Cultural Appropriation

weave appropriation

America is a multicultural nation. Those cultures are going to mix. When that happens, White folks are going to try different items/actions/things that folks of other “races” do/say/try. Everyone else is doing the same. When we each try the other “thing,” we are going to adapt it to what we, personally, like. This is natural.

And people are going to make money off of it.

Black women purchase their hair from Malaysia, Brazil, etc. They wear these hair pieces in American Black hairstyles. They have appropriated the hair of women from other “races” and used it to make their “Black American” hairstyles. Black women also style their hair in styles that are traditionally White. Black women “straighten” their hair using chemicals to mimic the hairstyles of White women. Is that not cultural appropriation?

I’m not all that down with the whole “privilege” game either. Especially when I’m being lectured on privilege by a rich,privileged, celebrity teenager. There are many types of privilege. Some White people benefit from being White. Not all White people benefit from being White. There are millions of poor White people in prison for drugs right alongside Black people. Affluence is privilege. Celebrity is privilege. Education is privilege. In some cases, yes, definitely, being White is “privileged.” There are not many universal truths.

White privilege in America is definitely NOT universal.

This seems like typical American victimology. Americans have, somehow, come to believe that their world is unique. They have come to believe that racism, bigotry, slavery, class privilege and a whole slew of other societal blights exist exclusively or uniquely in America. No, this is not true. Then there is this. Black people are not the only people in history to put their hair in braids or rows. Asian people have done it. Arabs have done it. White folks have done it. Africans did not invent the braid or the cornrow.

That Black hair has certain requirements of which I may or not be aware and that I want to wear my hair in a way that is similar to the way that Black people IN AMERICA have traditionally worn their hair does not make my doing so an affront to all Black people in America or Africa or anywhere for that matter. This sounds like more celebrity whining about issues that are so inconsequential as to be nearly incomprehensible.

Juxtaposing “cultural appropriation” with institutional bigotry within the United States Federal Government is insulting to every victim of the War on Drugs and the prison plantation system that has been the sin of both the Democratic and Republican Parties.

America does not NOT love, hate, like, dislike or in any other way treat with Black people as a whole because no sane person hates or loves a whole group of people based on any sane notion. People love or hate individuals. Individuals love other individuals. I know of no sane person who loves or hates any group of people. Many Americans do not know Black people. They know only what they’ve been shown. Some White Americans do know Black persons. They know the Black persons with whom they have worked, associated, had a beer. They know the Black person(s) whom they have dated. They know the child whom they raise with their Black spouse. However, the fact is that most White Americans do not know Black people because they do not live near, work with, or associate with Black people for a variety of factors such as proximity.

Most of America know only the Black persons and groups whom they see on TV. Who controls that message?  America does not control that image and message. Who controls that dialogue? The American Media controls that image and that dialogue and that image. The American Media is a small percentage of America. Less than .0001% of America, I would guess.  When your average American thinks of Black people, they conjure the images, messages and dialogue which they’ve been provided by Politicians, Hollywood, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc.

A more valid and truthful end to Amandla Stenberg’s video monologue would have been “what would America be like if the American Media loved Black People as much as they love Black culture.” That would have been a truth.


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