Whites’ Exploitation of Black Culture (Cultural Appropriation) 101 is a new Storify that I just published in reference to the VMAs and cultural appropriation in general. Like many people I know, I was genuinely disgusted by the images from the VMAs. I did not watch the show and I am glad. However, the images, tweets and essays regarding the show are traumatizing enough.
This Storify contains MULTIPLE essays, Storify stories and tweets on the topic; some are by me and some are by other writers/tweeters. It will take a while to get through the whole thing as to why I called it a “101” post, like a course.
Let me be as clear as possible. Crystal clear. Vaseline on a finger tip clear. Do NOT come to this blog with: apologism; racist and White supremacist logic as to why you are entitled to be appropriative of Black culture; internalized White supremacist logic if you are a person of colour who applauds culture vultures, exploitation and oppression of Black people or other people of colour; fandom for the White celebrities who profit from exploitation of Black people and Black culture; White supremacist feminist rhetoric that eschews critique of Miley for cultural appropriation by claiming it’s solely about slut shaming, which means that you don’t understand how Black women’s culture is automatically deemed “slutty” anyway, how White womanhood as “purity” is constructed against Black womanhood as “deviant,” and how White women often complain about sexism to mask their racism, so you fucking suck as a feminist anyway; the politics of respectability and sexism that allows Robin Thicke’s and Justin Timberlake’s appropriation to be okay but not Miley Cyrus’, when all are problematic and exploitative either way; or any other nonsense. It will not be tolerated. Go see about me if you don’t know what Gradient Lair is about but don’t send for me unless I call you.
I added “101” since of course this does not cover every facet of appropriation. It mostly focuses on Black culture and White supremacist pop culture. There are many resources on this topic, via blogs on Tumblr and otherwise. Further there are many resources that discuss White supremacy, cultural appropriation and other cultures of people of colour besides Black. However this post is specifically about one facet of cultural appropriation.