All two of Beyoncé’s haters showed up to the buzzed-about anti-Beyoncé rally outside the NFL’s New York headquarters on Tuesday, after they said Beyoncé “pulled a race-baiting stunt” with her Super Bowl “Formation” performance. They were, of course, greeted by a much-bigger pro-Beyoncé contingent, for the Beygency is powerful and does not suffer fools gladly.
The anti-Beyoncé protesters were late to their own event, which had about as many media outlets in attendance as both pro- and anti-Beyoncé protesters. According to a Cut reporter at the scene, there was only one for a long time — a middle-aged white guy wearing a New York Giants jacket and a newsboy cap, which sounds about right.
He was soon joined by another dude named Ariel Kohane, who apparently heard a different song, because he believes “Formation” is a call for violence against the police. He said he is — surprise! — a volunteer for the Ted Cruz campaign. He was also quick to come up with a bunch of excuses as to why his anti-Beyoncé alliance was so few.
“Some of us are surprised that there are only a couple of us out here today,” he said. “It is scheduled from 8 to 4 p.m.; it’s a business day. Also, the weather; the rain turned a lot of people away. You know, 6 p.m. would be a better time. Even lunch time — 12 p.m., 1 p.m.”
But from the look of the scene, it didn’t appear as if a later hour would inspire more attendance.
Update: About two hours into the event, a THIRD anti-Beyoncé protester showed up: a woman from Seattle named April Bedunah wearing a Seahawks jersey and a hat that read “POLICE” across the front.
Bedunah, who was surrounded by members of the pro-Beyoncé group, said she was there to support cops, as her garb clearly noted.
“Why am I here? I’m here because I have many cop friends, and I respect what they do, and people need to hear that they are loved. There are bad cops who need to be thrown in jail. But there are good cops as well.”
Tajh Sutton, pro-Beyoncé, told Bedunah she supported cops, too.
“I have cop friends … of all ethnicities. And I pray for them because I worry for them, especially my black cop friends. Because race permeates that shit, too. Have you heard about any white cops in the last five years getting indicted for the murder of a black person?”
This made Bedunah think.
“I understand her perspective; I definitely do,” she said. “I’m going to tell my friends that they need to respect the community. They need to reach out to them and instead of being one side or the other, we need to come together.” Seems like protester three came prepared to listen and discuss — refreshing.
Sutton said she would have been out in the rain whether or not Beyoncé was the cause, and she figured the legions of supporters who joined her would agree.
“I think the assumption is that the people supporting Beyoncé are like these superfans that are just gonna love her and support her no matter what she does. But I would have been out here no matter who the person was that did something like this, if they were attacked this way as a result.”
The Beyoncé supporters lingered, talking with Kohane, who remained on the scene and continued to make excuses for the small turnout: weather, timing, etc. But soon the rain chased away the protesters, proving that nothing — not even a heavy drizzle — can stop the Beyhive.