On Wednesday afternoon, Texas senator Ted Cruz left his home in Houston’s upscale River Oaks community and boarded a flight headed for Cancún. The reportedly hastily planned trip came as the state of Texas was hit by the historic winter storm Uri, which brought record low temperatures, left millions of residents without power and clean water, and led to 25 deaths and counting. Pictures of Cruz getting on the plane and sitting in the United Airlines lounge (sans mask) surfaced Thursday, and by the afternoon that same day, the backlash was so swift that Cruz jetted back to Texas. By way of explanation, he released a statement saying he was joining his daughters on the trip in an effort to “be a good dad.” According to text messages released to the New York Times on Thursday, however, his wife Heidi Cruz, who also went to Mexico with the family, told their neighbors in Houston they were “FREEZING” in their house and proposed a getaway until Sunday.
While Cruz, a publicly elected official, was mired in the drama of his own making, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter got to work addressing the issues wrought by Uri. Through her nonprofit Beygood and in partnership with Adidas, the “Formation” artist is offering up to $1000 to any folks suffering as a result of the storm. The two companies are also working with disaster relief assistance fund Bread of Life Inc. on this initiative to give one-time payment to anyone who has experienced a “non-recurring, sudden or emergency-related financial hardship due to an unforeseen or unavoidable event.”
This isn’t the first time Bey has jumped into action following a natural disaster while politicians in office scratch their heads. After jumping on J Balvin and Willy Williams’s remix of “Mi Gente” in 2017, she announced the proceeds from the song would be donated to “hurricane relief charities for Puerto Rico, Mexico and the other affected Caribbean islands.” And in January, the 24-time Grammy winner did her part to address the rent crisis and housing instability brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic by working with the NAACP to provide $5000 grants for those who needed assistance.
Texas natives Solange and Kacey Musgraves, along with Bethenny Frankel, are just a handful of other celebrities donating money and services to those affected by the storm.
The link between Beyoncé and Texas politicians was not lost on the internet, which reacted with swiftness rivaled only by the response to Cruz’s…actions. Others, meanwhile, drew comparisons between the coincidence of Beyoncé’s latest “Icy Park” drop and the rare snowfall in her home state.