Canadian singer Daniel Caesar faced incredible backlash this week following his comments about how Black people treat white people. Although Caesar has not responded to the criticism, activists DeRay McKesson says he spoke to the artist about the incident.
It all began on Instagram Live when Caesar defended media personality Julieanna Goddard, a.k.a. YesJulz. YesJulz, who is white, has often been accused of cultural appropriation. Most recently, YesJulz appeared on the Easily Offended podcast, where defended posting a picture of a shirt that read, “N***as lie a lot," in a tweet, that has since been deleted.
Also during the podcast, YesJulz insulted Karen Civil and Scottie Beam.
As Black Twitter began to drag YesJulz for her podcast appearance, Daniel Caeser went on IG Live and suggested Black people stop being mean to white people.
“Why is that we’re allowed to be disrespectful and rude to everybody else, and when anybody returns any type of energy to us—that’s not equality,” he said. “I don’t want to be treated like I can’t take a joke!”
“White people have been mean to us in the past, yeah, but what are you going to do about it? Tell me what you’re going to do about that?" Caesar added. "Are we on top of society? We’re not. You can’t win the game by choosing to not accept the winning team’s strategy. You have to acknowledge the strategy and build a strategy on top of that.”
Soon, the social media vitriol aimed at YesJulz was redirected towards Daniel Caeser, whose statements were called "ignorant," "irresponsible," "disappointing" and "trash.
As more and more people demanded that Caesar respond to the criticism, McKesson revealed that he had a conversation with the singer.
In a tweet, McKesson said he spoke with Caesar and encouraged him to continue listening to Black women when it comes to this particular issue.
“I spoke with Daniel Caesar yesterday morning for a few hours as I was troubled by many of his statements from the IG video,” McKesson wrote in a tweet. “In the end, it is clear that he’s learning and growing, understanding “systemic” racism & has more work to do. And he has begun to do that work.”
(Photos from left: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images, Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)