Tag Archives: super bowl

Beyonce’s Dancers Emphasize Black Panthers, Mario Woods, Black Lives Matter at Super Bowl 50

Beyonce’s politically-charged performance on Sunday, which heavily referenced the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panthers at Super Bowl 50, assisted in showcasing the growing activist movements among the black community.

Her “Formation” performance, voicing racial inequality and police brutality towards the black community while also embracing black femininity, put black America center stage in front of 114.4 million viewers at the Super Bowl. During the performance, dancers made an “X” formation in reference to Malcom X while raising their fists in a black pride salute.

After the performance, some of the dancers— dressed in Black Panther-style berets and in black leather— were pictured raising their fists again, yet this time holding a piece of paper that read “Justice 4 Mario Woods.”

This move followed about 200 protesters who had demonstrated in San Francisco on Jan. 30 for Woods. Protesters were out demanding justice and for San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr to be fired.

Mario Woods was a black man shot dead by by five San Francisco police officers during a confrontation in San Francisco last December.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Woods was shot about fifteen times by five officers. Cell phone footage shows him walking away from the police refusing to drop a knife. Activists have argued that he was mentally ill and that the force used by the officers was unnecessary.

Woods supporters have said the cell phone footage showed that Woods was not an imminent danger and was executed by police in a “firing-squad” style. The SFC reported that “Woods’ mother, Gwendolyn Woods, said he was working on getting his life on track after his stint in prison. He had just gotten his uniform for his new UPS job, she said.”

Last Friday, prominent artist and activist Alicia Keys spoke out in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters ahead of the Super Bowl while performing at San Francisco’s free Super Bowl City concert.

“I want you to know that I salute everyone who has the courage and conviction to stand for what’s right. I want to thank you for your commitment to making sure justice is done for Mario Woods. As the mother of two black sons it breaks my heart to see what we’ve been seeing, the trouble’s we’ve been seeing on camera, and all the people that we’ll never see.”

This isn’t the first time Alicia Keys or Beyonce have spoken out in solidarity with the black community and Black Lives Matter. Last year, Beyonce and her husband Jay Z reportedly wired “tens of thousands” of dollars to bail protesters out in Baltimore and Ferguson. Jay Z, along with Roc Nation, also recently donated $1.5 million from Tidal Black Lives Matter and other social justice organizations. This donation was made on February 5th in honor of Trayvon Martin’s birthday, who would have turned 21 had he not been shot by George Zimmerman.

[RELATED: Civil Unrest Breaks out in MO After Cop Kills Unarmed Teen]

Beyonce went on to end her performance with announcing her world tour and a new fund to help the children of Flint, Michigan, during the city’s current water crisis.

Bill O’Reilly Grills President Obama During Pre-Super Bowl Showdown

For many political junkies, the highlight of Sunday was not the Super Bowl, but Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s live interview with President Obama.

Although O’Reilly asked very specific questions, Obama often danced around them with his usual talking points. In an attempt to keep the conversation on topic, O’Reilly actually cut off the president several times. The Fox News host was aggressive — Obama seemed irritated but not rattled.

During the ten minute interview, O’Reilly primarily focused his questions on three topics: Benghazi, the IRS, and Obamacare.

One highlight of the dialogue was when Obama was asked about the lack of accountability during and after the disastrous Obamacare rollout. Transcript:

O’Reilly: Why didn’t you fire [HHS Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius, the secretary in charge of this, because, I mean, she had to know after all those years and all that money that it wasn’t going to work?

Obama: You know, my main priority right now is making sure that it delivers for the American people, and…

O’Reilly: You’re not going to answer that?

Obama: What we ended up doing is, we’ve got 3 million people signed up so far. We’re about a month behind where we anticipated we wanted to be. We’ve got over 6 million people who’ve signed up for Medicaid. We’ve got 3 million young people under the age of 26 who are signed up on their parents’ plan. And so what we’re constantly figuring out is how do we continue to improve it, how do we make sure that the folks who don’t have health insurance get health insurance and those who are underinsured are able to get better health insurance.

O’Reilly: I’m sure that the intent is noble, but I’m a taxpayer. And I’m paying Kathleen Sebelius’s salary and she screwed up. And you’re not holding her accountable.

Obama: Well, I promise you that we hold everybody up and down the line accountable…

Another tense moment occurred when the pair discussed Benghazi. Transcript:

O’Reilly: Your detractors believe that you did not tell the world it was a terror attack because your campaign didn’t want that out. That’s what they believe.

Obama: And they believe it because folks like you tell them that. These kinds of things keep on surfacing, because folks like you will promote them.

Reaction to the heated conversation has been mixed, but most agree that Obama handled the situation well. The left-leaning Huffington Post’s headline read, “Obama Slams Bill O’Reilly, Fox News.”

Most Obama supporters believe that O’Reilly was rude and unfair. Many on the right, however, thought that the Fox News pundit did not do enough to draw straight answers out of the president. 

I asked readers on my Facebook page for their reactions. One said, “I’m not a fan of Obama by any measure, however, Bill O’Reilly was, as usual, rude, interruptive and combative. If you ask a question, give the man a chance to finish…. Ugh.” Another said, “Obama avoided the questions and lied.”

A more lengthy, taped interview will be aired during Monday night’s O’Reilly Factor.

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