Video has recently surfaced of an African American college student confronting a Caucasian American student about
his (gender neutral phrase here) hairstyle, insisting that the hairstyle is a form of cultural/racial appropriation. The hairstyle in question belongs to Cory Goldstein, and (gender neutral phrase here) contends that (gender neutral phrase here) felt demeaned and demoralized by the other student, and that (gender neutral phrase here) has no intention of changing anything, stating:
“It’s something I’ve had since I was 17-years-old and something that’s part of who I am. I believe they are powerful and helped me connect to this world”
Wow. You can just hear (gender neutral phrase here) privilege seeping through (possessive gender neutral phrase here) words. My college education has taught me that whether Cory identifies as male, female, nothing, or other, Cory Goldstein is a white; and for that reason, frames (gender neutral phrase here) worldview from a place of privilege. Every decision (gender neutral phrase here) makes is made from a privileged stance, from hairstyle, to preferred method for making a PB&J (Trigger warning for anyone with any nut allergies, high blood sugar, or diabetes), speaks down on the world and those around Cory.
On the other hand, the African American student, identified as Bonita Tindle, is not from a place of privilege (at least in the “traditional” sense). If Bonita identifies as African American, then (gender neutral phrase here) is from an underrepresented and oft-exploited community. If Bonita identifies as female, then (gender neutral phrase here) is from an underrepresented and oft-exploited community.
An investigative journalist would pull together competing perspectives from a diverse range of voices, but I feel that my college education has taught me how to process this event. You see, when ( grouping of gender neutral phrase here) go to college, they are taught the real ways of the world. They learn the history of race relations, cultural appropriation, and the historical/herstorical timelines of underrepresented peoples, and are tasked with doing their part to tear down those instruments of privilege.
Essentially, if you are still reading and feel like I am dancing around saying something of consequence on this new story, A. check your privilege, and B. you are absolutely right. Because that’s how liberal I am. I won’t disparage or define cultural appropriation and what is and is not an element of it. I won’t belittle or downplay an issue raised by a (possibly) female (even though Bonita never explicitly stated how ((gender neutral phrase here)) identifies, which isn’t and shouldn’t have an impact on what is being said anyway), and (presumably) African American, because I have no right to comment on those things. Because of my privilege. Which I keep checking. Every day. As I should.