15 Pictures That Prove White People Should Not Dress As Other Races

Vogue recently did another Blackface editorial. /Eyeroll. Let’s just break this issue down once and for all. When White people take parts of non-White people’s culture this is cultural appropriation. When White people wear blackface this is racist.

What is cultural appropriation? : “The adoption of some specific elements of one culture by a different cultural group. It describes acculturation or assimilation, but can imply a negative view towards acculturation from a minority culture by a dominant culture.”

So who is the dominant culture in the United States? White culture. Why is that? Africans were brought to the Americas by White Europeans as slaves. Genocide was committed against Native Americans by White Europeans and they were also held as slaves. Early architecture, railroads, bridges, mining and the like were built on the labor of Chinese immigrants who were discriminated against, paid poorly and disenfranchised. All so that those White Europeans who would become White Americans could have a sustainable economy and homes. When one race (in this case the White race) insists on marginalizing another race (every non-white race), the race that maintains all of the political, social and economic power will become the dominant race.

But all of these minority groups have rights now, so should it be OK to take parts of their culture? Nope. Because America’s White ancestors decided to do a lot of really silly, stupid shit (understatement of the century) to people of color, White people today still benefit from being the dominant culture. This is White privilege.

Wait. What is White privilege?  “It refers to the set of societal privileges that white people benefit from beyond those commonly experienced by people of color in the same social, political, or economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc). The term connotes both obvious and less obvious unspoken advantages that white individuals may not recognize they have, which distinguishes it from overt bias or prejudice. These include cultural affirmations of one’s own worth; greater presumed social status; and freedom to move, buy, work, play, and speak freely”

White people are considered the universal standard of everything: beauty, intelligence, wealth, .etc. It’s why people of any color have no problem going to see a movie with an all White cast but when a movie features an all Black cast it’s considered a “Black movie for Black people.” It’s also why although every race has equal rights, White people still maintain most positions of power and there is an overwhelming disparity between the representation of Whites and people of color in all fields of work.

So why can’t I wear Blackface or dress like a Native American or have a Bollywood themed party even though I am not racist? As a White person you have White privilege. When you dress up like a Native American or when a model puts on Blackface, the model is still recognized as a White person but since they have appropriated the dress of other cultures they are seen as a “cultured” or “exotic” White person. It’s like when you go on vacation to Morocco or Costa Rica and bring back an interesting fabric or piece of jewelry as a souvenir and everyone thinks you’re “cool.” The reality is that the people who actually wear headdresses or who have Black skin or who wear bindis have to deal with all of the social, economic and political marginalization that is associated with that culture. For example, a White model might look fashionable painted with Black skin but someone who is actually born with that skin color will inevitably be associated with a certain race and thereby have to deal with all the prejudices that come with being that race. However a White person will never have to deal with that when appropriating culture because of White privilege.

Furthermore. White people, being the dominant culture that they are, when they appropriate the cultures of other races to the world that representation of the culture is the one that everyone sees. It’s only inevitable that unless you grew up as a part of a certain culture you won’t fully understand it enough to represent it. When White people portray other races they are sending a misleading image of that race or culture to the world. Essentially it promotes racial and cultural stereotypes.

Remember, having “good intentions” does not mean your worldview or behavior isn’t racist or ignorant.

Next check out “When Black Celebs Become White”



  1. Car says:

    Amen. This is the best explanation I have ever seen.

  2. sam says:

    stop your bitching

    1. Eve says:

      Stop your ignorance and stop being disrespectful. If you disagree, there are mature ways to say so smh.

  3. Cho says:

    a movie with an all white cast isn't a big deal cos the proportion of white people to black people is way more. for example, if you walk into a store and only see white people you wouldn't notice but if you walk into a store and see only black people there's probably a reason for the unnaturally high proportion

    1. Emmie says:

      "Unnaturally high proportion?" LMAO.

