“The ability to take on and peel off the parts of Black culture that you like at will is exactly what is meant by the term “white privilege.” And while culture sharing is fine, white people have proven that they have a problem sharing. White people don’t share. They take over. They colonize. They claim shit as their own and then accuse others of being territorial and retrograde for pointing out these aggressive borrowing practices that shape white culture. It’s wrong to use Black aesthetics, Black cultural vernaculars, and Black dance in your videos without any kind of citation or homage” (Cooper, 177).
Nothing annoys me more than culture vultures. People like Miley Cyrus, the Kardashian Kult, Bhad Bhabie, 6ix9ine etc. have shown time and time again that they do not care about culture appropriation. For example, Miley Cyrus went from wholesome country music to twerking half naked on a stage to hip hop with her tongue out, only to transition back to country. To be 100% honest with you, that sh*t was like a slap in the face. For me, it felt as if she “tried on” Black culture to get attention or act out and then went right back to her comfort zone after she was done wrecking havoc.
Now the Kardashians are a whole different case. They are the definition of White and rich privilege. It’s like they think they’re so famous that they are untouchable. It doesn’t matter how many times people tell them that what they are doing is fucked up they continue doing it. They want all the benefits of being Black without actually being Black. It’s the Blackfishing, the fetizishing Black men and mixed children, and having a White savior complex for me. The Kardashians think they are the exceptions to the rules and for the life of me I will never understand it.
Being a Black woman and seeing white women try to shapeshift into Black women isn’t just insulting, disgusting and disturbing, it also hurts. Our society lifts women like the Kardashians up but in the process of doing so it tears women like me down. Twerking is acceptable and sexy when a White woman does it but as soon as a Black woman does it’s ghetto and classless. When I try to explain how culture appropriation negatively affects Black culture to others, it’s rare for people to get where I am coming from and it’s frustrating as hell. Maybe it’s just me, but I am tired of people excusing behavior like this and I am tired of people not requiring others to do better.