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February 2013

Regarding The White “Harlem Shake”

I’ve read some interesting perspectives regarding this latest dance meme such as Son of Baldwin’s short post on this, noting cultural appropration, but I have also read some posts and seen some tweets where Black people are criticizing other Black people…for criticizing White cultural appropration. Yeah…that happens. Anyway, I am not about that life, and I sent some tweets about fellow Black people taking this stance:

I keep hearing arguments from Black people such as Black people should be “happy” about White cultural appropriation, solely for their own pleasure, White LIES that they “invented” this dance and logically fallicious arguments that state that to adress this particular instance of appropration means that we forgot the multitudes of preceding instances of appropration or forgot our own culture. These are lies. These Black people think aligning themselves with White supremacy means that they are being more “rational” than Black people who have something to say in opposition to this, but to me, they’re just being more self-defeating and internalizing White supreamcist thought.

One thing that some of us need to understand is that someone White using what we create for their own pleasure, production and profit is not the same thing as them loving us, the people. What greater recent example of this than White police officers arresting the rapper 2Chainz, and then asking to pose with him for a photograph? As I tweeted earlier today:

I am not required to applaud White cultural appropration in any instance. Just like fellow Black people can share opinions that reinforce White supremacy, I can share ones that challenge it. And, doing so doesn’t mean that I am blinded with rage in every case; I honestly laughed at the predictability with which this latest meme unfolded.

Oh yeah and…no, they aren’t even actually doing the Harlem Shake, the correct dance.

Oh yeah and…I prefer the original Harlem Shake over this current version of the “Harlem Shake.”

Related Posts: The Cycle of Cultural Appropration, Nikki Giovanni quote on Black CultureWhiteness Is NOT Universal

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    for New York and...is old. Interesting article.
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