  4. Sumati says:

    people need to stop being so sensitive! how the hell is a bollywood themed party racist! if you take offense to any of the pictures in the slideshow, its only cause you want to and not cause theres anything remotely offensive

    1. Eve says:

      "if you take offense to any of the pictures in the slideshow, its only cause you want to and not cause theres anything remotely offensive"

      That is utterly ridiculous smh.

  5. Candice says:

    I dont think blackface would still be happening if it werent offensive. That being said I dont care about it to a degree a frat party doing blackface. Ok. They are idiotic bored rich people. Vogue on the other hand can do better.

  6. Hannah says:

    Personally, I don't think its disrespectful at all and I don't get why its being made into such a big deal. I read the article and I think that while White people have had a history of racism I very much believe that in today's world racism is no where near as prevalent and I think the more different cultures take offense and make EVERYTHING that they possibly can into a race issue whether it is or not. In my opinion, it kind of makes the people making a big deal about it the ones who are racist. I shouldn't be punished because of things my ansestor's did ages ago, just like you shouldn't be punished because of your race.
    Also, side note, there happen to be a lot of places in this world where race is a much bigger deal than it is in America today. And genecides happen among many races including between one black tribe and another.

  7. Pam says:

    I can see from the comments in this thread that the author might as well have been talking to the cat. Some people are just dense.

  8. Linus706 says:

    I get so sick of people talking about whites being racists and bringing up slavery. You guys act like white people were the most horrendous people in the world, YET it was YOUR OWN race who sold you out. Your African ancestral countrymen who captured and sold your ancestors to the white people. African tribes brutalized and enslaved other tribes, same with Native Americans. Your ancestral countrymen TODAY brutally murder and enslave each other! Yet, you guys still continue crying over something you have NEVER experience…slavery. In fact, you SHOULD be GRATEFUL and appreciate what your ancestors suffered because now you are HERE, FREE and have EVERY RIGHT as white people. You are NOT in Africa, being murdered, being enslaved. You have the BEST opportunities HERE NOW than anywhere else! Unless you feel cheated out of growing up in Africa and plan to move back there, NONE of y'all have any right to complain. Racism is one thing, but stop bringing up slavery as if YOU are suffering from it. You have no idea what your ancestors went through, or what your race in Africa are going through now. Pathetic whiners.

    1. @agenfrida says:

      If there were no buyers, there were no sellers, thus, there'd be no market for slavery. End of story!

    2. BlackThought 34 says:

      What are your facts to substantiate your assumptions, have you not read the "New Jim Crow", and other works. You are delusional we are not free, and what rights do you speak of? Again you engage in the simplistic notion that since Africans enslaved other Africans that the conditions that were created are justified. Why don't you study Dr. John Henry Clarke and other African scholars who disprove your simple and stupid statement. Do you tell the Jews to stop bringing up the holocaust? Of course not you damn hypocrite. Who created the conditions that effect African today. Once again a white supremacist justifying the satanic acts committed by enlarge by who ? WHITES

    3. Maria says:

      THANK YOU!!! I TOTALLY agree!!

    4. Christine says:

      All the civil wars that are going on in Africa these days are caused by colonialism of white people in the past. If you have a look at the border lines between the countries in Africa you will see they are straight lines almost. Why? Because the colonialists (French, English, Belgians etc) divided the countries between them without taking into consideration geography and the differences between the tribes that were living there (language differences, cultural background etc). The result is very diverse cultural groups finding difficulties living in the same country. Of course I agree that you can't just generalise and say that all white people are evil, because that is racism.

    5. emeraldgritty says:

      You're right, I am so glad millions of people were enslaved, tortured, raped, not allowed to speak their own language, removed from their families and loved ones, forbidden from education and literacy, and reduced to subhuman beings so that I can really appreciate McDonalds.

    6. Laurin says:

      What you said was greatly offensive to me. Regradless of all the borderline racist things you said, you also pointed out that Black people have the same rights as white people. Obviously you don't know what goes on in the world around you or you choose to be oblivious. Yes on paper, we all have the same rights, but that does not translate to the real world. As a black person, you could have the same qualifications or more than a white person, but that white person will always get the job over a black person…even if they went to jail. Maybe racism isn't as out in the open as in the 60s but it still exists.

