No, It's Not OK To Adopt Black Culture If You're Not Black

No, It's Not OK To Adopt Black Culture If You're Not Black

And no, it does not make me feel comfortable.
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Black History Month, Marvel's "Black Panther," constant success across the country from young artists and go-getters all around, what isn't there to enjoy about black culture in today's society? It seems that almost now more than ever having pride in just being a black individual is at an all-time high, with seemingly no sign of that dropping anytime soon. Now I know I've literally said the word "black" about 4 times in the first paragraph of this piece and it may be a bit uncomfortable, but culture is something we should all be open and willing to talk about with an open mind.

As a 20-year-old minority, born and raised in NYC, trust me when I say I've had my fair share of strife with who I am as an individual in this ever-growing world. Throughout middle school and high school, I had a constant battle going on in my mind about whether I wanted to embrace who I was or deny it and try to fit in with most of society's standards. Gladly at age 20, I can now say that I'm glad I took the time out to learn and embrace my culture because, at the end of the day, it's who I am.

That's not to say that every day, myself and many others still don't encounter problems with people either underestimating, undermining, or just misunderstanding black culture. Whether it comes to hair, clothes, music, or language, it's important to know that black culture is exactly that. BLACK culture.

Now before I start, I want everyone to know that this piece is not, and never will say that everyone no matter what race, gender, preference, or ideal, cannot partake in enjoying and supporting black culture. UNDERSTAND, that there is a huge difference but a very thin line between understanding a culture and undermining it. It almost becomes second nature of minorities all across the U.S. to ignore microaggressions and continue with everyday life like nothing ever happened.

What happens when someone asks to touch your hair? Or when someone who isn't black says the n-word? Whether it's calling me your "brotha" or just blatantly yelling Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow" because you automatically assume I know the lyrics, know that these things ARE NOT OK within the black community.

Excuse me if I rant a bit (as I'm really trying my best to make a good impression here) but as a young African-American, I should not have to tell you that these things make me uncomfortable. It's one thing when it's coming from someone who you know has gone through the same struggles as you, but it becomes a different and more hostile story when the n-word or anything along those lines comes from someone who you know has no clue what your specific culture has gone through. If I wouldn't dare do something specific to your culture in an attempt to make you feel comfortable when we both know I have no clue what I'm doing or saying, what makes you think it's ok to do the same towards me?

No matter how popularized a certain phrase is, or how much of a "bop" that new Migos track is, it doesn't mean it's OK for you to say it in front of my face in an attempt for you to fit in with who I am. Diversity and sharing of certain cultural traits is a beautiful thing. Food, art, language, and ideals are only a few things that join us as humans together and make us beautiful. Before you say that word though, get that henna tattoo, wear that dashiki, ask that girl if you can touch her hair, or even assume that guy can just automatically speak Spanish because of how he looks, think about how it makes that person feel. I know the headline of this article says 'Black Culture,' but know that these rules (for the most part) are universal, across almost all cultures.

I can't begin to tell you how uncomfortable I've felt around people who feel like they need to acknowledge my culture in order to make me feel comfortable. Whether it's at school, work, or just on the street, a day seems to never go by without somebody pointing out indirectly that I'm black.

I work at the NHL store in New York City. I've been a fan of the National Hockey League since I was about four (which has been a struggle in and of itself). Seemingly every day, a fellow co-worker of mine never fails to acknowledge me as his "brotha." Note, that co-worker is not black. Actually, I don't think I'd be wrong if I said I believe he gets a little on edge every time a black person walks into a hockey store just to check out some apparel. Of course, after a couple days I called him out on it, but that's not the point. The point is, my strife is felt from people of all cultures across the world because for some reason certain individuals feel the need to identify me with who they THINK I am based on how I look.

Do not adopt my culture because you think it'll make me like you more.

Do not adopt my culture period, UNLESS you've taken the time to study, understand, and acknowledge it.

