'Tis the Season

'Tis the Season

...for cultural misappropriation...

Tis the season for cultural appropriation. Around this time of year, people get really upset about people dressing as characters, actors/actresses, and singers/rappers of other races. Honestly, I think many people call "misappropriation" at the wrong times. Unpopular opinion: let the little white girl dress up as Moana.

I know I'll receive a lot of backlash for this but before we get into it, I just want it to be known that this is completely my opinion. Don't try to prove me wrong or try to knock me, though I know someone will, here we go!

There was something in the news recently that said that some people are upset about little girls dressing as Moana. The only thing a little girl knows is that she loves Moana and that she's been "staring at the edge of the water long as she can remember".

Now I will say, labeling something culturally appropriate does make sense when someone is doing it with the purpose of being vacuous. It is true, though, that sometimes this does happen on Halloween. But I think when someone is paying tribute to someone of a different race or if the person in the costume is a 7-year-old little girl, the term shouldn't be used to break someone down.

I saw that Kim Kardashian dressed as Aaliyah to "pay tribute to her" and Twitter tore her to shreds. Figuratively, of course. Kim Kardashian and her family are always in the spotlight, somehow, some way. I feel like this isn't cultural appropriation, though. She tweeted right before she came out in all of her costumes, in which she dressed as Madonna and Cher, and said, "My Halloween theme this year is Icons! Musical legends!!! Paying homage to some of my faves!" This doesn't fall into the "cultural misappropriation" column. I could see if she chose to dress as Harriet Tubman or Rosa Parks, then I would label it more than a Halloween costume.

I think that cultural appropriation is when someone dresses as a "Mexican" or a black person or an Asian etc. etc. But if a child wants to dress as Pocahontas, let her dress like Pocahontas. If a little white, black, Asian, Latina girl wants to dress as Moana or Mulan, let her do it. She's not choosing to do blackface. Cultural appropriation. She didn't say, "Mom, I want to be Sojourner Truth for Halloween." What does a 7-year-old TRULY know about Sojourner Truth? Nothing much.

I'm just saying, we should learn the difference between paying tribute, dressing as your hero or your favorite Disney character and cultural appropriation. We should also learn not to hurt ourselves over everything that happens. Don't start a riot or a Twitter argument over a little kid, or a Kim Kardashian.

Start arguments over childhood obesity, gas prices, THE PRESIDENT, global warming, ya know, the things that matter. But when something is being culturally misappropriated then, by all means, rage on.

Cover Image Credit: Everyday Feminism

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Dear Harley Barber, You're Only Sorry Because You Got Caught

Stop begging for mercy for the life of your dreams and start working on your inappropriate behavior.

If you haven't heard the story of University of Alabama student Harley Barber, let me catch you up for a minute:

Harley Barber posted a video on her finsta account in which she repeatedly used the n-word. After posting the video, her followers called her out on her actions and reported what she said. The next day, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at that, Barber posted ANOTHER video saying she didn't regret what she said. In the video, Barber repeatedly used the same racial slur. Following this incident going viral, Barber was removed as a student from the University of Alabama and is no longer considered a member of her sorority, Alpha Phi.

Following being removed from both her university and her sorority, Barber said, "I feel so, so bad and I am so sorry."

Here's the thing, Harley Barber. You are NOT sorry for what you said. You are sorry because you got caught.

I'm not an idiot to the world of finsta, in fact, I have one myself. I know well that the average college student posts things on their finsta that are not appropriate - hence why the accounts are private and typically the only people we let follow us are close friends. But racism is where it crosses the line. It's one thing to post pictures of you, a college freshman I assume, drinking alcohol on your finsta. It's when you post videos of yourself using a HIGHLY inappropriate and racially charged video that you deserve your punishment whole-heartedly.

You are not sorry for what you said. You meant EVERY word you said, hence why you found it appropriate to post the second video and drop the n-word multiple times. You don't care that you're a racist and I highly doubt you'll ever change your behavior.

What you DO care about is the fact that your ignorance got your removed from not only your dream school but also your sorority, the one you were clear to say in your second video that you dreamed of being in since high school. In that video, you made it seem like the only thing you cared about was your reputation with Alpha Phi, and honestly, that wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.

I'm typically the kind of person that gives people the benefit of the doubt. I assume that regardless of what they did or said, they are sorry when they say they're sorry and genuinely prove that they regret their actions. It's your second video that proves to me that you are not sorry for what you did - you're just begging for mercy to keep the life of your dreams.

I sincerely hope that you are sorry for what you've said, even if I'm still not convinced. I hope that you realize you are, indeed, a racist. You've learned the hard way that attending a school in the south doesn't give you an automatic free pass to racism. I'm glad that the University of Alabama and Alpha Phi responded in the way they did and that you are removed. Racism should never, ever be tolerated and it is my hope that after realizing what a racist post on finsta can do for you, you'll begin to see that your behavior is unacceptable. Maybe eventually you will be sincerely sorry.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Why I Hate The Term “Privilege”

There is always going to be someone that has something you don't have.

When I was young, I was always taught to be grateful for what I have because some people don't have those same resources. I was always taught to be humble and appreciate what life throws my way - whether it was going to a fully functioning public school, having running water, having a family, or being bilingual.

Now that I'm in college, I see things differently and from a mature standpoint. It's easy to fall back into selfish ways and sulk about what you don't have. It's something a lot of people do. Single girls complaining about that boy they can't have, a sophomore not getting that scholarship they worked so hard to apply for, and so forth. These are just simple examples of what I am trying to explain.

Lately I have been reading up further on social media, diving deeper into those links that people share. Often, I come across the word "privilege". Each year I've lived, I have grown increasingly tired of hearing it. You hear it used in a variety of contexts stemming from, "use your privilege," "white privilege," "female privilege," "male privilege," and so forth.

I don't like the way that these phrases are presented, and are often connotated with hate. There's always going to be someone with something that you don't have. Women are always going to have vaginas, men are always going to have penises, those are just facts. It's not a female privilege to have this biological necessity, and vice versa for men.

When it comes to college, some students have parents that support them financially, and step in to pay some bills. Other students receive emotional support from friends and loved ones. There's no privilege associated with this scenario, but I am sure there are people that disagree.

People need to work hard and put effort into their lives to live an earnest and modest life. There's no such privilege associated with it. And that's why I hate the word privilege.

Cover Image Credit: The Politics of Poverty

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