  9. Chelsea says:

    Okay first of all, The last photo wasn’t even trying to portray a race. It was just blackening the model out as a form of an ad. Secondly, some pictures were just art and I think its beautiful. Also I’m white but have a lot of native American blood pumping in my veins and am proud of it so if I wanna wear feathers and dreamcatchers and dress like Pochantas, imma do it. Lastly, this article is riddled with racism and stereotypes. Its kind of funny and ironic but I think people should just stop being so darn sensitive and let people live their own lives.

    1. emeraldgritty says:

      You're right acknowledging that White people owned slaves and Black people were slaves and Native Americans were murdered in mass is perpetuating false stereotypes – oh wait, no that actually happened.

    2. sick and tired says:

      you need to get over yourself and your hatred and things that happened in the past,just like someone else said ,people experience discrimination or injustice every day regardless of their race , i know i was at the end of it at my work, dont blame your problems on people that had nothing to do with it,its just an excuse .you can do anything you want if you put your mind and hard work to it ,there are lots of non white people who are rich and successful, how did they get there? by not whining about situations and going out and working hard to get there, and making good choices

    3. But how do you think the people around me would think if I was a black man walked around in white face trying to portray something that I'm not? I know that there would be TONS of people who would find that offensive. And I could just say that I'm in whiteface, I'm not being racist…

    4. Jessie says:

      Preach Girl!

  10. Laurin says:

    For the people that say they don't take offense to white people in black face, you obviously don't understand the historical connotation behind it. Also Instead of these magazines putting white models in black face, they should hire Black models to do the shoots. Now you have to wonder why they don't hire black models as much as they do white models, and racism is one of the reasons.

  11. MNWalsh says:

    You realize that some of these aren't trying to be other races, right? Illamasqua didn't want someone to look ethnic African or black but to be painted black for an editorial. Michelle Williams had braids and a piece of wheat in her hair. How in the world is that racist? Have you seen So You Think You Can Dance? They do Bollywood dances and dress in cultural Indian garb. How is that racist? I agree that painting a woman brown and giving her a fro is racist or insensitive, but a lot of these aren't. America's Next Top Model had two photo shoots, created by Tyra Banks who is not white, came up with that had girls portray different races. Bollywood has permeated main stream pop culture. I don't think wearing Indian clothing is offensive at all. Native American clothing isn't offensive either. Hello, shawls and South Western designs are based off Native American looks and designs. I get some of these, but others are just being overly sensitive.

  12. Sylvia says:

    I find it ironic that you preach about racism while lumping all white people together. We are not our ancestors. (I am not White, by the way I am Mexican). Your post reminds me of the "social justice" side of tumblr. The most racist people I have ever come across are people that preach about "white privilege."

    1. @carmonkie says:

      mexican is not a race. you are probably white, black or mestizo. maybe mulatto. get your races right.

  13. Mason says:

    This is stupid. The more you bring up color, the more of an issue it will continue to be. These ads are not insulting religion or specific cultural traditions, so please RELAX. (I'm part Native American btw…zero problems with the Native Victoria Secret Model…)
    Everyone was a slave once…the Romans and Greeks took slaves from whatever people they conquered…black or white.
    I think Morgan Freeman really addressed the issue of racism well. "Stop talking about it. I`m going to stop calling you a white man. And I`m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man". – when asked how to get rid of racism in an interview with Mike Wallace on "60 Minutes"

  14. Audri says:

    I personally think your articles are straight on. Someone can't tell another person that he/she should not be offended based on race. Besides, if race truly was not still an issue today, racial issues/slurs would not be present in their comment on how they are "tired" of someone pulling the race card. Look at the very top CEO's, politicians, celebrities, etc. and you will find that the majority is white and until I personally see some diversity, I, as many others will, continue to speak of what we feel about racism.

