White people ‘discovering’ things that everyone else with a mightier melanin count had long already known about is as much of an American tradition as apple pie, racism, and gluttony all are. Black folks know this, though now more than ever are we being reminded of this disgusting practice thanks to the Internet. In the last year white people have discovered and therefore invented (‘cause they’re white so bow down, bitches) the following: cornrows; baby hair; Bantu knots; trap music; big booties. Since we’re approaching Columbus Day, we might as well acknowledge the clueless White people who continue to “create” trends that have already existed and lay claim to other people’s cultures with no receipt in sight.
A year before it was twerking and the doobie wrap, thanks to lackadaisical effort’s BFF fo’ life and eternal bae, Princess Rihanna.
— HuffPost Live (@HuffPostLive) October 7, 2014
They even now lay claim to rocking rough and stuff with the biggest afro puff, though I refuse to let Alan Labbe rock on with his bad self ‘cause this white dude holding the Guinness world record for having the largest measured afro reminds me of the reality that I have never met a Negro with a Nielsen box. Nice try, whites, but that ain’t it.
Equally wrong are articles like “Fashion Words To Die For,” where a White girl basically writes up a bunch of Black gay slang and sells it as that new-new she’s putting other people on. You didn’t build that, sis. Gon’ somewhere stat.
And then there is the recent ELLE trend piece about “Timberlands” being all the rage thanks to the likes of Gwen Stefani. Like clockwork, the Blacks of Twitter clapped back at Elle (present company included), only for them to go, “Wait! Wait! Wait. A Black wrote that!”
Wow wow wow wow. People please. What I am saying is that ALL cool girls wear timbs and am predicting a mainstream absorption this season.
— Danielle Prescod (@danielleprescod) October 8, 2014
No, beloved. “All” cool girls didn’t make Timberlands cool. It’s a trend that has it’s roots in our communities, and simply acknowledging that could have saved you and your buddies in the office a lot of headache. Ultimately, the social media person who sent out the initial tweet about the “hot new trend” that is purportedly Timberlands is the bigger perpetrator. As is the editor who got Prescod to write to an audience so deep in a bubble that in their minds, every footwear trend between now and the 1990s never happened. Besides, Prescod writing to a different audience does not negate the overall issue at hand. A Black person being tapped to help perpetuate cultural ignorance and erasure of Black contributions to culture does not make either act any less offensive.
Jennifer Lopez’s butt cheeks are more pioneering in the mainstream ‘cause they’re lighter in appearance. The term “basic bitches” can experience resurrection from Black slang’s death sentence simply over newfound curiosity. Then there’s whatever the hell Katy Perry and Riff Raff are supposed to be doing in the picture below.
It won’t be long now before we all read about how Selena Gomez made the hot new fashion line Cross Colours cool in addition to paeans dedicated to Taylor Swift for making velour suits the chic yet casual look of the season. Then there will be 1000 listicles and questionnaires focused on the term “thot” in 2015. I’ve also noticed that White people are loving collard greens as much as they did kale two years ago. Hopefully the economy doesn’t sour even further, otherwise somebody’s granny and great uncle are going to be so pissed about someone stealing their scrapple recipes.
And before anyone gets all post-racial, there is nothing wrong with someone being influenced by an outside culture. That’s perfectly fine. What’s not okay is taking Black cultural mores and not giving us our damn credit. We shouldn’t be treated like an uncleared soul sample on a Kanye West track.
In any event, happy holidays, those guilty of “Columbusing.” Christopher Columbus wasn’t worth a damn and neither are y’all. Whomp, there it is. Y’all can have that one on the house.