Following the tragic shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police officers, Beyoncé has posted a statement on her website. It begins: “We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities. It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us.’ We don’t need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives.”
But her words are a call to action as well as a lament. “Fear is not an excuse. Hate will not win,” she writes. “We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action. We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in districts and demand social change.” To that end, the page displays links to the state legislatures of Louisiana and Minnesota, where Sterling and Castile were killed, respectively. It also highlights the directory “Contacting The Congress,” for those that want to reach out to their own representatives.
Beyoncé’s Lemonade film featured the mothers of victims of police violence—Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Eric Garner—holding photos of their sons. She joins other celebrities speaking out in wake of these most recent twin tragedies; Issa Rae, for example, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Sterling’s children, and Drake posted an open letter on his Instagram account last night.