  15. Maria says:

    Want to see racial/cultural appropriation? Take a look at pictures of Beyonce or Nicki Minaj cuz I'm pretty sure black people don't have naturally blonde hair (eyeroll). This article is just racist against white people. You don't want white people to touch anything having to do with blacks; well I'm pretty sure Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for UNITING blacks and whites not telling them what they can/cannot do just because of their skin color. If a white person were to write this article you'd have Al Sharpton all over it screaming racism and injustice. So shut up and keep your ignorance to yourself.
    Hispanic woman

    1. Alison says:


    2. Melisa says:

      No. Think outside of white and black. I am a woman of color and i support this article. Colored individuals need to be empowered too. This article does just that. No need to call the writer ignorant because that's her opinion.


      One hispanic woman to another.

    3. Jenna says:

      Yes, but think about it, why shouldn't a selena gomez get to do a bollywood themed dance number just because she's white (wich she isn't she's hispanic)? That's kind of being racist back at her, isn't it?

    4. Kramer says:

      Actually there are races who have dark skin and they are born with blond hair and blue eyes . Google it

    5. ggg says:

      actually your a fucking idiot

  16. BadWolf says:

    How about not allowing a Polish guy to wear a kilt? Herr Schmidt to wear a beret?

    Thankfully, my love of Native American culture is "allowed" by clotpoles like you, thanks to my Great-Grandmother being Native American.

    Otherwise, bog off.

  17. Letcha Stevons says:

    I find it interesting that you make many, many comments about white vs non-white groups in relation to slavery when the original slave trade thousands of years ago was controlled by Muslim merchants, was common between different African tribes, and regardless, the largest number of slaves from Africa were sent to Brazil to work on Portuguese sugar plantations. Even more than that, in places like Russian and northern European countries white people were used as slaves thousands of years before Africans were put into slavery. I mean there is no doubt the whole slave trade was horrendous, but there shouldn't be blame placed on one singular race. I personally do find some of the "blackface" pictures/ads to be extremely racist and agree that there is racism or inequality in our country still today but adding more hate wont help solve the problem.

    1. emeraldgritty says:

      This isn't an article about slavery, it's an article about blackface and cultural appropriation. Of course there have been slaves of all races in just about every culture but those histories (though we should be aware of them) aren't fundamentally relevant to the slave culture of the united states, which is inherently about Whites owning Blacks.

  18. annie says:


  19. NAB says:

    The writer of this article is a complete idiot. There is only one race moron…humans.

    1. Snoopybeard says:

      Tell that to the million killed and enslaved around the planet, pretty sure they thought that until a murderous reality brought that illusion to a bloody end.

  20. Rachel says:

    Dear God. I am sick and tired of people talking about racism and 'White Privileges".
    First off, If there are indeed White Privileges, I'd like to know where the hell they are, because I have sorely missed out. If you're talking about whites having the right to vote or getting to sit anywhere they want, then yes. You're right. We do have privileges, but so have all the other races for the past forty eight years. We don't get a special ballot or anything, so I don't see why everyone complains. WE get off our ASSES and work like everyone else to get what we want. If that gets us called racist, well damn, I guess I'm racist.
    Second, these are magazine ads. It's their job to dress people up in weird shit and take pictures of them. People like it and it's eye catching when something is taken and changed dramatically, ie. someone's skin color. If you didn't notice, on ANTM ALL of the models had to do race changes.
    Third, white people are NOT the only people that are racist. I just moved from Alabama to Virginia. All of my 20 years of living in AL, I've seen very little racism. When I was in high school, kids laughed and joked when they called each other names. When I moved up to VA, I was surprised at how much racism there was. I am white and surprisingly I was the butt of a lot of racist remarks. Did I get my ass on my shoulders? No, I got the hell over it.

    1. Relleghan says:

      You have to have some intelligence to comprehend what the article is saying. As a white person your comment is not surprising.

