Saturday, June 13, 2015

My Opinion About Rachel Dolezal and Appropriation

 Update #2: I'm so tempted to hide this post because some Black people are so mad about this and I'm not. I am so sick of people who call names and totally condemn a person just because they don't have the same opinion. I don't like to deal with such people because they are intolerant of different opinions, they think that there are concrete right and wrongs in controversial social issues, they catastrophize about one thing leading to something horrendous, and they act as if in hindsight they knew whatever would happen but everyone else was too stupid to see it. It's better to just live my life and try to be happy, find a husband, and have kids instead of bothering with this stuff. My opinion is like the opinions of the women in the video, this is just an odd thing it it not an indication that you are suddenly going to disappear because all the White women are going to turn Black. Chill. People are also mad at Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC because she was not mad at Dolezal either... I see things the way she does! You can watch a video about her views HERE. I like the last part of the video where she says Dolezal is like a Rorshach Test, you either see her as a hustler with bad intentions or you see her as someone who has a personal struggle with identity and doesn't see race the way everyone else does.

Well, the Interwebs are all aflutter about a professor and civil rights activist who was born to White parents but has been passing herself off as Black for 7 years. I think she has been working for the Black community for 20 years and went to Howard University. She teaches Africana Studies. You can read about her HERE or all over the internet. So what are my feelings about this?




1. I don't feel angry. Why? I just don't feel angered by what happened because it doesn't directly affect me and I don't feel the need to be angry for the people it directly affects. The people who didn't get a job because of her can be mad, or the people who feel she lied to them, but not me. Her parents can be mad that she denied her father but not me. She may be charged with fraud or something, but again, I'm not angry because this fraud isn't something I feel the need to get outraged about.
2. At first I felt flattered that she would actually want to pass as Black. She obviously did not think having dark skin was ugly (that tanning is not good for her though) and didn't find Black hair ugly either.  I can't hate her for wanting to look like a Black woman.
3. As long as she taught her courses well and helped Black folks I don't care what race she is. The people who lost out jobs to her can be mad though. As far as I'm concerned, unless race was not a requirement for the jobs and only an assumption then she can apply for any job she wants.
4. She made a great effort to be Black so I'm not mad. I am flattered that she likes Black people so much.
5. She might be confused or have a self-esteem or identity problem, so again, I'm not mad if she needs mental health intervention.
6. Basically I don't understand the whole appropriation thing. People go on and on that a White person can't just take a part of Black culture without knowing the people or the history, but she does! She works and lives among Black folks and totally embraced their culture and history. No one else is going to do that. I don't understand why it's not okay for this woman to embrace Black culture when Black folks embrace White culture?

Many Black people speak a White language, consume their entertainment, wear their fashion, learn from their books, wear their hair straight, eat and cook their foods, do their dances (e.g., ballet), play their music (e.g., classical), etc. Why is that okay and not appropriation? Do Black folks have to learn and embrace White history and culture before doing those things? Yes, I admit those things are forced on people in school but any Black person as an adult can choose to have natural hair, try to always dress differently from White folks, and reject as much White culture as they want (Black folks can learn more Black history and culture if they want, people of other ethnicities do it. I did it for a period of time).

But why is this not called appropriating? Is it the case that, by definition, a Black person can never be accused of appropriating because due to the power differential, there is always the excuse that they are trying to accepted (and get advantages) so it is never seen as outrageous? Instead, some people feel sorry for the Black person and claim they are brainwashed, or they have low self-esteem, or they had to do it to survive? But, due to the power differential a White person is NEVER allowed to take on a part of Black culture? When is it not appropriating? I think in this case Rachel Dolezal has paid her dues enough to have this not be called appropriating. Or can we just admit that there is a double standard and that it is ALWAYS okay for Black people to try and fit in by embracing White culture and that it is ALWAYS appropriating when a White person embraces Black culture?

