“I’m rooting for everybody Black.”
Since Issa Rae uttered that phrase on the Emmy red carpet nearly two years ago, Black people have adopted it as our unofficial motto. After all, it was so fitting for the way we are collectively groomed anyway. We watch the Olympics and root for the Black people no matter what country they represent. We rooting for the Black contestants on any game show or singing competition. We clapping for all the Black kids at the graduation whether we know them or not. It’s how we try to reattach to one another after having our familial bonds purposely severed by chattel slavery and colonization.
But while rooting for everybody Black, we often forget another motto: All skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.
Such was revealed last night when Canadian singer and breakout star Daniel Caeser took to IG Live to admonish Black people for our rightful and righteous outrage over a racist white girl’s anti-Black ranting. While we were rooting for his Black ass, Caeser used the platform propped up by Black people to ask, “Why are we being so meant to Julz?” he asked in the live video. “Why are we being so mean to white people right now? It’s a serious question. Why is that we’re allowed to be disrespectful and rude to everybody else, and when anybody returns that energy to us…” Admittedly “fucking drunk,” he continued his rant saying that though “white people have been mean to us in the past,” we need to “create understanding and keep it moving,” and “bridge the gap.” The shit show culminates with Caeser referring to white people as “the winning team.”
Back in 2017, Caeser, a native of Oshawa, Ontario in Canada which has a Black population of just 3%, revealed that he attended schools where he “was the only Black kid 80 per cent of the time.” He turns the fact that he was surrounded white people into a humble brag saying, “No one around me was playing D’Angelo, Usher or Missy Elliott. It made my tastes more eclectic.” More evidentiary of his allegiances is the video for his hit “Get You,” a song I first heard on one of my city’s “urban” stations almost two years and which was supported by the Black masses. Spotting a Black face other than Caeser’s unfortunate one is like playing Where’s Waldo, as we watch white and Asian couples lovingly gaze at each other to his crooning.
“When people tell you who they are, believe them the first time.”
And this is why, despite our need to repair the fractures in our collective identity created by white supremacy, we cannot blindly support all Black people. Artists like Caeser are happy to line their pockets with the money generated from Black people while holding firmly to their anti-Black beliefs about us. They use that “weirdo” identity as a cover.
Caeser’s rant demonstrates a fundamental perhaps even intentional misunderstanding of race and how white supremacy works. And so fully committed to his anti-Blackness is he the he tells Black people to make him broke if we don’t agree. This man would essentially alienate his strongest fan base to gain the favor of white people. For him, there’s no amount of money, no accolade, no reputation, no legacy more valuable than white approval. It’s his currency.
And we all know niggas like him. He’s nothing but the dude from high school who pretended that he only hung with white kids and dated non-Black girls because Black kids rejected him for being into alternative music and dressing differently when the truth was he was so anti-Black that he convinced himself that the Black kids who listened to hip hop and dressed for the culture weren’t good enough to be his friends. He himself admits he “didn’t turn toward R&B until early 2015.” Now, just a few years after even beginning to listen to Black music, he’s collecting coin from it while shitting on the very people who own, create, influence and support the genre.
Caeser doesn’t deserve our support. He don’t need our streams. He’s down with the “winning team.” Let the white people he’s so eager to protect the Black venom they’ve earned support him. It’s what he craves. It’s what he needs. It’s what the fuck he deserves.
We not just rooting for everybody Black because some of these niggas keep showing themselves to be Black with no allegiance to us. We can surely assume that Caeser will secure white adjacency with his fame. We rooting for him as he takes the money we spend on his shows to hire white people, live around white people and reject us for being too angry about the last 400 years. Nah.
Daniel Caeser may as well be one these white folks who call themselves rappers, and imitate and profit from Black culture while ignoring and mocking Black people. I’m only rooting for everybody Black who rooting for everybody Black. These Black-but-white-identified ass niggas ain’t on my radar. These niggas who use the culture and throw away the people can go.