Halftime at the Super Bowl

Original Oil on Canvas by Tracey Rediker RedLincArt

I woke up this morning in the afterglow of Super Bowl LI. That comeback victory, those thought provoking commercials, and that universally loved halftime show. But when I read discussion of Lady Gaga’s politics this morning I noticed something missing, Beyonce.

It is not that I think Beyonce needs to be brought into every discussion, though I know there are many people who feel that way, but I do think that she is very relevant in this context. Last year the Queen Bey performed a song with obviously political tones and was ripped apart for it. Last night Gaga did the same thing and has been universally praised. Did I miss something?

I personally loved that these women were consistent in their brand. Lady Gaga has been very vocal in her support of Gay Rights and performed her anthem “Born This Way” which makes no subtle mention of her feelings on the subject. Beyonce performed “Formation”, her then brand new song calling on the world to respect her as a leader. Gaga surrounded herself with sparkly dancers, Beyonce with an army of black women.

Let me say that I LOVED last year’s Beyonce performance. That song is great and the performance was amazing. She led that army of women right into the middle of that testosterone celebration and, as the song says, slayed. She forced middle america to look at the face of black america, black women, and spoke to her own experience.

When Gaga stood on the top of the stadium and sang the protest song “This Land is Your Land” I cried a little. I got why people wouldn’t understand, but when she sang “Born This Way” I was cheering. She was calling out to the LGBTQ community and telling them they have not been forgotten. The descriptive term I saw this morning was Unity.

I’m calling it, it’s racist. Here are two women, the biggest pop stars in the world, and one is called a unifier when she makes a political statement and the other is inappropriate. That is not ok. I realise that neither of them needs me to defend them as they deal with haters constantly but it really bothered me. Go ahead and be outraged by politics at the Super Bowl, but be consistent. If you think Kaepernick shouldn’t take a knee for Black Lives Matter, Brady shouldn’t talk about the Make America Great Again hat in his locker.

I am not saying that I think politics should be taken out of entertainment, in fact I believe the opposite to be true. If you want to make change in the world use whatever platform you have to do it. Walt Disney inspired environmental activism with the movie Bambi. Magic Johnson changed the face of AIDS just by playing basketball while being open about his diagnosis. Let them speak, even if I disagree, they have a platform and I believe they should use it.

I guess that means this blog is gonna get a little political.

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