  21. MomoChanDesu says:

    People in this world need a giant wake up call. RACISM IS STILL VERY MUCH ALIVE. Some, not all, but some White people need to stop living their lives willy nilly with their heads shoved so far up there asses that they fail to see the world around them. Denying that something is racist doesn't make it any less racist. Admitting that something is racist, doesn't make it racist. If its racist its racist. Just because you cannot relate to a persons skin color, life experiences and situations, does not make you an authority on whether or not something is racist or whether a person should or should not be offended. WHITE PEOPLE HAVE NO RIGHT to tell any person of color to stop being overly sensitive and or stop being offended. Until you can actually walk a day in our shoes, SHUT THE HELL UP. If you claim to be truly educated, understanding and a "non-racist", then you will respect the history of people and respect their feelings. If you don't understand why something is racist, ask someone about it with an open mind. There is nothing racist about this article. It is meant to educate and inform. Most White people cannot even recognize the privileges allotted to them simply based on the fact that they are White. Most take absolutely no heed to the disadvantages people of color have just because they are not White. You are White, therefore by default you are privileged in ways you cannot even comprehend. Why? Because you cant see, experience and feel the differences. Unlike with every other race in this world, your skin color does not define who you are. Wake up! Stop trying to defend your right to wear a Pocahontas costume. I understand that reading an article like this can feel like you are being accused of something just because you are White. And I am fully aware that every race has issues with dishing out and receiving racism. No one is asking you to take responsibility for what your ancestors did. People of color are simply asking for more understanding and acknowledgement of what exist around you. If this article hurt your feelings, I am sorry, but it pales in comparison to the feelings of a Black person having to see a White person dressed in Blackface.

    1. jjjfjfj says:

      racism is alive because people like you keep that shit alive

  22. silly says:

    …Selena Gomez isn't white

  23. bria says:

    Its funny becuase I liked some of the pictures. o.o

  24. gggg says:

    Did the black panther party commission this piece .

  25. love says:

    I am so glad Caribbean people don't get caught up in all this racsim crap

    1. Timba says:

      a lie

  26. anita bee says:

    Well black people dress in white face too and white people don’t get offended. do you see white people going around saying the movie WHITE CHICKS was racist? NO! so why is it not ok if a white person dress up as a black person and it’s perfectly ok for black people to dress up as folks? Why have a double standard? if it’s not ok with 1 then the movie white chicks should’ve been shunned by both the white and black community.. yet it’s a highly rated watched movie where nobody got offended.

  27. Alyosha Karamazov says:

    …Or maybe the "whites" are just drawing inspiration and elements from cultures other than their own. We can't have all white all the time–that would get a little bland.

  28. Afri Quenni says:

    linus 706, i am african beautiful girl, proud and so happy to live free in AFRICA TOO. stop telling that they are more opportunities for another black people around the world than those who living in Africa. You do not know everything about africans countries so..just shut up!

  29. Anastasia Whatley says:

    i wish you knew how stupid you are for classifing people im 15 an i know that your wrong! Being different cant be so bad that you have to poke an pick at people your going to be put on the spot one day an i hope it tears you apart emotionally & that you have to sit back and apologize for being so cruel . Stop being you and get a life.

  30. Krisanda says:

    This article is ridiculous. White people can't "wear blackface" but, black girls can get OBVIOUSLY fake BLONDE hair? One is racist and the other isn't! That makes sense. How about this. EVERY race out there is allowed to have pride for the color of their skin. White pride? YOU'RE A RACIST! Let this stupid crap go already and worry about things that actually matter.

    1. Zia says:

      People of color have naturally blonde hair (not all, but some) and lots of women wear fake hair not just black women. Blackface is racist no matter what, there is negative historical connotation behind it.

    2. Eve says:

      That's right, Zia! Krisanda is ignorant and is ridiculous with that black girls/blonde hair thing smh lol.

  31. You have a photo of Selena Gomez included in your whites should not dress as any other culture, besides there own.Hint GOMEZ, not white.

    1. Lauren says:

      Thinking the same thing haha

  32. FYI, Selena Gomez is Latin, not White, so you might want to get that straight. 10 & 11 were shots from America's Next Top Model, so talk to Tyra Banks about that. It was HER idea.

