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« Zapatistas on Red Alert | Main | Need More Reasons to Fight Racists? »

June 22, 2005

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I’m actually on schedule with this one, for once. For your weekend reading, here’s ten that caught my eye and stayed on my mind this week. On Gays and Democracy - KipEsquire lists some good reasons to limit the powers of the majority &... [Read More]

Comments

Hey, what about white people and circumsision? In the name of the Jewish people, I demand that all circumsised white males grow their foreskin back on to avoid cultural appropriation! ;)

Hey putz, get a life.

I can't see what the problem with natty white dreads are. My brother had them in the 80s because he liked the way they looked. He was even in a heavy metal band, so looks are *really* important ;-)) For white people, they are high maintenance hair care! It takes a lot of work to make blonde hair into dready. It is really now a fashion thing and not much else. Are there Rastafari who are against the "appropriation" of this style?

"It is really now a fashion thing and not much else."

In my view, that's exactly the problem! White folks dread their hair cause they think it looks cool and fashionable. They don't consider the meaning of dreadlocks and assume they have every entitlement to dread their hair. One of the pieces I link to above mentions this:

"Appropriating our traditions and ways of dressing/presenting is a further attack on our communities.

"Wearing “Mohawks” or dreadlocks plays into a racist society that believes people of color and our lands, bodies, cultures and spirits are up for grabs."

White people can wear their hair in all sorts of ways that don't appropriate anyone else's culture. I don't think it's too much to ask for them to avoid dreads and "mohawks".

scott,

Seriously, if you actually believe that wearing certain hairdos is racist then you're not only full of crap but seriously demented. I'd wager in the Marxist utopia you envision the ethnic police would be on the prowl to prevent "cultural appropriation" by privileged whities.

Scott, you're such a dumbass it's not even funny anymore. You know how sometimes people play out a good joke or catchphrase, and they absolutely stop being funny, but then if you keep pushing the joke it gets funny again because of that subtle repetitive stubbornness, well, you're at the fourth stage, where it's just pathetic and an utter drag.

Wearing dreadlocks is appropriating other people's cultures? That's like saying a black person who speaks English is committing cultural genocide against British people. Are you a two year old? I thought you were an anarchist? Clearly not in your pattern of thinking, or should I say, "rambling". Anarchism is the anti-ownership belief, my friend. Or don't you actually understand the fine rules of anarchism? Unless you're an anarcho-primetivist nutjob who wants to go back to shitting in the forest. Otherwise, you should know that there are no guidelines as to how a person can live their life, which is one of the more sensible tenets of anarchism. I consider the hairstyle stupid myself, but no people have the right to claim that something inherently "belongs" to them and no one else can style it for themselves and enjoy it, and if you believe it does, you're just a nitwit and a narrow-minded and blind fool who is only good at accepting what some militant "people of color" tell him to think.

It only goes to show how much of a sheep you are. You believe that culture is a biological and ethnic inherent duty, an obligation by that people, instead of being an option like it should be. I was raised an Irish-Roman Catholic. But I don't believe in God. I'm not betraying my "culture", I've chosen to pursue some elements of different cultures. I was born in the States, not in Ireland. I'm not fucking Irish, and I'm an atheist. And I have every right to be so. Sure, maybe I should give "credit" and not pretend like a certain philosophy I'm following wasn't invented by another Irish-American guy, but by, perhaps, a Nigerian or a Navajo Indian if that be the case? In either case, I'm choosing to be who I am and am not being told to be who I am by my parents. You clearly are the opposite, a sheep who cannot think for himself and blindly gets in line and says, "ok, I'm white, so how should I act? Watch "Friends" on the WB? Check. Watch "The Simpsons" on Fox? Check. Only wear my hair in a style that is worn by other white people? Check."

But then again, I don't know why I bother, since people like you love to prop up 1984 and Brave New World as the best novels ever written (though they are certainly among the candidates) without actually having read them. I think you should go pick up the latter one at your local library and take a look into how much of a blind tool you are.