If  we can just admit that people will always claim appropriation when a White person embraces Black culture then why are there all these dance classes teaching White folks Black dances? Why are they allowed at Black universities? Why are white rappers embraced? Why are Black folks selling artifacts to White folks vacationing in Africa or the Caribbean? Why are Black folks calling for White folks to listen to their stories and to value their culture but freak when they assimilate any of that culture? If you don't want to be assimilated then you have to keep your culture secret! But you aren't doing that, you are plastering your culture everywhere, selling it, and then getting pissed when people like it and want to be like you. I don't understand that! There are cultures that keep themselves secret, underground, and they keep outsiders out. I don't understand how Black folks can have their culture out in the open, selling it, and then complain about appropriation.

My feeling, keep your culture to yourself, sell it to outsiders if you want, and embrace other cultures if you want. In this information age people are going to find out about things, and unless it's against the law they are going to adopt whatever they fancy. Getting outraged all the time is just bad for your mental health because you will always feel like a victim. You are setting yourself up for misery if you keep asking to be accepted and then get outraged when you are. People will never truly accept Black women if they don't date and marry them, befriend them, hire them, and bring their form of beauty into the mainstream. The things Black folks do will never been seen as "normal and acceptable" unless the majority accepts it. In my opinion, the more the world accepts anything from Black folks (that doesn't make us look bad) the better. People may be worried that something may become a fad but why worry about that? Just keep keeping on before, during, and after the fad. If a bunch of White women start perming their hair and wearing braids that doesn't keep you being natural. But if you are of the mindset that 'if everyone is doing it then I don't want it because now it's not special' then you are choosing to reject the things you like because it became popular. To me, that isn't a good enough reason to get so outraged or for me to feel angry for you.

This whole thing reminds me of that whole debacle over that White woman who was wearing an Afro wig in New York. People trashed her for appropriation and she stopped writing her blog and wearing the wig. I don't get how so many people want to be accepted and rejected at the same time. This is my opinion and that's that.  I don't care if you think it's ignorant, that's what I think and anything else would be a lie. The End.

P.S. I also have to add that I am sick and tired of the term "caping". If an issue comes up and someone has an opinion, I think it's really annoying that they are shamed because their opinion does not automatically bash White people, or Black men, or whatever or if the person is of the opinion that a certain group (e.g., BW) is overreacting or in the wrong. If it's your opinion it's your opinion. I am FIRMLY against the policing of thoughts, especially if you have no direct influence in the situation. 

Enough with this generalizing that if you aren't foaming at the mouth because non-BW are wearing braids then that means you excuse everything negative White folks have done since the beginning of time. This is ONE incident. And for all of those high and mighty folks who act like we should be asking for blood because she lied on job applications...are you serious? People are getting murdered, raped, bankrupted, dying of diseases and worse things so I'm not going to bother becoming enraged, and saying "woe is me" because of this minor incident that only affects the people who actually know this woman. Take a minute to ask yourself if you are a negative person who mostly thinks the worse is going to happen and if you tend to blow the significance of things out of proportion.  This is nothing, relax.

Update June 16, 2015: Well after reading a lot of forum posts and articles about this incident a lot of Black people are really MAD about this. I'm just not, so my reading didn't change how I feel. I feel something when I hear about people defrauding others of their life savings, identity theft (no she did not steal a particular person's identity, buy things, and ruin their credit), assaults, rape, things like that. This was just nothing for me. I mean my life isn't perfect and I am stressing about a couple of things right now, but Rachel Dolezal definitely isn't one of them. People are acting like something was 'taken' from them and that this is the beginning of their erasure from the planet or something.

 I took a sneak peak at a BWE blog and this particular person has so much animosity for light skinned and biracial people she wants to prevent them from calling themselves Black (seriously, if you are light skinned, biracial, or not African American then you are not welcome on that Blog and the blog owner seems to think you are the enemy there to steal everything she is entitled to by the Gods or something). Well, one article I read called Sister Outside: Rachel Dolezal and the Ideology of Race made sense to me.  I'm surprised that the Black people writing and commenting on this thing are so attached to the idea of race when it was socially constructed to facilitate slavery and to create a hierarchy of races where Black people are on the bottom. Why hang on tho those shackles? I mean, from what the conservatives are doing affirmative action will not be around for long so is much of this because people expect certain jobs or scholarships to be reserved for Black people and they feel personally wronged because one scholarship, and two positions were given to Rachel Dolezal? Really? Okay.