    And I would say this is kind of racist.

    1. Momof3 says:

      Latin/Hispanic is not a Race, it's a National Origin. She's Caucasian by Race and Hispanic by National Origin. Soooo, "you might wanna get that straight".

  33. Anonymous says:

    Selena Gomez is a white person of latin descent. Being Latino is not in itself a race. That is why when you are asked on applications and the like, if you are hispanic, there is a classification for white and non white. Pay attention.

  34. Amber says:

    i dont care what is being said but these pictures are hideous just because they are hideous lol..yuck..not because who is behind it,,,visually they just are not pleasing

  35. Katherine says:

    This article is insulting and shows how ignorant the writer is!

  36. kennedy says:

    coco perez is hispanic which means she has a certain amount of native american blood in her. this writer is simply ignorant.

  37. Johnny5 says:

    If you spend all your time hating or looking for something to hate then you are in fact part of the problem.
    Your knowledge in history is skewed. Every race, nation and creed is guilty of racism and slavery (not just white males). Black on black, white on black, black on white, brown on black, black on brown, Black on yellow, yellow on black. I could go on forever. There are millions of amazing people out there varying all shades of color. These are the people that make the world move forward, these are the people that better our species unlike the writer of this article.

    The point is it's stupid….I'm sick of this and it should just stop, but it wont stop when people keep perpetuating these ridiculous notions. Black, brown, yellow, green whatever your color….we are all the same species we all bleed the same blood. Lets drop the bullshit and move forward for the betterment of mankind, instead of perpetuating ignorance.

    1. Eve says:

      You must not know the history of Blackface; I suggest you do some research before calling something "bullshit" or "stupid." smh Blackface is extremely offensive and if you think it's stupid and ridiculous then you are the ignorant one. Art is one thing, but when doing things that have a history of being offensive, then the creator/artist should take that into consideration. I am not sure if the Bollywood and Native American references' being offensive, but I do know that Blackface is HIGHLY offensive.

  38. Angela says:

    She is speaking about cultural appropriation. Look her profile,
    Emerald is an editor at CollegeCandy, lover of coffee, and pretend francophile. After studying writing and popular culture at NYU she decided to be a grownup and get a job. Tweet at ya' girl @EmeraldGritty.

    It says that she is a "pretend francophile" Let's see the definition of francophile: A Francophile is an individual who has a strong positive predisposition or interest toward the government, culture, history, or people of France. This could include France itself or it's history, the French language, French cuisine, literature…

    So if she is a pretend francophile, she pretends to be french to make fun of the accent?

    So I don't know what she is talking about being racist and culture appropriation, I think she is just being racist and hating on white people or something :

  39. Raven says:

    Ya know, It's FUNNY that you speak off slavery & talk sideways out of your neck about it, but you FAIL to mention that arabs were selling whites & EVERY other race as slaves for hundreds of years. Skin color isn't the issue when it comes to slavery, u asshat. AND blacks don't have to monopoly on hardship, either, so you should THINK, before you release an article full of BS…

    & I call BS on the "white privilage" thing too – I wasn't born till 1968. You expect ME to be held accountable for everything that happened BEFORE then (i.e. civil rights, race clashes, lynchings, etc…)? You are FULL OF IT. Something ELSE you should THINK about: last it was ME checking, if you & I get shot & we are both lying there bleeding out, the color of our SKIN isn't going to determine who bleeds to death first. WHERE is the "privilage" then? Yeah, didn't THINK you had an answer for that… I work in an ER/Trauma unit, & I KNOW better. YOU should know better too.

    YOUR exact words – "…someone who is actually born with that skin color will inevitably be associated with a certain race and thereby have to deal with all the prejudices that come with being that race. However a White person will never have to deal with that…" How about whites accused of being racist JUST because they are white? Not ALL of us are racists, & we DON'T like being judged NOR being called "privileged", when 90% of white people WEREN'T born into wealth. We should go back to a "if you don't work, you DONT eat" society. Would teach some of these idiots to APPRECIATE things, & see things the way they REALLY are, instead of being assclowns talking about people being "privilaged", because of skin color. YOU are obviously brainwashed, and quite OBVIOUSLY ignorant.

