March 21, 2013
Via reddit’s SRSsucks forum, comes this stern correction regarding countercultural coiffure:
This is the post about white people with dreadlocks. This is the post about white people who just don’t get the possibility that they could be doing something colonialist.
The author of the piece, a self-described “white, queer, rural-identified, able-bodied+mentally ill Episcopal priest lady,” is unhappy with the sight of,
white dude colonisers with dreads.
Because we’re seeing white boys… maintaining and justifying racist hair.
Yes, racist hair.
And being white herself, our Racially Enlightened Hair Corrector has much to say on the subject of the melanin deficient:
White people have this terrible, awful, no-good habit of trying to take everyone else’s “authenticity” because they feel so like lost and indie and culturally dislocated and their poor little selves are so tired, because they have all this power and it’s so exhausting.
Which I’m sure describes every single pale person you happen to know, yes? Thankfully, the author is determined to make the world a kinder, fairer, fluffier place, a feat that’s to be achieved by everyone else doing exactly as she says. And so, should you encounter a pale person with politically incorrect hair, the author’s suggested response – the “only appropriate thing” - is to deliver a long, un-paragraphed diatribe with fits of random shouting:
O my fucking sweet Mary mother of God WHAT are you doing with your HAIR? Do you have NO idea what that hair means?
Do you not understand that locs are an intensely political statement and that black people – especially black women – are constantly policed about their hair?
Are you ENTIRELY unversed in ways that it is a fucking day-to-day struggle to even exist and advocate for oneself in the hegemonic power structure of contemporary America and trying to negotiate the politics of their fucking hair on top of that exhausts them daily?
And then, on account of being so enlightened and righteous, things get a tad emotional:
What are you going to do next? Wear a hijab? DO YOU FEEL ENTITLED TO THAT, TOO, BECAUSE YOU APPARENTLY FEEL ENTITLED TO FUCKING EVERYTHING ELSE?
Once the roar of piety has subsided a little, the offenders of hair propriety are instructed to,
Learn how to do the most basic power analysis.
Because white men with ‘locs’ aren’t just committing a fashion gaffe, they’re stealing the very essence of black people, all of whom, obviously, are exhausted by such things. (To say nothing of the countless Sufis, Maoris, ancient Spartans and Hindu holy men, who have at various times worn their hair in a similar fashion.) Yes, we’re in the realm of politically unauthorised hair. Why, it’s practically abuse.
One supportive commenter captures the warm and generous spirit of the post:
If you have a privileged body, shut. UP. Seriously.
Our teachers have spoken. We must feel their pain and do as they say.
I could use a drink.