I think what some people are saying is that if a Black person was to pass then they would not be accepted as White...so? They're being a-holes. Are you just doing what you think White people would do if the situation was reversed? Anyways, this is just an isolated situation and people are catastrophizing by acting like it's a hidden epidemic stealing half of Black people's scholarships and jobs or something. I've grown tired to the outrage.

16 comments:

  1. Elegance, I love your honesty. I have no problem with her either and if she took something away from a black person or gained anything because of her fraud, she certainly payed it back with reciprocity.Some blacks need to practice what they preach.

    Ms. Dolezal went all the way. She was a champion for black people. She obviously believes she is black and played the part well.

    When there are so many blacks who believe they are white and represent white interests, frankly I see nothing at all with what she did and I will take her over many of them any day including the dark skinned people who believe that is the only thing needed to be black.LOL.

    She even got the immaculate look with her hair coiffed as a black woman. I only feel bad for her parents but I wonder what they did to warrant this rejection.
    Blacks being upset with a white woman wearing an Afro wig when many black women have straight long hair.Hello??!!
    We live in a world where a lot of cultural diffusion is taking place right in front of our faces and sometimes even on a personal level, and it is, what it is.
    There are many non-whites who pretend they are whites. Let us face the truth: Blacks,Hispanics, Asians,Indians, Arabs, etc.
    It is obvious that Ms Dolezal has some kind of issues, but did she really hurt any black individual with what she did?
    She was offered a scholarship to Howard University. Yes. Let us say that scholarship could have gone to a black person. Who says that black person would have looked back, and taken up a career to help other blacks?
    Some commented about the issue of biracial not being black.This is also something that many Africans are using because in Africa there is a stark difference between biracial, light skinned and monoracial Africans. In the West, two black parents can have children that look biracial.

    Blacks in the West are not Africans but simply African descent, which is not the same. Genetically we are different. Two light and sometimes dark skinned black people can have children that even look mixed. My cousin just gave birth to her child and the baby looks white. Both she and her husband are light skinned black people. They know they are black. . We do not need any Africans telling us that we are not black. Hello??!!

    Black is more than skin color.And I am talking about Western blacks or people of African descent living in the region that makes up the Americas/Caribbean.
    One last thing, many white women are doing a darn good job raising biracial and black children and black women who love to whine and complain about the world outside of their control, need to catch a clue and maybe start with what they control by raising black children well because after all is said and done, we are who we are, but we, especially people of African descent need all the tools in the world to help us lead fulfilling,lives and all of this can only come from our very homes, our environment, and the people who birth, nurture, and teach us about who we really are.

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  2. Hello, let me start off my saying I am quite impressed with your blog and I love that there are more and more resources and literature for black women who do not want to fit in society's "box"

    I was also flattered that Ms. Dolezal would want to pass as a Black woman. I have met people like this before, maybe not to the extremity as miss Ms.Dolezal, but I have encountered White and Asians who have tanned and physically altered appearance purposely to assimilate into Black/Negroid culture.

    The facts are that she has done much to help the Black community and she KNOWS the Black community. I find it difficult to be mad at someone who has chosen to live their life to help others, even if they are going about it in an unconventional way.

    She has my support.

    http://lafloridafemme.blogspot.com

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  3. Elegance, you have nailed it again :
    "I don't get how so many people want to be accepted and rejected at the same time. This is my opinion and that's that. I don't care if you think it's ignorant, that's what I think and anything else would be a lie."

    I totally agree. What I find strange is the continuous othering and distrust toward everyone who thinks differently or is even different. Do many of them really believe they have the tools to leave their environment while thinking along those lines? And as I have said in one of my comments here on another thread, I am talking about a mindset and not a physical place.

