How Beyoncé became a sellout in North Carolina

00-anthonyhallIn the mid-1980s, Miles Davis, U2, and Run-D.M.C. headlined a long list of entertainers who boycotted South Africa. They did so because they knew performing there would be tantamount to endorsing the apartheid government’s discrimination against Blacks.

According to the Associated Press, “The North Carolina law requires transgender people to use bathrooms in state government buildings and public schools and universities that correspond to the gender on their birth certificates. It also established statewide anti-discrimination protections that exclude LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) people, and it bans communities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances that go further.”

Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, and Sharon Stone headline a growing list of entertainers who are boycotting North Carolina. They are doing so because they know performing there would be tantamount to endorsing this anti-LGBT law.

Civil rights struggle
Ending discrimination against LGBTs is the civil rights struggle of our time. And in a dismaying bit of symmetry, yet another Southern governor, North Carolina’s Pat McCrory, is attempting to enforce discrimination against LGBTs today, the way Alabama’s George Wallace attempted to enforce discrimination against Blacks in the 1960s.

Indeed, nothing betrays this law’s intent quite like its dark little secret, according to Mother Jones magazine: “Tucked inside is language that strips North Carolina workers of the ability to sue under a state anti-discrimination law, a right that has been upheld in court since 1985. ‘If you were fired because of your race, fired because of your gender, fired because of your religion,’ said Allan Freyer, head of the Workers’ Rights Project at the North Carolina Justice Center in Raleigh, ‘you no longer have a basic remedy.’”

In other words, in a misguided attempt to insulate itself from claims of discrimination against LGBTs, the state has legalized discrimination against all constitutionally “protected classes.”

Regrettably, the categorical imperative upon Blacks to oppose this law seems lost on Beyoncé, who held a huge concert in Raleigh, N.C., on May 2.  She waited until the morning after to issue her self-serving statement on “Equality NC Works To Prove ‘Y’all Means All” – complete with her signature: #BeyGood.

An afterthought
It’s bad enough that her statement reeks of a PR afterthought. But it reads like the contrived lyrics of her latest album, “Lemonade.”

After all, “Lemonade” is all about Beyoncé playing her fans for suckers the way Donald Trump plays his supporters. If you believe her I-am-woman-hear-me-roar-against-my-cheating-husband shtick, then you probably believe Trump’s “Make-America-Great-Again” shtick too.

Even the Kardashians can’t keep up with the way Bey and Jay exploit the intimacies of family life, including infidelities. Which is why it’s hardly surprising that he’s planning to mix his “Iced Tea” with her “Lemonade.”

According to Vanity Fair, “If you interpreted Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” to be the conclusive mic drop on speculation about her marriage to Jay Z, you may have been wrong. A new report states that Bey’s husband of eight years is planning on responding to his wife’s many lyrical accusations – that he cheated on her, took her for granted, and did not treat her like the queen she is – with his own album telling ‘his side of things.’”

Sadly, Bey and Jay have just cause to believe millions of suckers will pay to see them act like Ike and Tina Turner – complete with Jay playing an alpha dog who can shag as many “Beckys” as he wants to.

Violent solution?
With all due respect to Michelle Obama, however, Bey is misleading young women to think that venting psychotic violence is the way to deal with infidelity. She reinforces this in the epic video for her album by burning houses, smashing up cars, and even hinting at skinning his mistress(es) alive.

Then, after her “waiting-to-exhale” rage, she reforms, forgives him, and takes him back.

Far from paying tribute to love and reconciliation, “Lemonade” serves up little more than sour-tasting male chauvinism. Only this explains Bey portraying a subjugated wife who, despite her purported intelligence, independence, and resourcefulness, feels she has no choice but to reconcile with a husband who disrespects and abuses her.

Even worse, her idea of redemption has her musing, like a victim of Stockholm Syndrome, that “my torturer became my remedy.” That is, of course, until the next cycle of disrespect and abuse….

Meanwhile, Bey and Jay are laughing all the way to the bank. This is why their marriage seems more like a business partnership than a love relationship. And just as it is with Bill and Hillary’s political partnership, that’s fine. Just let us be sensible enough to recognize it for what it is … and call this spade a spade.

Anthony L. Hall is a Bahamian native with an international law practice in Washington, D.C.

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