On Wednesday, 16-year-old Nathaniel Julius, who had down syndrome, was shot and killed in Eldorado Park. Police were allegedly behind the death, with eyewitnesses telling the Citizen that Julius was asked by officers to explain what he was doing, but he struggled to answer due to his disability. He was then allegedly shot and thrown in the back of a police van, his family has claimed. Noname has brought attention to his death on Twitter, but her means have elicited criticism.
"My intention was not at all to use Nathaniel’s death to critique Beyoncé. I apologize if that’s how it came off," she wrote on Twitter. "It just hurts to see @disney a billion dollar company profit of the likeliness of black folks and not do anything to support when blk people dying from state violence. I take responsibility and sincerely apologize to his family. #JusticeforNathanielJulius."
The tweet that provoked a backlash against the Chicago rapper and activist simply read, "Hey @Disney if black is king you'll boost this." Many criticized her for using the death of a disabled young Black boy to further her criticism of Beyoncé's Black is King, which she has openly addressed on Twitter since it hit Disney+ last month.
"We love an African aesthetic draped in capitalism," she wrote in a since-deleted tweet last month, Uproxx noted. "Hope we remember the blk folks on the continent whose daily lives are impacted by u.s imperialism. If we can uplift the imagery I hope we can uplift those who will never be able to access it. Black liberation is a global struggle." Prior to this, she courted the ire of the Beyhive after she retweeted photos of Angela Davis alongside the comment, "I wish Angela got the love Beyoncé gets."
After the Beyhive and some of her own fans called her out for her comments regarding Nathaniel Julius, she shared another tweet addressing the situation further. "I'm seen as a 'celebrity' so everything I do can/will be viewed as performance," she wrote. "All my post will come off as clout chasing or attention seeking. The truth is I'm Black and I love the fuck out of my community. I'm sad and angry with the world all the time and it shows in my tweets. That's who I am. Human and flawed."
"Y'all win," she added. "There's other radical accounts to follow. You can find them on my page. Clearly I'm causing more harm than good. Again I really meant no harm." In a reply she sent to a fan who told her "revolutionaries do not apologize," she wrote, "I'm not a revolutionary."