    " I also have to add that I am sick and tired of the term "caping". If an issue comes up and someone has an opinion, I think it's really annoying that they are shamed because their opinion does not automatically bash White people, or Black men, or whatever or if the person is of the opinion that a certain group (e.g., BW) is overreacting or in the wrong. If it's your opinion it's your opinion. I am FIRMLY against the policing of thoughts, especially if you have no direct influence in the situation."
    This is another aspect of the collective mindset and one which is not prepared to handle the outside world. One advice I would like to give back women is to stop viewing the outside world as a threat and a dangerous place with twists and turns all planned out to get them, because this thinking puts black women at a tremendous disadvantage and in a position where they will never win.
    With this thinking, black women have lost from the get go and without even starting or entering the real world. Get rid of this doom mentality and that there are enemies all over and taking things personally. This breeds paranoia and this is why I have noticed that often many black women do not even know how to act when they are in a setting with non-blacks. Always on an edge, and feeling that someone wants to offend them, or take something away from them , which often lead to people feeling uncomfortable around some black women and wanting to exclude them from important things.
    This mentality also leads to many black women coming off extra aggressive and appearing argumentative and problematic.It is all about attitudes most of the times. I would also advice black women to also include in the "caping", those troublesome black women who are not doing anything positive for the group and are instilling in them this fear of the outside world and that everyone who is not a black woman is out to get them.
    All this is going to do is breed mental illness and depression. Please stop it.
    God loves black women too.Get out there and live.
    Yes, use your God given intelligence, and with your eyes and mind wide open,join the world.
    Enjoy the beauty of this world.There is nothing wrong about being a black woman. Black women are women just like all other women. Black women are Free. Black women deserve happiness too and under no heavy conditions.

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  4. The lies....

    I think the biggest issue people have with it, is because she did it under false pretenses. It's ok to identify more with one group...but you dont have to lie to do so. I think that's where it soured for her.

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  5. I have missed your posts Elegance, only checking this spot again on a whim. I hope you resume blogging.

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  6. Thanks for this. I am almost afraid to post about how I feel. I am not bothered at all by Rachel and have compared to Caitlyn Jenner. Not really seeing much of a difference, but oh how that angered people even more, lol.

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  7. One person's act of deception is no different than another person's act of deception. If she said Black women straighten their hair to emulate Euro-descendent women, would she be wrong for admitting that truth? I don't deal in the superficial, so what some deem as deception reeks of hypocrisy as usual. On to next episode of faux outrage!

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  8. Every person has a right to his or her opinion. I could care less about this lady and her appropriation of "blackness." I think that she is dishonest if she applied for positions and identified herself as a black female. If so, she should be fired if it is the company's or organization policy to terminate individuals who lie on their applications. She does not need to be Black in order to teach Africana Studies or to head the NAACP. Personally, I have bigger fish to fry. If another black woman wants to fry this fish - I will care less.

    I disagree that the argument that her appropriation is the same as Bruce Jenner's. Frankly, I don't see gender and race as the same. While both gender oppression and racial oppression are oppression they are not one in the same.

    I doubt that the majority of Black american women are losing sleep about this issue. Why? Well the average / majority of Black american women are working class individuals, with high school educations, and are working to make ends meet with two beautiful kids.

    I also disagree with the argument that dominate group appropriation of subordinate group's culture is the same as the subordinate group's supposed appropriation of dominate group culture.

    I tend shy away from the respectability approach that argues that if black women act like other women they will be respected and treated as such just as much as I tend to shy away from black women who buy into the strong black women approach. Both of these approaches actually police black women.

    Black women have diverse opinions shaped by their family origin, personal experience, social-cultural context, regional and nation differences, social class, language, gender orientation, sexual orientation, religion etc. We are not all the same. We should not police one another.

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    1. You would be surprised but some BW are really mad about this (well they were a week ago). If you want you can read the post on a blog called Muslim Bushido. It is a BWE blog that I have been avoiding (because I am a "foreign Black and therefore, she claims that I am an enemy) but I just had to see if she was mad about this and she was! She was going on and on about how African American woman who isn't mad is a fool and a coon who is co-signing their own erasure. Blogs like hers don't make sense to me. They go on and on about how BW should leave the dysfunctional Black community and not be limited by what the Black community deems acceptable or "black". She encourages BW to be individuals and choose to do what they need to do to survive. She condones and endorses BW choosing a a non-BM over a BM if the non-BM is a better match, stable, a good provider, a better quality. Yet the union of a BW and and no-BW will result in light-skinned children. It doesn't make sense to me that someone has so much animosity towards light skinned people yet supports interracial parings. What will happen is that successful BW will end up marrying interracially and have light skinned children who will get privileges due to their light skin; the same privileges she is complaining about. She warns about letting light skinned people take BW's crowns, but if your children are light skinned then you are passing your crown down to them!

