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Article Critique: "White People and Dreadlocks: A Problematic Union"

laura ewing
@laura-ewing
6 years ago
40 posts

I am Hispanic and I have dreads!...I am from Spain and I have seen dreads always...and over there is not about black or white...is not even about be a rastafarian or not...is a way of living,a way of thinking...so when people say that type of bullshit I cant do anything else but laugh about it!...we have a lot of africans inmigrants living there and they dont give a crap about us having dreads or not....i dont know why here in America they care so much!!

Angel Frye said:

SE, some may call your last comment borderline saintly and others may think about it some more and call it arrogance. It's deep, either way. Worthy of consideration and meditation at least.

I will say this though; every culture's history has it's own evil moral baggage and nasty assed skeletons they want to forget or even pay people to censor out of history books. No matter what your color, tribe, ethnicity, or other EXclusive and not INclusive way you want to segregate humanity into groups this is true. We all have crap in the past that haunts us, embarasses us, and others try to hold over on us. I think it's up to individuals and the parents of today to teach their children how to avoid the attitudes of the past.

Now I want to see some hispanic dreads for a little flavor. come on! Where are you??? Let's really piss that ethnocentric bastard of an author off.


updated by @laura-ewing: 07/22/15 08:34:57AM
Hans Miniar Jónsson
@hans-miniar-jnsson
6 years ago
74 posts

Jdwood said:

I think American culture ishighlybased on looks notorigins. Take BobMarley as an example. He is know as being "black"and heembracedisJamaican/African Americanheritage. He looked black so it was "okay" now if he embraced is Scottish heritageinstead I wonder if he would have been as popular (wearinga kilt and playing the bag pipes). I work with a woman that has red hair green eyes and very pale skin withfreckles and she has a great grandfather who is African American. If she wouldembracethat side of her inherited culture I think she would get a lot of critic from many Americans.

Nail on the head right there.

Then there's also the whole Amer-Centrism in most of the arguments.
I'm not american you see, and yet I have a lot of people applying to me "american" values and "american" ideas. I'm not "100% white heritage" either, but I don't "look" coloured thus the rules that the social justice "league" apply to middle class or higher white men are forced upon me even if I'm none of these things.

... seriously....
America =/= the world!

JuniperLilly
@juniperlilly
6 years ago
1 posts

My boyfriend is Guatemalan and has the most beautiful dreads I've ever seen :)

Angel Frye said:

SE, some may call your last comment borderline saintly and others may think about it some more and call it arrogance. It's deep, either way. Worthy of consideration and meditation at least.

I will say this though; every culture's history has it's own evil moral baggage and nasty assed skeletons they want to forget or even pay people to censor out of history books. No matter what your color, tribe, ethnicity, or other EXclusive and not INclusive way you want to segregate humanity into groups this is true. We all have crap in the past that haunts us, embarasses us, and others try to hold over on us. I think it's up to individuals and the parents of today to teach their children how to avoid the attitudes of the past.

Now I want to see some hispanic dreads for a little flavor. come on! Where are you??? Let's really piss that ethnocentric bastard of an author off.

☮ soaring eagle ॐ
@soaring-eagle
6 years ago
27,886 posts

when i lived in philly there were thousands of rastas black white asian it didnt matter i hiung out with many of them i also knew the move people ramona africa..pamela and worked with
Mumia Abu-Jamal's nephew (or was it cousin i forget) if anyone ever saw the documentary "slackers" the t shirt selling rasta was a freind i eas at huis house practicly daily for awhile (and there was a white dread friom austrailia living there too ahmedads wife)

so id been around dreads ..rastas..jamauicans ..(although i saw them as artists musicians poets activists and..influences) from a young age

but then started traveling more living in the wilderness cooking over fires bathing in freezing cold mountasin streams for extended perriods along with tens of thousands of others many of whom dreaded just cause ..well we were living in the woods miles azwy from mirrors

so in that setting the dread culture developped out of convinience ..although there was a sopiritual and religios connection for most or many stiull many more dreads just came from simply being

do we not have the right to have dreads if we lived a lifestyle that made dreads nearly impossible to avoid?

