We all like to root for people; sports teams, athletes, musicians, anybody who has ever won “The Biggest Loser.” We catch ourselves cheering for Serena when she won a Grand Slam (while she was pregnant!!). We were rooting for Lebron and those Cavaliers to finally win a ring during the 2016 NBA Finals (don’t act like y’all weren’t at least a little happy when they beat Golden State that year). We find ourselves, fingers crossed and eyes closed, to hear the name of our favorite actors or actresses when they get an Emmy nomination, Oscar nomination or Grammy nomination. Most of all, we find ourselves rooting for the people who look like us and we don’t even realize it half the time; it’s second nature. Award season has always started early and no one ever really cared about award season until January-February when it was Golden Globes/Oscar season, but all eyes just so happened to be on the 69th Annual Primetime Emmys this year and for the most “keepin’ it real” comment ever made.
Sure, Jan. https://t.co/uDkwcJ60Zy
— Issa Rae (@IssaRae) September 18, 2017
When asked who she was rooting for, ‘Insecure’ creator and star, Issa Rae simply responded with,”I’m rooting for everybody black,” which was the truth and nothing but the truth. Donald Glover (of “Atlanta” and Childish Gambino fame) became the first black person to win outstanding director for a comedy series AND for lead actor in a comedy series which hadn’t been won by a black person in…wait for it…32 years. Yes, you read correctly. The last time somebody black won an Emmy for being funny was a guy named Robert Guillaume in 1985 for a show called “Benson”. Lena Waithe became the first black woman to win the Emmy for comedy writing for her work on “Master of None” (specifically for the Thanksgiving episode), which she shared with the creator and her co-star, Aziz Ansari. Sterling K. Brown was the first black person to win the outstanding actor in a drama series in nearly two decades for his role in “This Is Us,” which will be back on your screens on September 26, so mark your calendars!
If you ask me, I don’t see anything wrong with Issa’s comment. She is stating the facts; black people dealt with having to be silent all the time, being pushed to the bottom rung of the ladder for centuries. One person says what everyone is thinking and y’all blow a gasket? When any other minority groups such as the Latinx or the Japanese or the Chinese do the same exact thing, supporting people within their circle, no one bats an eye or says a word. But the second a black person does it, they’re being racist because they are supporting everyone involved. In an industry where black people were simply seen as nothing but the butler or the housemaid or the nanny or the prostitute or the pimp, it is truly satisfying to see that television is more inclusive of black movies than the movie industry.
Television has given black people the opportunity to be able to tell their story in the way they want, to the people that they want to. These are the same people who will cheer for them and root for them when they get up on that stage and accept an award because it screams out, “Hey, if Donald Glover can get up there and make history then maybe I can too.” Being upset over rooting for everybody black? Calling them a racist because they didn’t stop at just “I’m rooting for everybody?” If you don’t want to appreciate the beauty that is Black Girl Magic and Black Boy Joy, then that is completely fine. If you don’t agree with the comment that Issa Rae made, that’s fine too, but trying to flip the script on her and make her out to be this horrible human being isn’t doing you any good. She said what she said and she is sticking to it.
So thank you, Issa, for saying what everyone was thinking and for always keeping it real.