      She encourages AA women to choose their own path and not fall in line with dysfunctions of the black community yet she expects AA women to fall in like with what she preaches or else they are stupid coons. How is this ONE white woman affecting all AA women somehow when no one outside of her community was really affected by her? Plus I can not understand how she is so wrapped up in defining who is Black and who is not when to me that is clinging to the black community and defining what is and what is not Black. She is talking about somehow expelling light skinned and biracial people from the Black race (as if she could make that happen). What's the benefit of that really? There would just be a caste of biracial people who are seen as better than Black people so that's no different from now. But it could result in biracial people not acknowledging that they are Black and therefore, anything they achieve can not be claimed by Black folks (e.g., Black folks can not claim a president if she wants a future where Obama is not considered Black). She may think that Black folks will get more opportunities or something, but based on this economy there are going to be fewer and fewer race-based opportunities. A biracial person is still a visible minority so they would still get race-based opportunities. Anyways, her writing perplexes me because she is sounding like a race purist and I don't know why someone progressive is so attached to physical markers of race.

      Also the twitter responses to Melissa Harris-Perry were saying that people were so disappointed, mad, and she is no longer their hero. Those are strong feelings. Some BW are mad that thee are some famous BM who are not mad at Dolezal and the BW are hurt. The BW think this is another case of BM always preferring light skinned women so they feel insulted. So some of the women who are angry have issues with light skinned BW. biracial women, and White women so this incident, and BM's reaction has triggered those feelings.

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  9. Thanks for the links. You've given me quite a bit to think on. Race as performance and race as ideology. I watch it all from afar, and think it's just another exmple of the BC policing their identity. I wonder if the outrage has to do with the reversal of what the BC considers beautiful: women with lighter skin tone and straighter hair. And someone choosing to give up privilege to perform BWhood.
    It just shows that we are not yet postracial.

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    1. By policing their identity do you mean trying to define who is Black and not Black, and what is blackness sort of things? I think the more Black things are accepted and copied the better. But it depends on what someone thinks is more important. To me, Black people's lives will be better if we are seen as normal instead of threatening, less intelligent, difficult to get along with, or unattractive because then we will be included more and treated with dignity and respect. This would entail having more and more non-black people interact with us, appreciate us, and thinking we are worthwhile to have around. One way of starting that is by having non-black people accept parts of our culture and to have them find BW attractive, and having friendships and romantic relationships. But getting outraged over trivial things like this makes people not want to be around us because they have to walk on egg shells and they find it hypocritical that BP can copy them but they can't copy us. They don't want to have to read a manual about how to interact with us and what they can and can't do.

      It think other BP are mad because they feel they should be getting more credit, praise, or money or something and that turns people off. The way they explain it, it sounds like they are saying you can't copy us unless you learn our history and apologize for racism and oppression to all AA people. But that is not going to happen, and even if it does, is that really going to change anything if things start off with non-BP feeling that they did something wrong and have to make it up to us? This is not about letting anyone off the hook or condoning BP being used. This is about my opinion that being friendly and open will get BP accepted and included faster and more effectively than being accusatory and starting conflicts over every little thing. As we get accepted more people will be more open when we talk about things instead of being closed off. Its like the saying you can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar. In the end BP will still get with they want in the end, respect, acceptance, and the chance to get good lives.

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  10. "They go on and on about how BW should leave the dysfunctional Black community and not be limited by what the Black community deems acceptable or "black". She encourages BW to be individuals and choose to do what they need to do to survive. She condones and endorses BW choosing a a non-BM over a BM if the non-BM is a better match, stable, a good provider, a better quality. Yet the union of a BW and and no-BW will result in light-skinned children. It doesn't make sense to me that someone has so much animosity towards light skinned people yet supports interracial parings. What will happen is that successful BW will end up marrying interracially and have light skinned children who will get privileges due to their light skin; the same privileges she is complaining about. She warns about letting light skinned people take BW's crowns, but if your children are light skinned then you are passing your crown down to them! "

    I would advice younger black women of childbearing age who are interested in marrying outside of their culture to to be discerning with some of the advice given by some of the bloggers. It is obvious that some of the women dishing out advice are past childbearing age because sometimes whenever they touch on the offspring of interracial couples, I always detect a disdain or downright nastiness, not typical of women who could be procreating those very same children.

