PHOENIX, ARIZONA – A demonstrator speaking with CNN at an anti-Beyoncé rally on Tuesday told the network that the pop star has “gotten too Black” for his liking.
The young man, who appeared to be in his mid-twenties, was one of hundreds to show up at Tuesday’s protest, which was part of the ever-growing Not Racist, Not Beyoncé campaign sweeping the country. The movement’s name stems from organizer’s insistence that they do not have a problem with Black people.
But comments like the one that was aired on Tuesday have raised skepticism over this claim, with quotes from several demonstrators in various cities over the past few days pointing to overt racism behind a facade of equality and unity.
James Austin, a 37-year-old social worker, who is credited with getting the Not Racist, Not Beyoncé movement off the ground, explained the campaign’s true aims in an exclusive interview with The Daily Orb.
“I like Black people just fine,” he said, “my problem though, is when they start becoming hardliners about their Blackness; this is the United States of America, a country whose citizens are colorblind, so there’s no need to get all Marcus Garvey, Black pride on us here. I prefer the Blacks out there that try their best to either pretend to be White or assimilate to how us Whites view them; anything else just divides this great nation,” he added.
Austin used former comedian Dave Chappelle as an example.
“I think we were all a lot happier when Chappelle was playing a Black pothead in the movie Half Baked, than when his stand-up comedy started reminding Black people that they’re different.”
Austin also claimed that Beyoncé used to be one of his favorite artists.
“I mean when she had that light-colored skin and blonde-ish hair and didn’t say anything to remind me that she might actually be Black, I felt she was a Black person I could support you know? Obama gave me a similar feeling back in 2008, so that’s why I voted for him.”
The backlash against Beyoncé started back in early 2016, following a performance at the Super Bowl halftime show which featured costumes and dance that appeared to pay homage to the Black Panthers and Malcolm X. Although the movement got off to a shaky start, it is under Austin’s tutelage that it gained supporters on the basis that the pop star was inciting division in America.
Austin ended his interview with The Daily Orb by insisting for the fifteenth time that the group was not racist and adding that they simply have an issue with Beyoncé’s obsession with her Blackness and the subsequent social polarization it has caused.
“It’s not like Black’s lives matter more than anyone else’s in this country,” he concluded.