Music’s biggest names are speaking out in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
As outrage and protests spread across the the United States, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Drake are using their platforms to demand justice on behalf of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who was killed on-camera by a white police officer in Minneapolis this week.
Taking to Instagram on Friday night, Beyoncé shared an emotional message with her 147 million followers. “We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight,” said the singer, referring to the video of former officer Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as he cried out: “I can’t breathe!”
Bey delivered a call-to-action and demanded accountability. “We’re broken and we’re disgusted. We cannot normalize this pain,” she said. “I’m not only speaking to people of color. If you’re white, black, brown, or anything in between, I’m sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now. No more senseless killings of human beings. No more seeing people of color as less than human. We can no longer look away.”
She continued, “George is all of our family in humanity. He’s family because he’s a fellow American. There have been too many times that we’ve seen these violent killings and no consequences. Yes, someone has been charged but justice is far from being achieved.”
She urged her fans to sign the Change.org petition and “continue to pray for peace, compassion, and healing for our country.” The petition has over 7 million signatures, making it the fastest-growing and largest U.S. petition in Change.org’s history.
Rihanna also reflected on the “devastation, anger, and sadness” she has been feeling in the wake of Floyd’s death. Alongside a photo of Floyd, she explained why she has avoided social media until now.
“For the last few days, the magnitude of devastation, anger, sadness I’ve felt has been overwhelming to say the least! Watching my people get murdered and lynched day after day pushed me to a heavy place in my heart! To the point of staying away from socials, just to avoid hearing the blood curdling agony in George Floyd’s voice again, begging over and over for his life!!!” she wrote.
She also addressed the now-former officer, who was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. “The look of enticement, the pure joy and climax on the face of this bigot, murderer, thug, pig, bum, Derek Chauvin, haunts me!! I can’t shake this! I can’t get over an ambulance pulling up to an arrest, a paramedic checking a pulse without removing the very thing that’s hindering it!”
She questioned the injustice and consequences of murder. “Is this that fucking normal??? If intentional MURDER is the fit consequence for ‘drugs’ or ‘resisting arrest’….then what’s the fit consequence for MURDER???!” she asked, while tagging the names of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, two other unarmed African-Americans who were killed in recent weeks.
While speaking with Lil Wayne on Young Money Radio on Friday, Dr. Dre weighed in on Floyd’s death. “That situation, it hurt my heart. My heart is still aching. It felt like that cop had his knee on all our necks, meaning black men. It’s extremely painful because it keeps going on,” said the hip-hop icon.
However, he was hopeful that this could be a turning point. “What can happen to make this stop? It’s baffling, but it really feels like something is going to happen now, to at least put us in the area where we can start talking about a way to make this thing stop,” added Dre. “I think this one could be the one because I’m seeing white people out there protesting as well… which is a good thing. They should be. You said it right. Any decent human being should see that and go, ‘F**k this.” Enough is enough.'”
Dr. Dre on George Floyd: “That situation, it hurt my heart. My heart is still aching. It felt like that cop had his knee on all our necks, meaning black men. It’s extremely painful because it keeps going on” #YoungMoneyRadiopic.twitter.com/yPooOM6OcG