Don’t Touch My Hair: This One’s for my Wiggas
A hair blog with only corny references about hair
Dre here, back from one hell of a hiatus. During our time apart, 50% of you voting white women put pussy grabbing, “D” for don’t make me fire your ass, Trump into office. You might as well have not voted like the 42% of POC registered voters who did just that. I’m more forgiving of my POC, but I’m so disappointed in white women. It was yall who taught me not to trust a blonde that doesn’t use toner, yet you still voted for a man with obvious tones of urine in his hair. Now I don’t know who to trust. I digress, so much has happened during my time away. Spring came and Culture Piece Magazine hosted our first fashion show during Fashion Week MN with an all POC production. We also produced another fashion event for FWMN on September 9th, where your Sundays best was required upon entry. Our Harlem Renaissance inspired aesthetic required a formal attire. Think quintessential Black Glamour. Again, I digress, a lot more has gone down since my last piece. Your Royal Highness, Maker of Lemonade, Creator of Slay, Queen B. birth Royal Twins Rumi and Sir. OJ is free *insert shrug emoji* I didn’t even know this nigga was in jail. In fact, I thought him getting off a murder case was the only reason everyone fuxx with the juice man. Then I find out he was in jail for stealing his own shit. I cant! Anyway, the piped piper has stuck again, Usher really letting it burn. See what I did there. I don’t know if herpes burns, but its funny. The joke, not herps. Herpes is not funny.
You know what else is not a joke? According to the Washington Post, today, Black Americans die at the hands of police at a rate that is almost equivalent to the number of documented lynchings during the early 20th century. Not so long ago white nationalists, Neo-Nazis, unhooded KKK, and white supremacists put together their own demonstration that was reminiscent of most of the 20th century. White folks, y'all have a culture of violence. Yet, white outrage takes blind eye to countless murdered brown bodies only to uphold justice for Justine Damond after she too had been murdered by police. Her attorney, who represented Philando Castille, called Damond the most innocent victim of police violence. Tamir Rice was a 12 yr old playing with a toy when he was murdered by police. Trayvon Martin was a 17 yr old walking home from buying candy and ice tea at the neighborhood store, when he was murdered by a rent-a-cop. Eric Garner died in a chokehold by NYPD, when NYPD policy prohibits the use of chokehold. 24yr old Jamar Clark was shot while laying handcuffed on the ground when he was murdered by police. Philando was in the car with his life partner and their child when he was murdered by police for following procedures, announcing he was carrying a gun and reaching for his permit to carry. Totally legal in Minnesota. Even when incidence are recorded, all victims die, all murderers living free, there's still not a peep from the from the white community. Its ironic how white people want to be included in our trends and culture but don’t want that same inclusion when its time to uphold justice for POC. Allies get ya cousins.
Apparently, some of our white audience is feeling neglected. Maybe it’s because this is a publication of the colorful perspective. I don’t know, maybe it’s just typical white folks tryna take up all the space. Well ‘Neglected White Audience” this one’s for you. Let’s just dive into this ridiculous construct of white ignorance. It’s what caused that 50% of voting Beckys to see past the racism, the fascism and the yellow that lives in Donald Trump’s hair and give him their vote. It's why police brutality in the Twin Cities only became what felt like a state of emergency after white and newly engaged, Diamond, was murdered by police. White ignorance is an extension of privilege awarded to white people, giving them the ability to completely dissociate themselves from humanity, consequently, making them free from accountability of injustice that does not directly affect them. With blatant, and close to home accounts of injustice being recorded and shared on social media, some white people are becoming more empathetic, yet don’t know how to help.
I get so many messages from white folks asking how they can help or become an ally. How would I know how every white person is supposed to show up in every black person’s life? I haven’t reached the level of black girl magic yet, and in the age of Siri & Alexa, its most certainly not the task of any black or POC to educate white people. I’m about to give you some things ya momma should have taught you.
#1 Acknowledge your privilege. Assuming we’ve passed the level of acknowledging racism. Be conscious of how the dynamic of race in the U.S. has conditioned white people to be beneficiaries to resources and opportunity. Find a way to use the consequential advantage to benefit the oppressed and dismantle systemic oppression. Without acknowledging privilege, you are a living accessory to racism and discrimination. Its your duty to make other white people acknowledge their privilege too. Call out racism, and stop excusing your loved ones who follow racist rhetoric.
#2 Be conscious of the space you take up. The sad reality is that your privilege can act as a barrier from being in constant contact with Black people and our culture. Every other race is forced to fit in a White world. That’s why its necessary to create our own spaces. Don’t worry we are not gathering together plotting over our revenge, unfortunately… When invited, taking up an intentional amount of space as a guest in inclusive spaces will allow you to build your own perspective about Black people and our culture. By intentional I mean being cognizant of fetish and savior behavior. It is more important to remember you are just a guest in spaced being held by POC. Refrain from tone policing, the use of AAVE (African-American Vernacular English), and cultural appropriation. Imitation is never flattery when its coming from White folk, why, because privilege. And for the love of Goddess keep ya damn hands to ya self and far away from our hair!
Lastly, because I ain’t got the patience to educate white folks anymore today.
#3 Share your re$ource$. This might be the easiest tip of them all because it will allow white folks to stay in their comfort zone. A zone only accessible to the privileged. White folks need to put capita into the black community, without any expectations of any personal gains. Donate to Black organizations and schools. Shop the Black market. Use your platforms to advocate for Black businesses and agendas. Refer your friends, family, and colleagues to black businesses. Protect our neighborhoods by addressing those with the means and motive to gentrify our community. Support Black art and culture. Stop profiting from it and give us platforms and funding to share our stories and our truth.
Well, white folks that’s all I have time for today. Now that you have had your time, find your seat in the guest section of the audience. The intention of this blog is not to verbally beat the white community. I can admit I struggle with separating my rage for my oppressor from my determination to live free. With that being said I want to conclude by reminding our POC audience that I do this for you. Don’t Touch My Hair is just for us. This is a celebration of our perseverance through our struggle. Its an ode to the spirit of our ancestors. Like, come on, our hair defies gravity and our skin absorbs the strongest light. We are fucking magical. So go ahead, SHINE!
Words by Dre Demry-Sanders // @dre_on_hair
Photograph by Pierre Ware // @bossforthecause
Illustration by Esther Luntadilla // @4everestherr