Beyoncé is speaking out in the wake of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
The singer’s official website now displays a statement mourning “these robberies of lives” and urging readers to contact their local politicians.
“We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action,” the call to action reads. “We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial changes.”
In just 48 hours, cellphone cameras captured two African-American men, Sterling and Castile, shot to death by police.
Sterling, 37, was killed Tuesday outside a convenience store, sparking protests all over Baton Rouge, La. Sterling sold CDs and DVDs outside the store, and two videos appear to show police pinning him down at the time of his death. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he has “very serious concerns” after watching the video. “The video is disturbing to say the least,” he said on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Castile, 32, was pulled over in Falcon Heights, Minn., by police conducting a traffic stop when the officer fired shots at Castile, who was driving the vehicle. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her daughter were in the car at the time of the shooting, and Diamond captured video of his death on Facebook Live.
“We don’t need sympathy,” reads Beyonce’s letter. “We need everyone to respect our lives.”
Beyonce’s post links to a general directory of the members of Congress, the Louisiana legislature for Alton Sterling and the Minnesota representatives for Philando Castile. Soon after Beyonce’s call to action went up, one of the websites she linked to, contactingthecongress.org, crashed.
The pop star has become increasingly vocal on social issues, particularly after the release of Formation, a song accompanied by a music video with politicized visuals including a young black boy dancing in front of a line of armed police, “stop shooting us” graffiti and a sinking New Orleans police car.
Source: USA Today | Maeve McDermott and Andrea Mandell