DEAR CULTURE VULTURES
Dear culture vultures:
Being a person of color is a bandwagon trend.
Our cultures are consumed for convenience, not for competence. America is built on the Inconsistent, Inconspicuous, Insolent consumption of cultures, but as soon as the melting pot boils over, you put the lid back on to let diversity simmer back down to a level that you can handle. You have enough Black friends to fill the quota, but not too many that you’ll be turned away from a frat party.
“Not to sound racist or anything” usually translates to “I’m about to say something racist, but I have insurance now by prefacing my racist statement.”
How can you expect a lion not to attack when it’s cornered? As a person of color, your back is always against the wall because society focuses on you as the sole definer of your entire race and once you get one bad apple, it ruins the bunch. People of color are consumed for their desirable qualities. The less desirable? Overlooked, ignored, tossed aside.
Like your favorite box of cereal. Consumed for the flavor. While throwing away the package it comes in.
-“Ethnic” Halloween costumes
-Native American Team Mascots
Nigga this, Nigga that. "Everybody wants to be a nigga, but nobody wants to be a nigga."
Cultural appropriation is profitable, it’s edgy, different, outside of the norm. The words appropriation and plagiarism are defined as so:
“the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.”
“the act of taking something for one’s own use, without the owner’s permission.”
The definitions are practically the same. The only difference? One is a crime, and one is an American pastime. People of color are consumed for their desirable qualities. Fetishized, like the thing you only do in the dark. “You’re so exotic.” Being “exotic” won’t get me hired over John Smith, but apparently it’ll get me a date with him because John Smith has a thing for “exotic women”. Our lack of representation in the media is made up for in profits. More so, our representation is computer altered, given more hips and more lips.
If our assets are being profited as beautiful, then why haven’t we been beautiful all along? Isn’t it ironic how authentic assets are only appreciated when it comes in an exotic package? Fetishizing a person of color or appropriating their culture does not mean you’re “down”. You’re merely evoking oppression from the seat of privilege. I don’t want to be your exotic box of cereal, disregarding my manufacturing doesn’t make you colorblind.
American society is built on the Inconsistent, Inconspicuous, Insolent consumption of cultures.
People of color are consumed for their desirable qualities, but the package we come in is thrown away. A history disregarded, painted over to make more colorblind. Being a person of color is a bandwagon trend.
If you want to truly be ride or die, I ask you-
will you jump off the bandwagon when the riding gets rough?
Dominique is a TGM contributor out of NYC.
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image post: pinterest