Opinion

Black Power — Brought To You By These Fine Sponsors

Super Bowl 50 gave America the Hollywood finish it wanted on Sunday night with Peyton Manning likely winning the last game of his career. But the same can’t be said of its halftime show.

The kings of inoffensive Starbucks rock Coldplay were supposed to be the main stars of the show, but the bland Brits were easily outshined by Beyonce and her “Black Panther” dancers. The pop star and her faux militant coterie performed for the millions watching the Super Bowl her latest single, “Formation.”

While a lot of viewers may have not noticed the homage to the Black Panther Party in Beyonce’s appearance, it was made abundantly clear in photos before and after the show in which the dancers made black power salutes.

The contrast between the radical black reenactors and the tame white rockers of Coldplay made for quite the humorous comparison. There’s a great metaphor lying in there on how goofy white liberals facilitate extreme identity politics in the most cringe-worthy way possible.

But what’s worse is how Beyonce’s tribute to radical racial nationalism was sponsored by powerful multinational corporations and was broadcasted from the most watched television event in the world. Pepsi, which made sure to have its name emblazoned everywhere on the halftime show it was sponsoring, was essentially telling the world it’s down with black power.

And it’s not just the Black Panther outfits and salutes which presented America with the message of racial radicalism. The song which Beyonce sang during the show, “Formation,” is a musical ode to Black Lives Matter and black racial pride.

The lyrics don’t make it abundantly clear and they’ll sound like the singer is just rambling nonsense about how much she slays. What she’s slaying is never made clear, but reading the words reveals a stark affirmation of black power.

The Root, Mic.com and other outlets praised Beyonce for her “unapologetic blackness” in the “black power anthem” which obviously has a strong political undercurrent to it — especially when you consider the music video. Anti-police messages are laded throughout the video, with riot police throwing up their hands in surrender, a shot of graffiti stating “Stop Shooting Us” and Beyonce straddling a sinking New Orleans cop car.

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and New York congressman Peter King condemned the performance for being pro-Black Panther and anti-cop. Another New Yorker, New York Times columnist Andrew Rosenthal, sneered at the criticism as closet racism and scoffed off any concerns about Black Panther idolization. Because the real racism is not celebrating violent black nationalists who were willing to torture and murder for their cause — it’s having a problem with it. (RELATED: This Congressman Is Bashing Beyonce’s ‘Pro-Black Panther’ Halftime Performance)

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise Mrs. Knowles-Carter would express this sentiment as she and her husband Jay Z have become low-key, yet big-time supporters of Black Lives Matter. The couple bailed out dozens of jailed rioters in Baltimore last April and are donating over a million dollars to organizations associated with the protest movement. One of the 10 people Beyonce follows on Twitter is the infamous Black Lives Matter organizer Deray Mckesson.

So with all these facts in mind, why on Earth would Pepsi, the National Football League and CBS allow her to signal a black power message to the entire country? Aren’t corporations supposed to be afraid of offending one and striving to offer harmless products — like Coldplay — to a national audience? Isn’t the Super Bowl supposed to be free of politics?

Of course, that standard only applies to ideas and opinions from the Right, not to the Left. Not only that, but the NFL and its corporate sponsors has a history of wielding their power to browbeat states into accepting their preferred politics.

When Arizona was considering adopting a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in 2014, a boycott threat from the NFL ensured the then-Governor Jan Brewer (a Republican, by the way) vetoed it. The following year, Indiana gutted their RFRA bill after backlash from hundreds of corporations and over the fear they’d get a similar threat from both college and professional sports leagues. Several players in 2014 were allowed to show their support during games for Black Lives Matter and Ferguson rioters without repercussions from the league.

There’s also the numerous cases of football franchises and the league itself intimidating cities and states into giving them taxpayer dollars to fund fancy new stadiums.

The corporations who pay millions to get their ads and names plastered on the TV during the big game have no problem with embracing left-wing vibes. The halftime show sponsor Pepsi in the 1990s capitulated to separate pressure campaigns from Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Pepsi gave Sharpton an “adviser” gig so he would stop complaining about their lack of diverse advertising and made a minority-owned, Jackson-backed financial firm a co-manager of Pepsi’s IPO in order to prevent a “messy public protest.”

Now Pepsi has gone from submitting to racial activism to promoting it.

In addition to Pepsi, some companies which purchased Super Bowl ad time — like Apple — were instrumental in the economic intimidation that forced Indiana to radically alter their RFRA legislation. Bud Light recruited Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer — both outspoken leftists with contempt for middle America and lacking original talent — to pitch the “Bud Light Party” in their big game ad urging America to come together to drink piss-poor domestic beer. (RELATED: The Biggest Threat To Free Expression Isn’t The Government)

Should We Boycott Companies That Sponsor Pro-Black Panther Events Or Messages?

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It’s not too shocking then that multinational corporations would give Black Lives Matter a platform to spread their radical message and anti-cop prejudices. They desperately don’t want to be seen as bigots, and they’ve let professional agitators like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson exploit that fear to the tune of millions in payouts.

They might as well let Beyonce and her Black Panther dance crew give a middle finger to middle America on their dime, too.

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