i will like to point i=out that the author of this represents 1 in a hundred thousand not the norrmal view of all african peoples or rastas..its extremely rare to come accross 1 with this attitude

they are oout there but its definately not the norm




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Jdwood
@jdwood
6 years ago
275 posts

It's nice to know...

soaring eagle said:

i will like to point i=out that the author of this represents 1 in a hundred thousand not the norrmal view of all african peoples or rastas..its extremely rare to come accross 1 with this attitude

they are oout there but its definately not the norm

tripple 7
@tripple-7
6 years ago
6 posts
West coast customs have a Latino guy with dreads.I like to dreads on all ppl, when I see a person with them I know they are not uptight.I'm just American. . . I don't see colors but some wud say I'm blaq.
Charley Bowden
@charley-bowden
5 years ago
1 posts

I feel like I'm going to be kicked off this site if I write anything...also, this is my first post, lol. =_=

I'm still torn on this issue. I am in no way Rastafarian, or indeed religious at all. But it has made me grossly uncomfortable over the years when I see white people with dreadlocks, and I have never been able to put my finger on why. I think it's actually for the same reason the author mentioned; at the end of the day I am still brown. I am still going to be treated with patronization, or with scorn for getting into college when people assume I got in due to some kind of diversity quota (and if I did, I will have to justify it), I am going to be followed around stores or asked why I am there, I am going to be pulled over by cops for running or standing, my mother will be insulted and called a nigger lover for her choice to have children with my father, and I am going to be called a nigger and threatened when I'm in the wrong town. This is not because I have dreadlocks, or how I dress. I could be the most mainstream person ever. It is solely because of the color of my skin.

White privilege DOES exist. I promise. The key part of it is that most white people don't notice it, because they don't have to think about it. Do you thank your lucky stars every day that some of the stuff I just mentioned doesn't happen to you? Do straight people go, Golly gee, I sure do appreciate not having to be in mortal terror around Frat Row? Do cisgender people think, Wow, I can use a bathroom without praying to God nobody is in there? Probably not. That's a privilege. And believe me, not being afraid for your physical safety in perfectly normal situations is not a problem.

I have been straightening my hair and ripping it out with brushes for a long time. I've even considered chemical relaxers once or twice, and never when I was younger did I associate that with a white beauty standard. That's not just a hairstyle. That's a (relatively recently) ingrained cultural notion that nappy, kinky, even curly hair is not attractive, especially in conjunction with brown skin. I'm not even talking the way most white folks' hair curls, or the way it feels to the touch. I'm talking hair of the type I would laughingly call 4a/b/c (if you're familiar with hair typing systems that a lot of "natural" folks are into). Dreadlocks are the same way to me. I have not combed my hair in five days and it is already making dreads I cannot pull apart.

So I have gotten fairly off topic. Basically, when white folks wear dreads it makes me feel like they are inadvertently (or purposefully) making themselves counterculture in a way that has historically never negatively affected them. I have a feeling that part of the reason white folks who have dreads are met with scorn is because black folks have had them. When people say you look dirty or your hair is nappy or coarse or tangled, that's the sort of thing that people say to black people no matter what they do. And yes, then one can cut 'em off for work or simply because you get tired of it, or, as some people do, "grow out of it", or move on from a rebellious phase (if that's part of why one got them--and it is, for some), and voila! No longer experiencing what black people experience.

Many black folks get dreads as kind of a "Screw you," to the people who shame them about their bodies. You're pigeonholed anyway, so you may as well be proud of yourself--and lower maintenance. I don't consider this "owning" anything.

I don't have a major objection to white people wearing dreadlocks--if they think it through. What is the cultural significance of these? Am I aware that no matter how recent, there is a message of pride in having a black body type in having these, and that THAT is what they are associated with these days? I am fully aware of the Gallic/Judaic/etc history of dreadlocks...but who on earth goes, "Dirty barbarian Gaul," when looking at a white guy with dreadlocks and a moustache? Am I aware that if I ever decide to cut my dreads off, this will have been something of a trial run of experiencing some racism towards blacks?

