Why Cultural Appropriation is a Huge Problem in America
by Nina Boswell
(PLEASE READ & SHARE IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A CHANGE)
Over the past few months, I’ve been in what seems like a war in the comments section of this video:
If you’re not interested in watching the video, this is what it was about:
Basically, the host of “Clevver News” on Youtube was listing a number of celebrities that have feuded with Iggy Azalea in the past. Among the list were talented black artists like Nicki Minaj, Azealia Banks, and Eve.
In my opinion, the host in the video seemed extremely biased. She begins the video by introducing Iggy as “the one and only.” After explaining Nicki’s feud with Iggy, and then going on to explain Azealia’s feud with Iggy, she then says that people only know Azealia because of the “constant shade she’s throwing at her fellow artists, not for her music” (which I think is awesome by the way, as well as the Queen of Rap, Nicki). The host then has the AUDACITY to shame Azealia for being “pro black girl instead of pro girl.” OMG this is the part when I began hating the host. DO YOU REALIZE THAT WHITE WOMEN AUTOMATICALLY HAVE AN ADVANTAGE OVER BLACK WOMEN FROM BIRTH? “Pro black girl” DOES NOT IN ANYWAY shame or put down women of other races. It simply acknowledges her love for being a black girl, as being black is shamed in America. It’s also shamed in basically every other part of the world. So please stop this bullshit about being “pro girl.” It’s just like the argument “black lives matter” vs. “all lives matter.”
Throughout the video, the feuds are figuratively shown as like boxing matches or something. So basically, after explaining each feud, the host tells the audience who “won” the match.
Overall, every black artist in the video is put down and shamed for their argument against Iggy Azalea and at the end of the video I was so heated because their arguments were completely and 100% valid.
As angry as I was, I decided to visit the comment section and post a comment expressing my feelings. My comment simply said, and I quote, “
i hate this host so much she’s being so biased and ignorant.” Okay, so maybe “hate” wasn’t the best word I could’ve used but it damn sure explained my feelings.
Within a matter of days, my comment gathered over one thousand likes. It seemed like most people agreed with me because I received a bunch of replies that praised me for posting it.
Although there were many that agreed, there were still many that refused to understand why I said what I said. One comment by a user named Khari Derrick particularly caught my attention:
“Well, the host is not wrong. About anything. Like every point she made was 100% valid. She was clearly in favor of Iggy, but rightly so. And, the host is not a judge in a court case. She’s the host of a Clevver News video. She doesn’t have to be an impartial 3rd party. She’s allowed to say her own opinion. Its not like there’s a rule book.”
To this I replied:
“i’m not saying she’s not entitled to her own opinion, but every point she made was based off of opinions and not facts, which does not make her argument 100% valid.”
He then said:
“No. Didn’t you hear her talk about who sold the most records? Who has more followers? Whose career was booming, and whose wasn’t. Those are facts.
And if everything she said was against Iggy Azalea, then that would only be opinions too. She was clearly taking sides, but it wasn’t bias. Bias is unfairly being in favor of one side. Siding with Iggy Azalea was completely fair. These grievances people had with her were ridiculous. None of the insults were justified. I don’t love her music but these people seemed to just be hating on her cause she’s white.”
Then I replied one of the longest comments I’ve ever wrote in my 14 (almost 15, my birthday’s on August 5th by the way) years of living:
“what’s fair about iggy azalea being praised for having almost every song that she raps be written by someone else when these rappers that are against her have worked hard to get where they’re at without any acknowledgement whatsoever? we’re not hating on her “because she’s white,” we’re just not with the fact that she is put on a pedestal just because she is white. hip-hop music is a sacred way for the african-american community to express their culture and the hardships that we face on an everyday basis. the work that we do is shunned by award shows and the media and labeled as “urban” just because we are not white. what iggy azalea does is simply just cultural appropriation. if you don’t know, then here:
"Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of elements of one culture by a member or members of a different culture. Cultural appropriation may eventually lead to the imitating group being seen as the new face of said cultural practices.“ (via Google)
with that being said, it’s hard to understand why the white community does not realize the effects that this has on our culture. soon, our culture will be wiped out by the white community and these rappers are just trying to hold on to the little pieces of black culture that are left in america. but, then again, if people like you don’t understand this now, it seems you never will. it’s not about us being “racist” or “hating on her cause she’s white,” it’s the simple fact that we have little left of what belongs to us in america.
I’m not at all sure why I had such a burning passion to explain why I felt what I felt but it seems that some people will just never get it. I love being black and I love the ideas that we come up with and the culture that we’ve created. I would hate to see all of that disappear someday.
I hate it when I wake up on a beautiful Saturday morning to watch the news and see even more of our people being shot down in the streets because of some ignorant cop who’s an undercover KKK activist.
I hate it to hear that another black woman has “mysteriously” died in her jail cell.
I hate it even more to see the black community putting others of the black community down and not paying attention to what really matters. BLACK LIVES MATTER. Not how many Instagram followers you get or how many likes you got on your latest picture.
The love I have for my fellow African Americans burns inside me. I just wish we could all see it.
The war between me and the others on Youtube still continues, but I knew I had to write about this because the problems we face as black people are alive and well and we will not be demeaned any longer.
Rest in peace to Sandra Bland, Dontre Hamilton, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown Jr., Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Tanisha Anderson, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rumain Brisbon, Jerame Reid, Tony Robinson, Phillip White, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray,
Kajieme Powell, Tyree Woodson, Victor White III, Yvette Smith, McKenzie Cochran, Jordan Baker, Andy Lopez, Miriam Carey, Johnathan Ferrell, Carlos Alcis, and finally Ka’Juan Polley, among many, many others. You are dearly missed.
by Nina Boswell
Let’s see if we can get this to as many likes as your latest Instagram pic.