    1. Carmen says:

      Agreed! I am a woman of color born in a poor urban community…but I never felt discriminated, put down or anything. I graduated HS, college and am now in law school. I married a white man from a small town in upstate NY and never thought twice about it. Our cultural differences are fun, funny AND NOT A BIG DEAL. Oh and I support HIM. People think he's had it easy because he's white. GIVE ME A BREAK. if anything he has experienced MUCH MORE discrimination in our 6 years together than I ever had since someone called me black in kindergarden. I feel bad because he is so hardworking, grew up in a working class family, and NEVER had anything handed to him. hes having a hard time getting hired. you would think it would be easy with a last name like "smith" dont you? get over it. that kind of racism is OVER. there is racism but this whole "we hate you cause you're black/brown/tan" is done in our society, generally. take responsibility for your OWN actions.

  40. AnonymusPerson says:

    Honestly from the comments here it's like your trying to prove that 3+2=90000 to a 20 year old. I get why you wrote this article. White people WERE stupid then. But that was like 1800-1900.This is 2013. They do get minor privileges like preference among people and they also get a lot more breaks than other people. People are much less racist now though but I admit there will always be some form of racism. But most of the time it is petty things like preferences. I admire you for being brave enough to write an article like this. Also to all the mean commenters… Most of you are probably angered white people commenting hate because you don't see how lucky you actually are.

  41. Danielle says:

    I've always been deeply troubled when I see people take an aspect of another person's heritage, appearance culture and use it out of context, exploit it or make fun of it. I'd never heard the term "cultural appropriation" until recently, and to be honest I feel a bit lost on it. Because I feel like these occurrences have such a hurtful effect on people, I want to try to understand what is specifically meant by cultural appropriation and more about the definitions and logical steps behind the creation and use of that term. I apologize in advance for so many questions, and I realize that this is a complex issue, and simple answers may not exist or answers may require time.

    I'm curious why the nouns 'black', 'white', and 'blackface' are capitalized. I'm familiar with blackface, and I'm familiar with the term 'black' and 'white' and being loosely used to refer to people with African and Caucasian ancestry respectively, but I've never seen either used as proper nouns before. I really don't think I understand what these words mean if they are now proper nouns: can you help me sort this out? Or is it that the choice to capitalize these words was a choice made for stylistic emphasis?

    I'm also curious as to how you would define White culture or White Europeans in this article? Does it refer specifically to the cultures, and people who were involved in colonialism, founding the U.S. or the American slave trade, or is it an umbrella term for all Caucasian cultures and people?

    I have a few more questions that are basically elaborations on the question of whether or not cultural appropriation can only occur as a white person appropriating any person who isn't white. This has also been a source of confusion for me.

    If Caucasian/European people were seen as having different cultures, would it be possible for one Caucasian to culturally appropriate another? Or could this have occurred, hypothetically, in the past? I'm not a history expert by any means, but I know Europe has a massive history involving countries invading, dominating and obliterating other countries and cultures.

    Hypothetically, could a person who is of any race/heritage that isn't Caucasian appropriate a Caucasian or an aspect of their culture, given, of course, that that culture was the non-dominant culture in that area, and the people practicing it had a history of oppression in the region?

    Can a non-Caucasian ever appropriate someone else who is non-Caucasian? What if in an area there is a dominant culture and a culture that is seen as second class, but also a culture that is viewed to be even lower – can only the dominant culture appropriate the lower regarded cultures, or, hypothetically, could he second class culture appropriate the culture that is view to be lower than itself?

    What if two cultures exist in a region, but it is unclear which culture is dominant and they have both committed crimes against each other, each perceives themselves to be dominant, or each perceives the other to be dominant or the sole perpetrator in – can culture appropriation exist here, and if so how?