Unpopular opinions, yeah

PeacewithDreads
@peacewithdreads
5 years ago
14 posts

I'd like to weigh in. I was feeling bad for "Star" from yesterday that she had to "fight" and go union to be able to "mane"tain control of her dreads. In our society, we have a propensity to ignore history.Angel is right when she says, "

I will say this though; every culture's history has it's own evil moral baggage and nasty assed skeletons they want to forget or even pay people to censor out of history books.

Everyday I say, "only in America." We are confronted with bias every day. We have a bias on race, interracial marriage, interracial kids, homosexuals, bisexuals, fat, thin,Catholics, Jews, Muslim, Rastas, Krishnas, women pastors/chaplains who "the bible says"cannot be in a position of authority over men...blah..blah..blah..., women in sports,

The author of that article seems to have been reading Peggy McIntosh's "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" talking about white privildege and "cutting off dreads"....Many of the issues we face, are uniquely American. Which is ironic considering America is a product of man's belief in "manifest destiny". Ever wonder what was under our founding father's white powdered wigs? Probably colic hair! LOL

So....make up is an appropriation of ancient egypt, jewelry, beading, pottery, piercings,SPORTS! etc. etc. All of society is an appropriation. America is one great big appropriation..get over it. I am a history major, and I get angry because we want to believe that we were born "white". The first civilization existed in Mesopotamia,and all of society descended from there. Honestly, Jesus probably had dreads! He certainly did not have blond hair and blue eyes.

Anyway, the point is; if whites must give up dreads, then anybody who's appropriated from another culture must give up as well.....

Circle Dancer
@circle-dancer
5 years ago
121 posts

Completely stupid article from a not-very-educated soul, in my opinion.

Part of my heritage is scottish, and the early scottish people were wearing locs long before there were Rastas. So I'm being true to MY heritage.

To the writer of the article: learn some history, douchebag.

taye
@taye
5 years ago
836 posts

Before I say this..I want you to know I am not upset with you Charley. This is not a personal attack, I promise.What I am going to say is not said with anger or judgement. It is just my opinion.

There were Native Americans with dreads. This whole country was taken from them. They were put onto reservations where they were forced to speak english and attend christian churches. The goal was to completely wipe out their culture. My grandmother was raised on the reservation in Cherokee North Carolina, but she only knew a few words in her ancestral tongue. If anyone has the right to fuss about cultural appropriation it would be them. But you don't hear all the racist remarks coming from them. It is ridiculous to claim ownership of dreads from any one culture. I feel sorry for the people who get angry because i happen to have a certain color of skin and i have locks. Get over the skin color thing. We are equal. There were a lot of wrongs done in the past and there will always be people full of hate. But it is 2012. The only time I hear the "N" word is coming out of black people's mouths. Diversity quota....that is funny to me. I have never even thought of that...I just think everyone is in college because....maybe they want an education? I too have been followed around stores..I too have been pulled over by the police for no reason. All because I am a "dirty hippy" (no we are not called dirty barbarian gauls...we are called dirty hippies).

Everyone is shamed for their bodies and body types. Not just black people. That has to do with fashion magazines saying..you are too fat, your eyes are too small..your breasts are too small. Your teeth are not straight or white enough......anything and everything about us gets critiqued. Your skin is too dark or your skin is too light. Everyone is beautiful..we should not let an industry or the media define our beauty.

If some guy wants to claim a cultural right to dreads...let him. He was probably born in a hospital just like me. Went to the same type of schools, shops in the same stores, lives in the same neighbor hoods, celebrates the same holidays, speaks the same language. Watches the same movies. Eats the same foods. Lives in the same society....hence sharing the same culture...hmmmm.

I am not going to spend my short time here on earth worrying about what other people think. If some racist jerk wants to spend his/her time being angry because I choose to wear my hair a certain way that is their problem, not mine.

 
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