallyBLACK‬

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