I understand the idea of “cultural appropriation.” I really do. I understand the idea of minority versus majority, oppressed versus oppressor. Yet, I still think that it’s totally okay for white people to have dreadlocks.
First, “cultural appropriation” implies that a white person wearing dreadlocks is somehow hurting black people, and that’s simply not true.
Second, there’s a double standard. For a black person to think that a white person wearing dreadlocks is “cultural appropriation” is somehow an acceptable idea. Yet, if a white person said that black people getting their hair straightened was cultural appropriation, they’d be immediately deemed a racist.
Third, while I understand that dreadlocks have a deep, religious history, I don’t think that means that they’re reserved entirely for people who believe in that religion, or who are somehow connected to that history. Many monks shave their heads, but that doesn’t make it inappropriate for people other than monks to shave their heads. In the same way, it’s okay for people outside of the Rastafarian movement to have dreadlocks.
Fourth, cultures are shared, and they change. A black kid can study Japanese, and a white kid can wear a sari. We’re all just people, regardless of our race, nationality, or so on. The only problem comes in when this “cultural sharing” turns into “cultural mocking.” A white person with dreadlocks should only be a problem if the white person is being rude or insulting as a result of their dreadlocks, and 99% of the time, they’re not being rude about it at all.
Fifth, just so we clear this up, not all white people with dreadlocks smoke weed. So don’t assume that every white person with dreadlocks is being disrespectful to Bob Marley or something, and just jumping on the bandwagon to get drugs. Because that’s really, really not the case.
Finally, it’s a compliment. White people wear dreadlocks because they think it’s cool, not because they’re trying to invade black traditions or anything.
So, in the end, I don’t think that white people wearing dreadlocks is a bad thing, at all. Sure, sometimes they look like fools, but some people always just look like fools, regardless of their race or hairstyles.
MY LIFE. Thank you, whoever wrote this.
First of all I just want to say that I am not entirely opposed to white people having dreads as some of my best friends are white people with dreads. I find them beautiful.
But there is so much wrong with your argument.
Black people are PRESSURED to straighten their hair or keep it neat and tidy because that is the white thing to do. The fact is that black people with dreads are less likely to get a job than black people with straightened/buzzed/pulled back hair, and even then they are less likely to get a job than white people- even white people with dreads.
Black people straightening their hair is not cultural appropriation because white people have no cultural importance in hair straightening, no strong connection to it, no reason for doing it other than looking good, and most importantly- white people have never been oppressed on a large scale by black people. Black people have been oppressed by us since forever and are still oppressed today.
… Obviously Monks aren’t out in the world being ignored and oppressed soo yeah um people are going to shave their heads.
The attitude that it is unfair for a black person to claim white dreads are cultural appropriation is just a continuation of the attitude that their opinion doesn’t matter, because as a white person, you can “share” anything from any culture without sharing any struggle associated with it. I know you have only good intentions, you have a good heart, and your ideas about everyone being equal are nice- but they are not based in reality. In reality people are not yet treated equally and you are showing that you are not yet fully aware of the privilege you have over black people and that you don’t care.
This point isn’t very important but: it doesn’t matter if anyone with dreads smokes weed or not, no need to get defensive about something so silly. I don’t know where you got the idea about being disrespectful to Bob Marley… but I know that one of the most common frustrations about white people with dreads is that a lot of them boast about how they listen to Bob Marley, smoke weed and have a ~spiritual connection~ to their dreads. That is an annoying attitude because it’s ignorant and trendy.
“Finally, it’s a compliment. White people wear dreadlocks because they think it’s cool, not because they’re trying to invade black traditions or anything.”
Like I said- I know your intentions are good
But LISTEN TO YOURSELF
You’ve actually acknowledged that you KNOW that many black people think of white dreads as cultural appropriation.
And THEN you say “it’s a compliment.”
So here’s the invisible conversation between you and a black person right now:
Black person: Your dreadlocks are cultural appropriation. It makes me uncomfortable that something important to my struggle has become a white trend.
You: I’m wearing them as a compliment to you, I can take things from other cultures whenever I want, it’s sharing, get over it.
Do you see how racist that is? How much of a spoiled brat you sound like?
Like I said- a lot of my friends have dreads. But they do not boast about them, they do not strut around in Bob Marley t-shirts telling people that it’s okay for white people to have dreads, they did not get them because they saw a pretty hippie picture on tumblr. They do not write about how it’s okay for them to have dreads. They have dreads because they prefer to wash their hair less, because it started happening on it’s own, because they find it convenient. If someone told them it was cultural appropriation- they would not argue, they would apologize. All I’m asking is that you educate yourself a bit more, please.