Scott,

This is a serious issue; perhaps you could help perplexed readers by publishing a guide for correct racial and ethnic comportment. We can then avoid inadvertant cultural appropriations, gaffes, and faux pas. Just yesterday I was at a Chipotle restaurant eating tacos. Was it a cultural appropriation or is it O.K. as long as I don't use too much hot sauce? What about my collection of old Elvis 45s...we all know the source of his music.

Scott,

Thanks for your post. I totally agree with you. I think that white privilege is something that is so prevalent in this culture that it extends into all aspects of our culture including how we choose to dress and wear our hair. yes, it is funny that white people can choose to be "counter-culture" or become "ethnic" at their choosing yet, for many people of color, its not possible to become white at their choosing unless you are Michael Jackson.

reader,

You sound as clueless as Scott. Cross cultural borrowing has been going on for hundreds (probably thousands) of years. White boys don't sport dreadlocks or listen to rap music to mock African-Americans.

There's more than one form of segregation, there's more than one way to stereotype and isolate people.

Thanks reader...nice to hear a voice of support every now and then.

"White boys don't sport dreadlocks or listen to rap music to mock African-Americans."

They don't? When I get around to posting on white people and hip hop and the afro-americanization of white youth, we're going to have some fun. :)

dAWK you are a class A-1 condsecending putz. You belong in San Francisco.

What is the difference between "people of color" and "colored people"? Is it alright for me to say that I am wearing "Blue jeans" or "jeans of Blue"?

"They don't?" No, they don't dumbass. White kids wear dreadlocks and listen to rap because they think it makes them cool, not because they think African-Americans are boneheads. They wouldn't sport the lifestyle if they didn't respect the people that invented it. Guess you can't add 2 + 2. Why do you even bother making a blog when you can't even offer a reasonable response to criticism? You just sit in the corner and wail on about being white. Why not just make it a website without feedback?

To clarify, when you used the word "mock" I thought you meant "imitate" when apparently you meant "make fun of."

As for responding to the rest of your comments - when you can refrain from calling me a "dumbass" and grow up, feel free to come back and we can have a conversation. I have no problem engaging with those who disagree with me, but I choose not to waste my time on the shrill, rude and obscene.

Scott, i love it! In fact, i think you've just inspired my next post. Stay tuned ...

scott,

How odd, you object to the shrill, the rude and the obscene. Yet you shamelessly plug the anarchists "Fuck the 4th" sale.

I don't think that you really have anything to say, you're position is indefensible and profoundly silly.

lmao ok here it is
A) I think dreadlocks, mowhawks and afros are stupid on anybody regardless of race.

B) anybody of any race can wear them and they have many reasons for doing so. some people may do it because they view it as a symbol of cultural pride, others may do it for religous reasons (rastifaraisn are a religon right) and others do it because they feel it looks good. it is not done by anybody out of racism or to show off "white privilage".

"As for responding to the rest of your comments - when you can refrain from calling me a "dumbass" and grow up, feel free to come back and we can have a conversation. I have no problem engaging with those who disagree with me, but I choose not to waste my time on the shrill, rude and obscene."

Oh, wittle scotty gonna have himself a wittle cry? Rofl. Fucking deal with it, kid. The fact that you're a self-admitted anarchist automatically means you have no room to talk in regards to who is "not grown up". Anarchism is the philosophy of the arrogant, naive and angsty teenager.

You haven't responded to anyone else's criticisms either, idiot, regardless of whether or not they included insults, so it goes to show that you won't debate the issue at all. I haven't seen a single entry in this entire blog in which you respond to critics other than by calling them "racist apoligists" or "nazis", so I'll laugh it up with all of the snide "you're a dumbass" remarks I choose to, you little fascist weasel. If I decide to remember that this blog exists, that is, and if I decide to type out some more half-eaten words about your incredible gullibility.

