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Beyoncé comments by Peter King criticized by DuWayne Gregory

Beyonce and Chris Martin perform during Super Bowl

Beyonce and Chris Martin perform during Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Feb. 7, 2016. Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Timothy A. Clary

Democratic congressional candidate DuWayne Gregory attacked opponent Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) Wednesday for calling Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime performance “pro-Black Panther and anti-cop” in a Facebook post.

“Peter King has trivialized the plight of the black community, and his Facebook rant against Beyoncé is just the latest example,” Gregory, a Suffolk County legislator from Amityville, said in a campaign statement. He called King “a man who disparages the Black Panthers while defending” the Irish Republican Army.

“I don’t see how anyone could defend the Black Panthers,” King said Wednesday of the militant 1960s group. “That is like defending the Ku Klux Klan.” King said members of the IRA, which he has supported, “never killed anyone on U.S. soil.”

The IRA led the campaign to drive the British out of Northern Ireland.

Beyoncé’s halftime performance Sunday and music video for her new single “Formation” have touched off a debate about her homage to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Beyoncé’s video features graffiti that says “Stop shooting us” and police in riot gear. Beyoncé wore bandoleers at the halftime show and her dancers wore black berets, similar to what the Black Panthers wore.

Gregory challenged King “to get off Facebook and actually engage with his constituents in a public forum on police relations with minority communities.”

King said, “I’m in the community all the time,” including speaking with African-American groups. “I’m a Renaissance man. I can go on Facebook and do my job at the same time.”

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