It's been a profoundly troubling and painful week for the United States. On Tuesday, 37-year-old Alton Sterling was killed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 32-year-old Philando Castile was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Minnesota Wednesday, and then Thursday, five police officers were killed during a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, Texas. It's been a tragic, devastating, trying few days across the nation — and now, more than ever, it's important people begin speaking out to condemn the deaths and call for change. One of those individuals speaking out is Beyoncé, who shared a moving tribute to the victims in Dallas on her Instagram on Friday.
It's a truly horrible time, made all the more so by there being so very few words that are equal to a sequence of events that are so painful. Beyoncé's published statement on her Instagram account paying tribute those who lost their lives in Dallas is simple but moving, communicating so many of the things that I'm sure many of us are feeling at the moment. It was accompanied by a visual in which the names of all five men flashed up (Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith, Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarripa). The statement:
Rest in peace to the officers whose lives were senselessly taken yesterday in Dallas. I am praying for a full recovery of the seven others injured. No violence will create peace. Every human life is valuable. We must be the solution. Every human being has the right to gather in peaceful protest without suffering more unnecessary violence.
To effect change we must show love in the face of hate and peace in the face of violence.
One sentence in particular stands out for me: "No violence will create peace." It's a simple sentence, but couldn't be truer: The horrors of this week have proven that violence breeds more violence. Of course, this doesn't mean Beyoncé is suggesting that people do nothing — just that they channel their energy and fury into fighting the cycle of violence in a healthy and positive way. This is important. Earlier in the week on Instagram, she encouraged her followers to "turn our anger into action by contacting our legislators, councilmen and women. Your voice will be heard." According to USA Today, Beyonce's social media action was so successful that it actually crashed the website she encouraged her fans to contact their political representatives via, contactingthecongress.org, simply because so many people were trying to visit the website simultaneously.
If you want to help out victims of the tragedy in Dallas, check out Bustle's very own suggestions on how you can help, here.