Just remember, you're a coward and a philistine. Read a little sometime, think a little for yourself and try growing up and maybe one day you'll be able to engage in a debate without breaking down into tears (Or what you'll say is "laughs") after five seconds of pounding your fists into the monitor, unable to respond.

Cheers

Does anyone have a comment about what dreads mean to both black and white people in countries other than the USA? Things such as "mohawks" and dreads have long held different symbolisms and motivations amongst people of ANY race in other parts of the world (Europe, Asia, etc.), particularly when dealing with "counter-culture" or even just folks considered "lower class", regardless of their race.

Thanks Malik. I'm certainly interested in your post...let us know when it's up!

That's a good question, Karrie. I would assume it would depend on where the hairstyle emerged from. Is it like here, in the US, rooted in indigenous or Rastifarian culture, or did it come about separately? And given that it's a different socio-politcal landscape, esp. in terms of race, then what's the affect of it? I certainly don't know, but if you or anyone else has some insight, please share.

My take on dreads, or other forms of cultural appropriation, is that before assuming the cultural ways of being, folk have a responsibility for knowing and understanding the cultural implications of their decision. Getting a tat with kanji symbols? Do you know what they mean and how they came to mean that? If not, learn before you ink up. I hold the same philosophy with dreads and most white folk I know with dreads are drawing from a honkified Rasta-whitewashed understanding of dreadlocks. Ironicly, long ago there were Europeans who wore dreads. But that part of history escapes us and hey, it isn't cool to front like an ancient European these days.

Anyhow, just wanted to drop dime. Good writing.

Peace.

There is one human race and there is one God. If someone from any culture decides to take rasta to his/hers heart, that is their choice. No man can tell another where to rest his head. I feel that many people (african americans included) don't understand, or care to understand the beliefs of rastafarians. Rasta is about unity of all races. It's goal is not to divide people. If a white person wears dreadlocks in the devotion to God then more power to him. It is true that at any moment a white dread can cut his/her hair and get treated better in society, but while that person has had there dreads they feel what oppressed people of color have felt for hundreds of years. With that expeirence the white dread will never veiw the world the same again.

Scott, i would just like to point out that dreadlocks were also a traditional hair style of Celts, it has been said that it's one of the oldest hairstyles in the world. It was probably a look that was repressed by judeao-christian conquest of the celtic people. Do a little research, there are definitely looks and behaviors blatantly ripped off by white people(white pseudo rastas/faux ethnic posturing) but dreds have white roots as well. Of course I must admit, most white folks probably get dreads for all the wrong reasons(especially in the US), there are those who are definitely aware of its multiple origins and some who probably do it as a statement against judeao-christian morality.

meemers, you're right, the Celts wore dreads as well, and they were worn in Africa long ago, too. But when we look at the modern day roots of white people and dreadlocks it does not come from the Celts or ancient Egyptians.

Even if there are those who are aware of the origins, I don't think it's really appropriate for them to wear them - unless they are Celtic and trying to live a traditionally Celtic lifestyle.

I'm actually starting to feel a little sad for you, Scott. I mean, it must be rough being you. You spend a lot of time in different posts discussing how stupid, naive, and subtly racist your friends all are. God, that must really suck - having friends that just don't "get it", having a shitty haircut, never being appreciated, being part of an evil and boring race, able to associate himself with only a couple of dumbass skateboarders as "representatives" of anarchism and, of course, having a blog in which only 1 out of every 5 readers doesn't call you a dumbass for your opinions, many of them probably people of color.

Have you considered, perhaps, though this is just a suggestion - death by gunshot wound to the head? I hear it works wonders on perpetual misery.

Note - At the time that I wrote this, I had just finished watching a segment on the Daily Show, so I was laughing a little bit, then I typed this out, still in that hysterical giggling kind of mood, and nearly shit my pants. I just thought I'd let you know that your blog does do some good in the world.

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