[Editors Note: So yeah, been a while…let’s see if I still remember how to do this]
I’m rooting for everybody black…
What I love most about black people is how much we love US. Problems exist in our community like any other community but it’s still ours. When one of us wins, it’s like we all win. Fictive kinship, it’s why your grandmother has a picture of Obama in the living room like he’s a blood relative (and why you need to explain to her that we is not doing this Biden shit…but that’s another topic for another day). It’s why Black Panther made 1.3 billion dollars. It’s why I watch Family Feud and root for the black family like they’re my own. It feels good to see someone like us win, because we know how damn hard it is to do so. It’s also tribal mentality, because behind every black person excelling there’s some racism trying to pull them down so even if you don’t bang with homie like that (Woods, Tiger) you feel compelled to defend and ride for them. And then there’s where fictive kinship and tribal mentality collide; with the notion of “black capitalism”.
Society as a whole struggles with capitalism, most view the rich as aspirational and not as the problem. They’ve deluded themselves to think that they aren’t successful because they aren’t working hard enough and that eventually it’ll pay off. It’s two-fold with black people because not only as rich black people #goals but we’re also careful not to critique too harshly especially around (white people) company. We view the Oprahs, Diddys and Hovs as one of us, white people don’t give a fuck about Jeff Bezos. There’s also the sentiment that once THEY get to the peak they gon take care of the rest of us. So last week when it was announced that Jay-Z and the NFL would be entering a new partnership, the reactions split between wait, wtf and fist pump. Once again comes the fictive kinship, Hov having a seat at the table means *we* have a seat at the table. People believe he couldn’t dare sell out Kaepernick (even though he sold “Occupy All Streets” shirts and kept the profits, convinced Dame Dash to sell him his share of Roc A Wear for $22M when he knew there was a $200M offer on the table, willingly became the face of Brooklyn Nets as they drove people out of Brooklyn for the new arena..but he’s made some documentaries.) there has to be some larger scale plan. Jay Z in a room with a bunch of white 1%ers? I’m riding with Hov…but the reality is, he’s a billionaire in a room with other billionaires. He’s not an outsider. He has more in common with them, then us. Sure he agrees with us that police brutality is fucked up but he’s also of the belief that if we just bought our own hoods then we wouldn’t be in this position. Or you can look at it as simply, the NFL was in need of serious PR with black people, were willing to pay a hefty price for it and Hov was right there willing to take the bag. Immoral? Yes. But also, just capitalism.
What’s better than one billionaire? Two…especially when they’re the same hue as you…
Rooting for everybody black is great when it’s award shows and movie casting, but when you expand it to capitalism, it’s not quite the same. Capitalism exists as a heirarchy, to have winners and losers. A black billionaire isn’t much different than a white one in that they’ve gotten there destroying competitors, overcharging customers, underpaying labor, tax loopholes, etc…there’s not many honest ways to a billion dollars. It’s not how the system is intended to work. To exist as a privileged class, there must be an underprivileged one being exploited. So, with all that being said why do we love black 1%ers so much? Maybe we’ve convinced ourselves it isn’t so bad and that we can do it too if we don’t sleep and grind everyday. Or maybe like rooting for that random black family on Family Feud, we know there’s no net benefit for us and it’s just cool to watch.