  42. GradyELoy says:

    Racism is evil. Non-white races have suffered at the hands of white Americans at one time or another and the effects of those bad old days are still pernicious. Let us all admit that. Having said that, the utter nonsense of the policy of "forbidding cultural appropriation by the dominant culture" elucidated by the author is perhaps the worst, most ill conceived possible policy for ameliorating and ending racism and its attendant social and economic injuries. I agree that use of cultural symbols to demean others is unacceptable behavior and racist. I agree that unwitting use of cultural symbols can in some situations be painful and should be avoided if for no other reason than simple courtesy, the same everyone would like applied. I feel however that when she suggests that members of the dominant culture cannot play dramatic roles or write novels about or use symbols in a positive way she goes to far and risks providing substantial ammunition to the very racists she hopes to oppose. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Frederick Douglas are or should be heroes for all Americans. Are we going to limit any kind of meaningful honoring of them to African Americans? That would utterly defeat our shared purpose. Let me put it this way. We are all one race in America. We share a lot of genes. We often look different. Some of the different ways we look have been made the basis for racism. We agree that it is time to put racism behind us. One way is by laws preventing discrimination. Another way is to learn to be courteous to one another – and it is here the author's argument resonates the most. Another way yet is to go beyond courtesy and truly become friends and family across the lines that were constructed to keep us apart and one half of us down. There have always been those who have had the courage to do that. The numbers are increasing. The end is in site. Let us not at the same time seek to strengthen the lines that divide us. We are all one people. Our origins are not precisely the same. A lot of us look different from each other, some of us talk a little different and we occasionally like different things. Great evil was done on that basis and its traces remain with us. But the things we share far outweigh the things that we do not. It is time to recognize that we are one people, take steps to end the still considerable disparities in opportunity that stand between us, and rejoice in our differences but as individuals and not races. I would ask the author to consider that the whole concept of race has never been used to any good purpose in the past and it cannot be so used now. I promise to try to understand those things (mostly not to hard) that are offensive and not to do them and I ask that when I see and emulate or identify with some part of American culture that is not necessarily from my own personal heritage (though that heritage is much broader than most people might expect) that she and those who share her view try to appreciate that I do so out of positive feelings and not to bring my fellow countrymen down or steal something from them. And I promise not to try to profit from or cheapen the symbols of my fellow Americans' cherished or sacred beliefs. These are courtesies I would offer to the so called "dominant culture" as well as to the "non-dominant cultures." And let me be clear. My culture, whatever that may be, is not mine alone but belongs and has always belonged to every American for (hopefully not insensitive or injurious) use as they see appropriate. It is by this I believe that we will truly become one people and not by inadvertently shoring up the decayed walls of the slave quarters or the ghetto with the more divisive and arbitrary aspects of the social prohibition against cultural appropriation. I will concede to Ms Pellot rules are important, I would agree that they are essential. But they are the first step only and should always be crafted with the work that must follow in mind. We win the battle against racism- and it absolutely must be won- one person at a time.

  43. Jen says:

    White Privelege. I live in a community that is predominantly hispanic and when my family was having a hard time because my husband lost his job, my kids and I were consistently shuffled to the back of the line when I broke down and applied for foodstamps. Then when we were finally seen (last, even though I got there EARLY in the morning, even though we had NO INCOME, AT ALL, and three kids, we were granted a whopping $87 a month in foodstamps and that was IT. The hispanic families who were there that day and had the same number of kids? About $400 a month plus rent assistance. Why the disparity? I'm already priveleged because I'm white. Privelege doesn't fill your kids belly when they're hungry, so take your "White Privelege" and shove it up your ass.

  44. Guest2020 says:

    Talk about racist! That bitch makes me want to scalp her! Descendant of Native Americans so I did not steal that cultural style.

  45. eric91DIB says:

    Im black and this bitch is racist and stupid for thinking its her job to tell people whats okay for them to do. You not in charge of everybody just because you are mad and unhappy that you are black. Embrace and love being black and stop bein all sour about everything to everyone. All my white friends bitch about how they coulda gotten into any college for free if they were black too they really dont have that much privleege anymore

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