Beyoncé has shared a statement addressing this week’s police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. “We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,” she wrote on her website in a post titled “Freedom.”
“It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us,'” Beyoncé continued. “We don’t need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives. We’re going to stand up as a community and fight against anyone who believes that murder or any violent action by those who are sworn to protect us should consistently go unpunished.”
Her lengthy statement urges citizens to “[fight] for the rights of the next generation” and against “any human being who fails to value life.” Beyoncé concludes by telling readers — “no matter [their] race, gender or sexual orientation” — to join in the cause by demanding change from their elected representatives. To achieve that goal, the post includes links with contact information for congressmen and women.
Beyoncé has been outspoken about police brutality, Black Lives Matter, and issues of race in America. Earlier this year, she honored the Black Panthers with her performance of “Formation” — the closing track on her 2016 album Lemonade that addresses Black Lives Matter — during the Super Bowl halftime show. Lemonade‘s visual component featured the mothers of police brutality victims including Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner, and today’s post takes its title from a Lemonade track of the same name.
Furthermore, TIDAL — the streaming service launched by Beyoncé’s husband Jay Z and of which she has an ownership stake — donated $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter and other social justice organizations in February.
Beyoncé joins the slew of high-profile performers, including Chance the Rapper and her sister Solange, who condemned the shootings of Sterling and Castile on Thursday. Read her full statement on her website.