Issa Rae inadvertently made her own catch phrase at the 2017 Emmy’s when she let the world know she was “rooting for everybody Black.” Her confidence and seriousness in her answer was nothing more than amazing, and made me love her that much more. The first time I heard it, I stood up and said “Yes sis, I’m rooting for everybody Black, too.”
This statement hit the inerwebs a few months ago; however, is still very relevant to Black culture today, because far too often, the African American community does not root for each other as we all should. I will admit when I first heard the quote, I laughed because I knew right then that Issa was my spirit animal. Secondly, I knew that I agreed with her wholeheartedly because far too often, white people will not and cannot sometimes root for us.
I thought about some of the things I see on the Internet, where we are quick to criticize others within our own culture or community for something they have done. We are not willing to be our own cheerleaders, and in turn, others will not cheer for our accomplishments either.
When we receive recognition, we need to give as much recognition as possible. We all have our own goals and accomplishments, and we crush our own accolades and are out here becoming successful entrepreneurs and business-minded citizens; however, are we truly rooting for each other like we say we are? Are we in each other’s cheering section, making sure we have that support in our corner like we should? Do we need to be more proactive about seeing more stories of success, instead of immature and disrespectful behavior? I believe we do. I believe that for every good story I read about involving a person of color, there are three more out there trying to discredit them; and all of those stories are trying to break their way through the Internet.
Now, I don’t want to get misunderstood in believing that I am in full support of any and every situation that involves a person of color, strictly because of their skin tone; I am not. I believe one things that non-POC’s fail to understand when someone says something like this, is that just because we feel this way, want to support someone of color or stand behind something we are passionate about in our community; it does not mean that we are supporting ignorant behavior as well. Just because I may “root for everybody Black” does not mean I condone foolish behavior. If I see something in the news or on a blog that is just downright disrespectful, inaccurate or doesn’t align with my beliefs, then I will NOT support it. I know when and when not to root for POC’s, and every situation does not call for that. If someone is not on that level, then they simply won’t get my support and need to get themselves together if they want the Black community to cape for them.
I feel that in order for us to become more united and more successful as a culture, we have to continue to root for every Black person of every person of color doing something positive or beneficial for this world. There are way too many opportunities where we fail to support one another, for whatever reason we may find, and it has to start from within. If we don’t begin to support ourselves, we can never expect anyone else to root for us either.