This is the police officer who brutalized a 14 year old black girl in Texas. He is seen here wearing a fake headdress.  For those who think there is no connection between cultural appropriation and racism along with acts of violence towards people of color, let this be an example to you that there is. Dehumanization is dehumanization.

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“WHAAAT?! WHITE PEOPLE DO NOT APPROPRIATE OTHER CULTURES THAT’S CRAZY. REVERSE RACISM REVERSE RACISM! AND EVEN IF THEY DID THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY I CAN WEAR WHATEVER. THAT DOESN’T MAKE ME DISRESPECTFUL! SO WHAT. AHAJJABGAnigganigganiggaHABBALAYGEVBWB! I HAVE LOTS OF DIFFERENT COLORED FRIENDS! FUK U BRO! I CAN DO WHATEVERTR.”

What Iggy Azalea fails to understand is that people’s issues with her are not necessarily about her being white or a woman—but rather, the cultural and historical significance her presence as a white woman in hip-hop holds. Statements by Questlove were right in suggesting that hip hop isn’t a monolith and that “you have to let go of something you love,” meaning that part of the power of hip hop lies in its global appeal. It can’t be denied as an art form that provides millions of people from around the world and from various backgrounds with a way to express and give voice to their lived experiences and the issues they face. Sri Lankan-British rapper M.I.A. is a great example of the power of hip hop, as she uses the genre to talk about her unique background.

However, Iggy Azalea has done none of this. Instead, she has performed a caricature of hip hop, basing her rap persona on stereotypes of Southern Black women—using Black women’s language, getting praised for having the same physical attributes that millions of Black women have, but we are still deemed as undesirable. And this is what many people find to be problematic about her. That she tries to peddle herself off as an emcee who cares about feminism and women’s empowerment, as she insults and disrespects millions of Black women daily, is why many of us can’t get down with her.
Learning a sign language is NOT cultural appropriation.

That might be the most backwards possible way of looking at it, and I seriously doubt it has ever been said by an actual Deaf person.

Sign language is necessary for interacting with the Deaf community in any really efficient way, which is the same way it works for any other linguistic minority. Deaf people benefit from as many people knowing sign language as possible.

The only way sign language could be appropriative is if you are only learning it to make fun of it, for example if you only learn how to sign about sex, bathroom use, and profanity. Turning it into an accessory is one definition of appropriation.

Actual appropriation of Deaf culture would look like:

  • Giving out sign names in ways that are not culturally expected
  • Wearing hearing aids or the exterior parts of cochlear implants as fashion accessories
  • Voicing with a fake deaf accent

Last chance! Sturtevant: Double Trouble closes Sunday. See the exhibition The New Yorker calls “a curatorial tour de force.”  

[Installation view of Sturtevant: Double Trouble, The Museum of Modern Art, November 9, 2014–February 22, 2015. © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Thomas Griesel. All works by Sturtevant © Estate Sturtevant, Paris]

Much like many other “natural parenting” methods that have become popular again in white cultures, there is little introspection of how colonization has tried desperately to break families of color from breastfeeding, babywearing, and other traditional healing methods. Midwives and doulas have become associated with a degree of privilege, often completely inaccessible to the most marginalized communities who would actually benefit the most from such access. Home birth is taken for granted as something that a white family can choose, but families of color for whom it was a family norm in the past are now forced to accept invasive medical procedures under threat of having their children removed from the home with charges of medical neglect.

Phoenix fucking airport gets it wrong, selling Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee next to some truly heinous fake Warbonnets. It’s almost like, ‘here, this is the story of how we tried our best to kill them all, and here’s a conquest trophy, cheap headdresses that mock their sacred Warbonnets.’

STOP SHOPPING AT URBAN OUTFITTERS if you for some reason still do.

The retailer just released this “vintage” blood-stained Kent State sweatshirt on Sunday, referencing the shooting massacre at Kent State on May 4, 1970, when four unarmed college students were killed and nine wounded by Ohio National Guardsmen during a Vietnam War protest at the university. 

It has since been removed & listed as “sold out.”

Urban Outfitters apologized on Twitter: 

Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.

UO has a history of super offensive & appropriative clothing, including Native exploitation & a crop top with “depression” written across it.

Gross. Don’t shop there. 

