So I was just told that some kids at my college are organizing an anti-cultural appropriation event thing for tommorrow to get white kids to shave off their mohawks and dreadlocks, as a sign that they are rejecting racism?!? Clearly, as a ‘white’ kid with a mohawk I have some issues with this.
I understand the concept of cultural appropriation, and I understand why it can be viewed as a bad thing. I also understand how people can make themselves out to be ignorant jerks by appropriating artifacts and practices from other cultures. However, this doesn’t logically make me think that one’s hairstyle is really contributing to racism or that changing it to a culturally appropriate hairstyle would help solve racism.
For instance, does the straightening of curly hair also suggest some sort ofcultural appropriation? Are we really going to tell people that they are wrong to straighten their curly hair? I don’t think so. So this seems like it is a one sided attack.
I think that all cultures take and borrow from others. This seems to be the way things go. It even happens on a micro level- you might make friends with someone and listen to some music that you had never heard before with them and then decide to go buy that cd and start to really get into that scene. That is a sort of appropriation, but I don’t see how it is a negative thing. What is the alternative- that we all stick strictly to the cultures of our forefathers and never change or adapt or broaden our tastes and horizons??? That doesn’t make any sense.
The use of guilt to get people to change their hair is troublesome also. I think that sure, maybe we should have dialogue about this sort of stuff, but that ultimately a white kid with dreadlocks isn’t morally wrong. It really doesn’t matter that much. At all.
This seems like another instance of ‘liberal’ ‘politically correct’ people taking on the completely wrong fight and doing so in the wrong way. You aren’t going to effectively teach white kids about the history of their hairstyles and of racism and culture this way. And I feel like most kids already know this kind of shit.
Cultures change and adapt- they are not static. So while it is one thing to say white kids stole the mohawk from the Mohawk native americans, then you have to say but this white kid stole the mohawk from the punk scene in the UK, and then it was used in the Emo scene, and then the fauxhawk became popular amongst trendy fucks. I think that charging the trendy fucks with cultural appropriation and racism is a waste of fucking time. There are no direct lines. I don’t think anyone went ‘gee whiz I’m going to take the sweet hairstyle of this one tribe in order to oppress them further! whoopee!!!”
Shit is whack.