Beyoncé made a plea for unity and called out the effects of climate change during a brief speech on Tuesday night’s Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief telethon to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
“During the time where it’s impossible to watch the violence or racism in this country, just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse, natural disasters take precious life, do massive damage and forever change lives — leaving behind contaminated waters, flooded hospitals, schools and nursing homes. And countless families are now homeless,” Beyoncé, a Houston native, said.
“In my hometown city of Houston, people need food, clothing and cleaning supplies, blankets, shoes, diapers and formula for babies and of course, clean water. The elderly need wheelchairs and kids need books and toys so they can continue to dream,” she added.
While Beyoncé didn’t mention President Donald Trump by name during her speech, she did allude to the divided nature of the current political climate. “Natural disasters don’t discriminate. They don’t see if you’re an immigrant, black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor. It doesn’t matter if you’re from Third Ward or River Oaks, we’re all in this together,” she said, adding that the response to the hurricanes has offered her some hope. “Seeing everyone of different racial, social and religious backgrounds put their own lives at risk to help each other survive, restored my faith in humanity.”
Beyoncé closed her speech by calling out the effects climate change is having on nations around the world. “Just this past week, we’ve seen devastation from the monsoon in India and 8.1 earthquake in Mexico and multiple catastrophic hurricanes. Irma alone has left a trail of death and destruction from the Caribbean to Florida to southern United States. We have to prepared for what comes next so tonight we come together in a collective effort to raise our voices, help our communities, to lift our spirits and heal,” she said.
Beyoncé recently visited St. John’s Church in Houston to help with the Harvey relief effort. “Y’all are my family. Houston is my home,” Beyoncé said. “I thank God that you’re safe, your children are safe. I think that really matters is your health and your children and your family.