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So i’m just pussyfooting around on Etsy, you know trying to buy some vintage clothes for cheap, cause you know, broke.

When i stumble upon all of this…

And in the DESCRIPTION of this product, it says that she found inspiration from her friend who has long, black hair and i gave her the benefit of the doubt that she didn’t know what type of bonnet she was imitating until i saw that she put Imitation of a Native American Headdress (war bonnet). So apparently, a sacred battle symbol can be turned into a warm, fuzzy beanie, “unlike the actual headdress with actual feathers” AS IF IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE USED FOR WARMTH IN THE FIRST PLACE. A Warbonnet is NOT to be used as your “fashion in-style” or your “warm and stylish hat for the cold season”. A warbonnet is representative of men who were in battle: warriors and chieftains. They were not meant to be mocked, or to be “imitated”. PLEASE stop this.

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WTF Coachella?! You’re a One Stop Cultural Appropriation Festival! By Ruth Hopkins

…Every year, we’re subjected to a barrage of white folk shaking their privileged asses at Coachella whilst bedecked in faux feathers, war paint and headdresses. It’s not just the audience either. Sometimes performers who are playing at the event get into the act too, rubbing salt into the genocidal wound.

Although I find it difficult to believe that non-Natives are still ignorant of the fact that wearing dollar store headdresses that mock sacred warbonnets are offensive after all the publicity the topic has received, it doesn’t matter if there is malicious intent on the part of appropriative offenders or not. The effect is still the same.

B Actress Vanessa Hudgens and Victoria’s Secret Model Alessandra Ambrosio at Coachella

When people appropriate Native culture it’s the height of disrespect and sadly, the commodification of Native culture is an epidemic.

Stealing the sacred and making it into a cheap costume or fashion trend perpetuates the lie that all Natives are the same, as though we are monolithic; in reality there are over 566 Native American Tribes, each possessing a distinct heritage, culture, and language. Curiously, those who wear fake headdresses are often quoted as saying they’re Cherokee. If that’s the case, the last thing they should be putting on is a northern plains warbonnet. The Cherokee did not wear them. If they truly wish to embrace their culture, a turban would be more fitting.

Warbonnets are sacred to my People, the Oceti Sakowin (The Great Sioux Nation). They aren’t meant to be worn as a costume. Only those Natives who are worthy may wear the warbonnet. Each feather within it represents a great deed. It’s not a hat. Would you wear a medal of honor or a purple heart that you haven’t earned? Then you shouldn’t wear a warbonnet either.

Oh, Coachella.

Millions of Indigenous North Americans were slaughtered after 1492. The Federal government, armed with colonial dogma, did it’s best to kill us, and when that didn’t work, they tried to assimilate us by destroying our cultures and forbidding our ceremonies and languages. Native ways were outlawed. Our children were stolen for the purposes of indoctrination. Native people were beaten, arrested, and killed for holding onto their traditions. Newsflash: our sacred objects don’t exist merely to help you gain Instagram followers.

Also, whether you’re a run o’ the mill hipster, misguided fashionista, or stripper, it’s wrong to promote the Pocahottie stereotype of Native women. I know Natives are sexy, as are warbonnets, but 1 in 3 Native women are sexually assaulted during their lifetime. The majority of those who commit sexual violence against Native women are non-Native. Don’t contribute to the conquest of Native female bodies by encouraging the delusion that we’re little more than a fetish meant for male gratification.

READ THE REST HERE

As we all should…

Edit 24/11/14:

It has come to my attention that this picture was photoshopped without the artist’s permission. Rather than share this, please view and share the original by Un-sweet-tea. http://un-sweet-tea.tumblr.com/

I have edited this rather than deleting in discussion with un-sweet-tea (source: http://un-sweet-tea.tumblr.com/post/103387428900).

I obviously still love loud lesbian feminists (as well as loud radical feminists, which is what the original said) but I’d rather find original, not appropriated, artwork to say this.

Appropriation is taking something that doesn’t belong to you and wasn’t made for you, that is not endemic to your experience, that is not necessary for your survival and using it to sound cool and make money. Code-switching is a tool for navigating a world hostile to Blackness and all things non-white. It allows one to move at will through all kinds of communities with as minimal damage as possible.