    Black women simply have to raise their children to be loyal to black women. Regardless of ones' children color, etc.Frankly, I would be upset beyond forgiveness if a child of mine turns out to hate black people.This is where our power as individuals to teach our values and beliefs to our children come in. Black women must begin to start raising more normal children.

    This is why I stay away from the black men bashing because these very same black men are the sons of black women, and the chip never falls off too far from the block.

    I have detected in some of the black women interested in interracial dating an obsessive fascination with simply having biracial children. This at face value sounds foolish. The other part that I disagree with is the white men worshiping many engage in. That is another stupidity. Black women have no business worshiping any men, not black men and definitely not white men. Whenever a black woman marries a non-black man , that man alone is her husband and not the other men who belong to that group.
    There is extensive black women bashing on the internet coming from white men. And white men rarely put down white women, even if they marry other women because they know it is not good for their over all image. After all a white man comes from a white woman.

    If black women believe now that a black women's goal should be to stop their erasure, white men have always being clear on that one.
    The white man is not like the black man on that respect. Slavery and colonialism have tarnished the black man sense of pride and dignity, and now too many believe that anything dark skinned or other than black make him look good.Some black men are happy to erase themselves off the planet. With some men it is not the same regarding their ethnic/racial group, even though love conquers and dissolves all of those insecurities.

    This is why I recommend black women to spread their nets as wide as they can because there are a good number of white men who do not want to erase themselves by having children with black women.It is much easier for them to have children with non-black women because often their children don't look so different from them.
    This is where I disagree with many of the BWE sites when they speak as if white men are the only possible mates out there.I do not think so.

    When a black woman works or interacts with any other group of men she must always see herself as a woman capable of attracting a good man of any ethnic/racial group.

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  11. "Plus I can not understand how she is so wrapped up in defining who is Black and who is not when to me that is clinging to the black community and defining what is and what is not Black. She is talking about somehow expelling light skinned and biracial people from the Black race (as if she could make that happen). What's the benefit of that really? There would just be a caste of biracial people who are seen as better than Black people so that's no different from now. But it could result in biracial people not acknowledging that they are Black and therefore, anything they achieve can not be claimed by Black folks (e.g., Black folks can not claim a president if she wants a future where Obama is not considered Black). She may think that Black folks will get more opportunities or something, but based on this economy there are going to be fewer and fewer race-based opportunities. A biracial person is still a visible minority so they would still get race-based opportunities. Anyways, her writing perplexes me because she is sounding like a race purist and I don't know why someone progressive is so attached to physical markers of race."

    None of these women have the power to expelled anyone from the race. LOL.Every time I hear some of them speak I cringe because frankly they cannot stop anyone from being favored if this is the case. Many Africans living in the West are also pushing this too. Even though they are the first ones to bleach their skins .
    God and nature are balanced, precise and full of wisdom.

    Dark skinned is the only complexion that looks beautiful with heavy facial features. I have seen African women who have bleached their skins and only to appear unattractive simply because their heavy features show up over pronounced on their forced bleached faces. Light/pale skin has vast limitations, it only looks good with fine facial features. Whereas dark skin looks good with both heavy and fine facial features, pale skin does not have that kind of flexibility. Go figure, and do not argue with God.

    Dark skinned women do not have anything less over any other women of any other skin color where beauty is concerned.

    Black people need to get that one in their heads. If black people just begin to raise their children with a normal sense of pride in themselves, then we would not have some of the problems we are having, that are simply based on how black people see themselves as opposed to other people. Raise your children right and this will disappear.

