Within the last week, Canadian singer Daniel Caesar, during a drunken rant, made a comment on Instagram Live asking his Black fans, “Why are we being so mean to white people right now? “ His question arose after YesJulz, a White media personality, made racist and anti-Black comments. Mr. Caesar continued to state that Black people are not “on top” because “we can’t haven’t gotten with the strategy of the winning team”.
Its is disappointing to learn that an artist with so many Black fans and has such a huge media presence can make such an outlandish comments. Even in a drunken state, his words have a profound effect. But there are a few facts that Mr. Caesar fails to realize: 1) The criticism that YesJulz is facing is not to be mean, but to make her realize that her comments and actions offend a large number of people within society and could lead to negative societal effects. 2) Associating the “winning team” with race is absurd. It is true that most executives and producers within the entertainment industry are White however, to connect their race with success and ignore the success and struggles of Black and other minorities within the industry is wrong
Other celebrities (Waka Flocka, Tammy Rivera), have reacted to Daniel Caesars comments stating that because he is Canadian he may not understand the struggles Black people face in America. But discrimination is something that is faced all over the world, not just in America. It is how people respond to discrimination that makes a difference. Hopefully, this is a learning experience for Mr. Caesar, that its important to understand the cultural and political climate in another country before making such strong comments. Most importantly, Daniel Caesar should understand that in the fast-paced, get-famous-quick world that we live in, the same support that was used to build his musical profession can easily be turned into opposition that ruins his career.
Recently a Virginia Elementary School was criticized for allowing students to play a game where students pretended to be runaway slaves while navigating an obstacle course meant to represent the Underground Railroad. To add to the disappointing news, an African American student was designated as the “slave” for the game.
There are many obvious wrongs within this scenario, but what really stands out the most is the miseducation of slavery that the school was teaching the students. Instead of learning about the serious subject matter of the historical enslavement of Africans within the classroom, the school officials made mockery of the historical subject with a game.
Although the school has sent a letter following the incident apologizing for the event that transpired, more needs to be done in regards to the teaching of such subject matter. A suggestion for the educators that allowed for the “Runaway Slave Game” to occur would be to undergo a cultural competency course that would encourage the appropriate manner of teaching young children about slavery.
By: Adebola Bamidele
Recently, the international brand Gucci went under fire for their release of a wool Balaclava Jumper sweater featuring a Caucasian model wearing the sweater slightly up to her nose with bright, red lips surrounding a slit where her mouth pokes through. It was quite obvious to many individuals that the piece of clothing was offensive because the sweater gave off the impression of blackface (makeup and materials used to make a nonblack performer play a black role). The clothing brand has recently apologized on its social media platform, but the picture has gone viral since its release date and has many individuals upset. While in the midst of trying to rectify their brand, Gucci posted a picture of a Black woman holding one of their purses above her head. Other brands in the past such as H&M and Prada have also undergone scrutiny due to their racial products.
It’s unsettling to know that there are individuals on the design team that sat around and decided to create a sweater with previous racial ties. Many African American celebrities have stepped forward and have stated that they will be boycotting designers that have incorporated racist elements in their brands. The same celebrities also are asking their fans and supports to buy from underrepresented designers that they believe are not offensive.
In the future, it would be good to see more diversity in the design planning room, that way more brands avoid having to deal with racial issues. It would also be nice to see more celebrities or individuals of influence who are courageous enough to call out brands they believe are discriminatory to their fans.