Dayton Names May 23, 2016 “Beyoncé Day”

On the eve of Beyoncé’s concert at TCF Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton and Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith utilized a press release to inform the public that May 23 would be proclaimed “Beyoncé Day.” Beyoncé has performed in the state on 3 previous occasions.

Beyoncé, a multi-Grammy award winning pop superstar and media icon recently released a new album titled “Lemonade,” and is widely known for her tenure in Destiny’s Child, her solo work, as well as her marriage to Jay-Z.

According to the press release, “Beyoncé has influenced many Minnesota girls and women with the powerful, positive messages in her music.” Dayton and Smith cite Beyoncé’s musical success as reasons for their proclamation.

Beyoncé has recently inserted herself into politics, with her half-time show at the 2016 Superbowl, in which she performed her hit single “Formation.” This undoubtedly political song touches on topics ranging from police brutality to Malcolm X.  The single has since been described as a “Black Lives Matter Anthem.”

In late April, Beyoncé utilized an HBO Special that debuted the album to offer images of the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, as well as stark imagery depicting police violence to further politicize her music.

The action taken by Dayton and Smith have been met with ample controversy by the public on social media. Below are a couple examples.

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The actions of the Lieutenant Governor and Governor have many enraged, due to the fact that the legislative session that ended yesterday in chaos, and was met with such disappointment.  The legislature failed to pass a bonding bill (characteristic of odd year sessions) and a long-term transportation funding bill, two supposed priorities of the legislature. Questions remain as to why proclaiming a day in honor of an entertainer with no substantial ties to the state was necessary in the wake of a tumultuous legislative session.

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Blake Kraussel