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hjek wrote (edited )

I was guessing that this article would perhaps be about cultural appropriation (which I personally think can be a bit over the top sometimes), but it actually clearly states a reasonable and important point:

Drive around any Native American community today and you will see sweat lodges covered in old carpets, old canvas tents, old polyester blankets, old nylon, and plastic tarps. These materials are manufactured from a toxic soup of synthetic products made from petroleum and other chemicals.

Thanks for posting.

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kore wrote

I know, as soon as I read the article I thought:

someone FINALLY used the word "decolonization" correctly

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voiceonthewind wrote

The link you posted is very obviously a correct reaction to actual cultural appropriation.

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hjek wrote (edited )

Cultural appropriation is a complicated issue, and while I'd appreciate to hear your opinion on the subject, dismissing a very complex and divisive discussion as "obvious" just comes across as a cheap way of trying to shift the burden of proof without providing any arguments. Would you care to explain why it's obviously correct to a someone for whom it isn't?

Have a read about the history of dreadlocks for a start:

In Ancient Greece, kouros sculptures from the archaic period depict men wearing dreadlocks while Spartan hoplites wore formal locks as part of their battle dress. Spartan magistrates known as Ephors also wore their hair braided in long locks, an Archaic Greek tradition that was steadily abandoned in other Greek kingdoms.

The style was worn by Ancient Christian Ascetics in the Middle East and Mediterranean, and the Dervishes of Islam, among others. Some of the very earliest adherents of Christianity in the Middle East may have worn this hairstyle; there are descriptions of James the Just, first Bishop of Jerusalem, who is said to have worn them to his ankles.

Pre-Columbian Aztec priests were described in Aztec codices (including the Durán Codex, the Codex Tudela and the Codex Mendoza) as wearing their hair untouched, allowing it to grow long and matted.

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voiceonthewind wrote

A) Aztecs were not Europeans. B) Middle Easterners are not Europeans. C) "locks" does not mean dreadlocks. Locks is a word that means a group of hair. And if the best source for Europeans having dreadlocks is literally ancient sources I'm sorry but you are fishing for excuses.

When the overwhelming consensus among black and brown people is that dreadlocks on white people is racist and cultural appropriation then you should just respect that and not go fishing for excuses to justify hair of all things. There are so many hair styles. Pick a different one. And just respect marginalized communities when they pretty unanimously say don't do that. I'm a white person and I don't need to have dreads so bad that I'm willing to ignore black and brown folks telling me that it's wrong. I don't need to try to correct them or whatever with some dubious historical cherry picking. White people need to stop having fucking dreads.

I tried writing this non aggressively and I'm sorry that it still came out this way but it's like been so long that I've known this wasn't okay and I'm in a town filled with fucking dreaded white hippy wannabes. I'm just damn tired of it and I'm not even black. I literally can't imagine how frustrating it must be to black and brown folks that this is still a discussion in radical communities of all places. Like... How are we supposed to get anywhere on breaking down even bigger race issues when white people can't even let fucking hair of all things go... Sorry rant over...

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hjek wrote (edited )

I tried writing this non aggressively

I think you succeeded in that. Would you mind if I try replying non-aggressively and as polite as I can to your comment while agreeing on some points and not on others? (If not, then just stop reading now plz)

(Please note that I am not in any way dismissing cultural appropriation as such. This is specifically about hairstyles.)

When the overwhelming consensus among black and brown people is that ...

Pointing out that something is an "overwhelming consensus among black and brown people" is a powerful argument; however, it is also an appeal to popularity: Because the majority says so, it must be right. Surely it is possible for a majority to believe something that isn't right?

Additionally, are you even sure that is the case? Would you be able to point me to such a poll? (Or is it more an anecdotal consensus among people you have talked to about it?)

... dreadlocks on white people is racist

One definition of racism is discrimination on the basis of race, so if a person is told that something they do (e.g. having matted hair) is inappropriate because of their race (i.e. being "white"), then that is, quite literally, racism.

I'm in a town filled with fucking dreaded white hippy wannabes.

That must be annoying if people dress and act in a pretentious manner in your town.

I can only say that where I live, some of the white people with matted hair I know are extremely devoted to radical activism (without going into too much detail), but many times we simply wouldn't be able to well without them (and why should we?).

I agree that pretentiousness is annoying, and I'm sure that in many cases it can be so annoying that you simply wouldn't want those pretentious people around. But pretentiousness is not universal among white people with matted hair.

How are we supposed to get anywhere on breaking down even bigger race issues when white people can't even let fucking hair of all things go...

We do very urgently need to get somewhere on breaking down even bigger race issues, and that's why I personally worry that we get so bogged down by petty disagreements, that we lose track the bigger issues.

And if the best source for Europeans having dreadlocks is literally ancient sources I'm sorry but you are fishing for excuses.

The best source Rastafarians have for having dreadlocks is literally less than 100 years old. I'm not even sure whether something being recent or ancient can decide anything here. We can just observe that matted hair is something that have been done by different people thousands of years ago as well as something various groups of people (Rastafarians and hippies ... and Justin Bieber) have picked up again quite recently.

And just respect marginalized communities when they pretty unanimously say don't do that.

I think it is easy to sometimes focus too narrowly on a single issue. For example, by using the speciesist metaphor, fishing, that justifies fish murder, you might have just alienated animal rights activists. Does that mean you should be (by comparing to the Leeds Herbal Gathering) banned from the forum, or perhaps the forum itself should just be shut down? I don't think so.

A friend of mine had a long rant about white people with dreadlocks, and immediately afterwards proceeded to discuss what fascinated him about the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, apparently without being too concerned about the lefties and Jews around him, whom Heidegger would have gladly sent to extermination camps.

My point is that while pointing out other people's wrongs, you might very well be committing bigger wrongs that you are not aware of, and hence if we expect others to give us the benefit of the doubt, then we should also do so to others.