Even then, tread lightly.

I know I sound like an angst-filled young minority at this point, but I write this with good meaning. Please understand that it makes people uncomfortable when you acknowledge them based on their race. Please understand that it is not your right to adopt black culture, or any culture for that matter, because you feel it's the new fad or it'll make me like you more.

Take those cornrows out of your head.

Please take off that dashiki.

Don't get that henna tattoo.

No, that sari and/or bindi is not for you.

A Native American is not a Halloween costume.

Addressing a Hispanic person as Señor does not make them comfortable.

Do not dread your hair if you have no trace of a natural curl pattern.

Take the time to understand those around you. One less micro aggression or act of appropriation makes the world a much better place.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay / Pexels

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The 17 Best Unpopular Opinions From The Minds Of Millennials

Yes, dogs should be allowed in more places and kids in less.
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There are those opinions that are almost fact because everyone agrees with them. Waking up early is horrible. Music is life. Sleep is wonderful. These are all facts of life.

But then there are those opinions that hardly anyone agrees with. These ones -- from Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit -- are those types of opinions that are better left unsaid. Some of these are funny. Some are thought-provoking. All of them are the 17 best unpopular opinions around.

1. My favorite pizza is Hawaiian pizza.

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3. I love puns... Dad jokes FTW.

4. Milk in the cup first... THEN the bloody tea.

5. I wish dogs were allowed more places and kids were allowed fewer places.

6. "Space Jam" was a sh*t movie.

7. Saying "money cannot buy happiness" is just wrong.

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11. Alternative pets are for weird people.

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Coffee Consideration: Pedophilia & The LGBT Community

Part 1 of the issue surrounding pedophilia and the LGBT community beginning with my personal feelings.

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Dear people who think pedophilia deserves a spot on the LGBT spectrum,

When I first read that 'pedophilia,' was being considered as being added among the LGBT community, I nearly spit out my coffee.

There were even Ted Talks featuring different people using phrases such as, 'they have feelings too,' and, 'we should consider all sexualities.'

My nose turned up, and the coffee I was drinking became a sudden catalyst to potential vomit. For the life of me, I couldn't understand why this was even being an idea to promote.

Now, I speak directly to those who feel compelled to 'consider the feelings,' of those who identify as pedophiles: did that person consider the feelings of the child they preyed upon?

I'm trying to find an image in my mind where a child's feelings were taken into consideration before their innocence was stripped cleanly away from them without protest. Alas, there are none that exist in my mind. No amount of Ted Talks will change that.

Even while I write this, I am still utterly shell-shocked that we live in an age where something in previous eras that was found to be horrific is now being pushed into society as a normality.

Any time someone wants to tell me that I'm black Alice and have accidentally fallen into Dysfunctional-land, please let me know immediately.

The LGBT community is not a lab where you can test out your ideas to see if they will work or not for the rest of society. It is a place in which people, some being my loved ones, had to fight and still are fighting to live within every day. There are people that have even died just to do so. If you'd like a metaphor, their community is their home, and your seeing pedophilia as a sexuality is the unwelcomed guest that walked in, kicked their feet up on the coffee table, and asked, 'what's for dinner?'

You are trying to place one of the most inexcusable acts onto another body of people, which is an absolute insult. I see this 'revelation' of yours as spitting in the face of the entire LGBT community.

You've actually inspired me to go catch up with the LGBT community so we can further discuss this atrocity over more coffee. That's the only thing you've done right, it seems, so, thank you?

Do you have children or know of children you are close to within your personal life? The next time you utter another word about having a pedophile pass as a person who is misunderstood, remember the face of the child you encounter every day. That is the very same person your 'misunderstood pedophile,' wants to prey upon.

Your opinion is your very own, but to summarize my feelings on everything I just said, I'll use the most informal approach in case you got confused along the way while reading:

You tried it.


Unapologetically,

Coffee Consideration

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