I had never heard of Rev. Osagyefo Sekou or Truth-Out.org, and only read Crunk Feminist Collective's critique of some of his statements on Beyoncé and President Obama as well as those of Bell Hooks on Beyonce's Time magazine cover. If you want to read the compelling reaction to those comments as well as critiques on capitalism, aging black radical intellectuals, neoliberalism and the problem with lumping together Beyoncé and President Obama in the context of social power and influence, I highly recommend reading the full article over there.
Clearly Beyoncé is a polarizing figure and folks understand the power of saying her name in an effort to be provocative. Bell Hooks paired two trigger words, "Beyoncé" and "Terrorist", which certainly got her name back into headlines. Not to say that was the motivation for her statement, but as the CFC piece infers, the fresh attention for an aging black radical intellectual can be exciting to the point of very public displays of hypocrisy:
"...if Bey is a terrorist, then how do you justify gleefully dancing to “Drunk In Love” shortly after saying such a thing about her? Are you dancing on the graves of those whom she has supposedly slain with all her terroristic fierceness?"
Regardless of how you feel about Beyoncé, we can all agree that the mention of her name gets everyone's attention--at the very least, an eye-roll, which may have also had a lot to do with Time selecting her for it's cover in the first place.
As forever-fan and general defender of Beyoncé, and possibly a covert member of the Beygency, I was pleased with the CFC's articulation of what likely fuels most of the Beyoncé hate.
On the negative responses to Beyoncé's Time Cover:
"Maybe that means she’s complicit with whiteness, but it could also mean that like many of us, she is interested in all the ways she can be visually rendered. But when light-skinned women revel in their light-skinnedness, it triggers deep shit for Black women who struggle with colorism. And that’s tough because while it might be reasonable to demand that Beyoncé show some empathy for this cultural Black girl struggle, the reality is that she is as we say in the south “bright-skinned.” And she has the right to love her skin and revel in its possibilities, too."
On keeping Beyoncé's actual power in perspective:
"Beyoncé is an entertainer, who sings good songs and choreographs routines, so that we can dance and feel good and fuck well and talk shit with our friends or partners as we navigate our lives in this neoliberal, capitalist machine. She might be a bigger cog in the wheel than most of us, but she certainly ain’t driving the bike."
On Beyoncé's right to be a feminist:
"I work from the assumption that Beyoncé is a human being , not just an image or an icon. That is why her feminism doesn’t offend me. I see her adoption of the term as the work of a powerful woman in a very traditional relationship, looking for language to understand the power dynamics she encounters. I see the contradictory gender propositions in her catalogue of music as evidence of both struggle and process. But that is what granting her humanity allows for."
I think the Internet has created a climate where people crave passionate, polarizing exchanges and to be a part of something. They want to be on either side of whatever the current outrage is, so they look for reasons to insight outrage and hate, to express outrage or hate, or to express the need for less outrage or hate. Unlike Janet, Madonna, even Tina Turner and other sexually overt and liberated female entertainers, Beyoncé is the lucky one to come into power in the age of social media and I think that has impacted the Bey-hate movement. It's popular to hate Beyoncé if you're not a fan and those who need the comfort of an Internet tribe, join the haters. I digress.
The Crunk Feminist Collective piece is a lot bigger than just Beyoncé and is definitely more important. It's worth a read or two (I'm on my second one because I'm not versed on many of the terms mentioned in the piece and I really want to understand), if you're interested in the well-informed, thought-provoking commentary.