The other day I posted a photo of my 13 year old daughters hair on our family FB page. Usually when I post photos of my hair I get a few comments from ill informed people about how it’s gross and unclean etc. On this post I specifically asked for that to not happen and that I would immediately ban anyone who was rude. I didn’t expect the results even though I know better than to expect adults to be respectful. This went much further.
Almost immediately a wave of internet trolls scurried over like cockaroaches. I was overwhelmed with trying to reply to people who had respectful comments and questions and extremely rude people who I banned immediately as I stated in my post I would. I deleted the thread and started over. Wondering if those who came across the original post and don’t follow my page would move on. They did not.
I attempted to have conversation with a few people, to know avail. This is just a sampling of what I was dealing with
using my child’s photo for her amusement
everyone joined in. And is there a FB page called Shit Black People Do? I didn’t want to look.
then it gets worse. Threats to CPS and racist remarks towards myself.
I do not agree with violence and enslavement by any race. All through history humans have been vile to each other. I played no role in it. But if she wants to talk about ancestors and culture, let’s see how that goes down.
There are two issues with my daughters hair. One, people think it just looks messy and unkept. And it does. But it’s part of the process. Doing anything can look awful in the middle but the final product is what you should focus on. People have a hard time with that. The other issue is this term cultural appropriation. They feel I somehow stole my hairstyle from them, as if that would even be a bad thing. But let’s go with that. They are all out of sorts about my ancestors. Until I mention our ancestors.
My husband’s paternal side has lineage to the Blackfoot Indians. Indians wore knotted hair. Like you see in this photo. So let’s say if I was appropriating hair, what if it was this guys culture and not whatever culture she is from
Well that doesn’t fly. Because of all the other cultures and race my daughter is mixed with, it negates her Native American (or Canadian) heritage.
more about me being a colonizer. Hateful words. Because of my 13 year old child’s hair.
and this is payback for something that happened hundreds of years before my birth.
I pointed out the mentality of this type of aggression. Of corse there were several people in the conversation and I was trying to communicate with all of them and it was difficult. But this one wants to beat my ass because I made the point that these types of parents are usually the ones who have kids who beat up on kids in school. That goes for anyone. I’ve said the same about the group of minions that harasses my family, most of them are white. So this isn’t a race issue. But they try to make it one. There was so much division with race. This was kind of shocking to me. I deal with people from all sorts of lineage and this was just so hateful. My comment was about bullies and not about race.
See story here: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2020/01/10/shes-scared-go-back-jcps-student-bullied-school-mom-says/4425508002/
and here: https://www.wave3.com/2019/11/16/iroquois-high-school-student-arrested-alleged-involvement-beating-teen-with-autism/
and here https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dallas-school-bus-video-shows-girl-being-attacked-2020-01-15/
you get the idea. People see these stories and ask “where are those kids parents.” Probably on social media bullying other adults.
It was too much. All of it. The hate triggered my anxiety and I shut my page down for the night. I had to walk away. I had to stop the hateful threatening comments. This is not appropriate behavior.
I am aware of the “cultural appropriation” phrase that gets swung around on occasion. Its especially meaningful when talking about systems of exploitation and dominance. But we are talking fashion. What if its not appropriation but cultural exchange? We live in a multicultural blended world. Religious adornments are used a jewelry, tribal tattoos and Mohawks are very common among all races and cultures. Just think in a few weeks how many non Irish Americans will adorning the color green and pinching each other. Is that cultural appropriation? Is there going to be a big revolt on March 17th? Am I allowed to listen to Jazz music and eat creole food if Im not from New Orleans? Are they considered a culture? I can sing reggae music but I can’t wear Dreadlocks? What are the rules exactly? Who would you even ask?
When people say that it’s politically incorrect for the Washington Redskins to use the likeness of the American Indians, there is a specific group of individuals reflected in the mascot. Its used in a way that is found to be disrespectful. Is a hairstyle disrespectful?
Who owns this particular hairstyle? Dreadlocks or whatever you want to call them were worn by almost every ancient culture. Which specific culture is being appropriated? India, Eqypt, Greece? The Celts wore their hair like snakes. Someone cited Medusa, she is from Greek Mythology. It’s presumptuous to claim ownership of knotted hair. All hair knots. If you take care of those knots you can wear them decoratively, with or without adornments.
There have been various names for such hairstyles, fairie locs, dreadlocks, jata, and more. The common term most used today is dreadlocks. Its origin is unclear but some say it was from the slave trade when their hair was matted with food and feces and was called dreadful. Another source claims the name came from the fear or dread the wearers instilled in others. Another claim is that the wearers had a spiritual fear/dread in their god. So who is right?
Does it matter? If all cultures wore knotted hair and all hair knots why do some people make such an issue from it? It’s ridiculous to me for a government school to tell a student how to wear their hair. Its an infringement of free speech. So when people use that example to stifle my free speech I cant but think it’s extremely hypocritical. When those same people tell me I’m not allowed to have a certain hairstyle and in turn bully and harass me for it, it frustrates and angers me.
Over 3,000 comments on that post and counting. Some ill informed or just willfully ignorant in regards to my daughters hair, but a large majority are just plain hateful and mean. Some even went to far to dig up and share gossip blogs from 5 years ago.
What I witnessed the past 48 hours was worse than anything people accused me of for my daughters hair. Yet those hateful commenters felt compelled and entitled to spread their negative energy. Is this the now culture? Instead of learning to encourage and support each other we just continue to create a divide?
I live in my hair 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I’ve had dreadlocks for over 5 years. They don’t hurt, my scalp isn’t ruined and my hair is clean and healthy. The same is for my daughter.
You don’t have to like our hair, but don’t spread misinformation to create hostility towards us for it. Because there is no way I would sit quietly while someone did that to you.