    In the Western world, there are two set of light skinned black people. The first set came from the union of white men exerting their power over black women during slavery. This is the DNA that a good many black people carry in their genes, often even perplexing some of us today when we see so many skin shades/colors among our families .Much of this group of people had loyalty to black people. Africans will never understand this. They have just arrived on these shores. This is why when I listen to some of them I just have to laugh and chalk it up as color envy.

    The second group of light skinned people stems from the recent mixture of white and black marriages. Often some of the members of this group are not loyal to black people.

    I have a problem with some people finding faults only with the behavior or disloyalty of light skinned and biracial ones, when a good number of dark skinned blacks are doing the same thing.
    Both groups have been an equal opportunity in shaming and showing disloyalty to black people.Right now I only support black people who are respectful and show loyalty to black people.
    I have no time for those who are disloyal or shame/ embarrass black people.And this is my personal standard. I am foreign born and no one owes me anything and on the same hand I owe no one anything either.

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    1. Not all light skin people are a product of miscegenation. There are light skin people, who are a product of two Black parents. I know because I have seen it in my family and most of my relatives don't have any recent non Black admixture.

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  12. I happen to disagree with this article. I am quite ambivalent with much of the content of the article because I highly doubt an Afro Canadian woman like yourself can fully understand the depths of this situation. But it does affect many Black American women living in the United States. Though I don't claim to speak for all Black woman residing in the United States, I will articulately express how I feel about the whole Rachel Dolezal situation and how it affects many Black American women.

    Rachel Dolezal pretended to be a biracial woman, who was a product of a White mother and Black father. She didn't pretend to be a Black woman because she knows that the average Black woman doesn't have the same social rank in the Black Community that a biracial woman does. So she knew that she would be believable as wore a fake tan and fake curly wig to pass as a biracial woman because more Black people would listen to a biracial woman speak out against injustices against Black people than listen to a Black woman.

    As a first generation American of Caribbean descent, I and many other American Black woman are disgusted that this woman pretended to be ''Black'' because she took away many important opportunities from Black women. To me, this makes Rachel Dolezal, a fraud. Also this promotes the erasure of Black women because a non Black woman could pretend to be a Black woman in order to have access to resources that should have gone to Black woman. How wrong is that? Would you like it if a White Canadian woman pretended to be a ''Black woman'', participated in predominately Black organizations and took away opportunities that should have gone to Afro Canadian woman such as yourself? Think about it.



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  13. I couldn't put this into the other post because it exceeded the number of characters needed to write a post.

    ''If we can just admit that people will always claim appropriation when a White person embraces Black culture then why are there all these dance classes teaching White folks Black dances? Why are they allowed at Black universities? Why are white rappers embraced? Why are Black folks selling artifacts to White folks vacationing in Africa or the Caribbean? Why are Black folks calling for White folks to listen to their stories and to value their culture but freak when they assimilate any of that culture? If you don't want to be assimilated then you have to keep your culture secret! But you aren't doing that, you are plastering your culture everywhere, selling it, and then getting pissed when people like it and want to be like you. I don't understand that! There are cultures that keep themselves secret, underground, and they keep outsiders out. I don't understand how Black folks can have their culture out in the open, selling it, and then complain about appropriation.''

    I do find this paragraph to be quite cringe worthy and lacking of any understanding and knowledge of cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation is when a dominant culture takes aspects of another culture, often times this culture is the subordinating one. According to Race Relations.about.com, cultural appropriation is:

    “Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else's culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture's dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc. It's most likely to be harmful when the source community is a minority group that has been oppressed or exploited in other ways or when the object of appropriation is particularly sensitive, e.g. sacred objects.”

    There is a power relationship in display when it comes to cultural appropriation and the definition clearly states this. A White person can enjoy music and customs associated with Black people but he has to respect certain boundaries. Your argument about Black people wanting to wear their hair like White people and so on is a straw man's argument because Black people lack economic and political power. Black people aren't in the position to appropriate such customs then because they are apart of the minority group. In essence, Black people adopting the cultural norms of White people and people int he dominant group are assimilating not appropriating.


    Link to the page:

    http://racerelations.about.com/od/diversitymatters/fl/What-Is-Cultural-Appropriation-and-Why-Is-It-Wrong.htm

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