The Dreadlocks Affair

An incident was widely report in the press in which a black female student at San Francisco State University approached a white male student at the university and told him he shouldn’t be wearing dreadlocks because he was appropriating her culture.

If we follow this line of reasoning out a bit, here are some other things we need to put a halt to:

  • White people should not sing the blues in a public setting.  It may be okay to do this in the privacy of one’s own home.
  • White people should not play or listen to jazz.  We all know the origin of jazz.
  • Black people should not play basketball.  It was invented by a white guy in Springfield MA years before any black people played it.
  • The Japanese should dissolve their baseball leagues.  It’s an American game.
  • Not many American play Go, but those who do — and this includes the computer that just beat the world champion — should stop immediately.  Maybe they should play chess instead.   Oops, that won’t do.  Chess is thought to be of Indian origin and then spread to Persia about 1500 years ago.
  • And we don’t want to see any of you WASPs eating bagels.  You know why.
  • In the last international rugby there were teams from Georgia (the country, not the state), Fiji, Romania, France, Argentina, Japan, etc.  C’mon gang.  This is an English game.  It might be OK for the Welsh to play, and maybe even the Canadians, many of whom are of English ancestry, but not all these other countries appropriating an English game.

There must be many other such cultural appropriations.  Please share what’s been appropriated from your culture.    Adios for now.  Oops, can’t say that!

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