Hair. It’s on all of us. It grows, it tangles, and in many cases, it’s got to be tamed.
But if you wrestle the beast wrongly, others will be injured. Inside.
So goes the new normal.
Hence, on Monday, a Seattle business owner issued an apology for her ‘do.
She’d been flat-ironed by critics of her crown on social media.
As reported by The Daily Wire, Rachel Marshall — founder of Seattle-based Rachel’s Ginger Beer — Instagrammed a mea culpa for her cultural-appropriated dreadlocks.
Rachel said she was sorry…for the pain:
“Hello everyone, its Rachel: I have come to understand — far too belatedly — that my hairstyle is harmful.”
I’m stopping here just to give you time to re-read that.
‘Kay, here we go:
“It is clear that I have been stubbornly resistant, and I sincerely apologize to those I hurt. I am deeply sorry for the pain I caused to members of the African-American community, who have been and still are discriminated against & mistreated for having dreadlocks, and I’m so sorry that it took so long to admit and address my mistake. I have an appointment to remove my dreadlocks, and more broadly, am committed to earnestly listening to and learn from the voices and lived-experiences different from my own. I never want to cause any harm.”
To get her life straight, she’s gonna consult with people:
“Going forward, I will work in consultation with diversity and equity representatives to ensure my companies’ policies, practices and actions align with our intention to maintain a fair, equitable and enjoyable workplace for everyone. I commit to doing better, as an individual and with my companies, and to being more responsive to feedback in the future. I thank the people who have taken the time to express their concerns and help me learn.”
Public apology from Seattle business owner who was called out on social media for having dreadlocks (she’s white.)
“I have come to understand—far too belatedly—that my hairstyle is harmful.” pic.twitter.com/83jJsOynp0
— Katie Herzog (@kittypurrzog) July 14, 2020
If I may, I’d like to take a guess at the situation: No one at any time felt genuine pain due to some girl wrapping up her hair and not washing it for a while.
For wounds to have genuinely been inflicted, the human soul would, of necessity, be as brittle as split ends.
But I do believe there are online gunslingers with a hair trigger.
Here was one — IG handle CultivatePropagate:
“Seattle, we gotta talk. @rachelrgb owns @rgbsoda here in Seattle with multiple locations. She is a white woman with dreadlocks and allegedly gives her product to cops (the people brutalizing her customer base) for free. It has always confused me that we have seen this woman speak at @cherrybombe and cozy up regularly with @lindaderschang (owner of multiple restaurants here in Seattle) and no one has confronted her about how her choice to willfully appropriate Black hairstyling is highly problematic.”
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[TW: BIPOC fetishization] Seattle, we gotta talk. @ rachelrgb owns @rgbsoda here in Seattle with multiple locations. She is a white woman with dreadlocks and allegedly gives her product to cops (the people brutalizing her customer base) for free. 😬 It has always confused me that we have seen this woman speak at @cherrybombe and cozy up regularly with @lindaderschang (owner of multiple restaurants here in Seattle) and no one has confronted her about how her choice to willfully appropriate Black hairstyling is highly problematic. 🤔 We aren’t in a post-racial utopia. And there is no federal law to protect Black people from being penalized for their natural or protective hairstyling. Hell, we are still trying to convince everyone Black Lives Matter. So, until racial equity is achieved in wealth, politics, education and work, white people should not be wearing dreads out of love, solidarity and respect for Black people. At least, this is my current understanding. 👏 And while it’s Rachel’s right to politically support whomever she wants, she not only endorsed but her business hosted a party for the Amazon-funded @egankennedyorion when Amazon tried to buy city council last year in 2019. District 3 ended up opting for @cm.khsama who also happens to be one of the few people in our local government pushing to have big businesses like Amazon pay their fair share of taxes. 🥳 Anyway, back to Rachel. Her endorsement of Egan alone reminded me of the internalized misogyny I see from women who weaponize traits like loud, brash and “aggressive” to tear down women and praise men for the same behavior. But don’t let me convince you. Let her endorsement speak for itself: 🤭 “Angry tweets, silly t-shirts and protest chants will not solve our serious problems. We have the funds but lack effective leaders willing to put their differences aside to find solutions. This is why I’m supporting Egan Orion.” 😱 Oof that first sentence alone has aged quite poorly and is further soured by the overarching misogyny. 🙄 And if you remember or don’t know Orion, was cited for a multi-faceted and deeply problematic Facebook post when he was looking for an egg donor. (Cont. in comments)
I’ll add something else: No one owns an aesthetic by way of skin color. We aren’t gifted ownership of ideas at birth. That’s why people who aren’t Romans (or whoever’s the rightful originator) are allowed to use things with wheels — like cars.
And wheelbarrows. And watches. And this razor:
Headblade. Easy to use razor, designed for shaving your head.
Embrace your genetics. I have zero regrets. Also, USE SUNSCREEN! pic.twitter.com/AnYCQGizJA
— Science Guy🧢I Have The Data🧢 (@StanBarkratheon) July 14, 2020
You can’t wrongfully appropriate something not rightfully owned. That’s why this lady isn’t culturally appropriating Bret Michaels:
body hair positivity post bc i'd never let misogynistic opinions dictate what i do with my body 💕 pic.twitter.com/v1sVm4AKEC
— lalonie (@SLAYLONIE) March 22, 2017
Rock and roll has changed a bit. pic.twitter.com/QAvnS3pvSH
— Alex Parker (@alexparker1984) July 18, 2020
But, it appears, CultivatePropagate wants the law in everyone’s hair:
“We aren’t in a post-racial utopia. And there is no federal law to protect Black people from being penalized for their natural or protective hairstyling. Hell, we are still trying to convince everyone Black Lives Matter. So, until racial equity is achieved in wealth, politics, education and work, white people should not be wearing dreads out of love, solidarity and respect for Black people. At least, this is my current understanding.”
Another SJW — JSongbird — suggested a protest:
“I was trying to find this post for so long after first seeing it! I’m glad I found it again – sounds like a boycott is appropriate.”
And if you’re wondering about the history of dreadlocks, here’s TDW with the goods:
“Dating as far back as 2500 B.C., The Vedas, Hinduism’s oldest scriptures, depict the Hindu God Shiva wearing locs or ‘jaTaa’ in the Sanskrit language, according to Dr. Bert Ashe’s book, Twisted: My Dreadlocks Chronicles,” Ebony.com noted, adding, “‘Dreadlocks can be traced to just about every civilization in history,’ says Chimere Faulk, an Atlanta-based natural hair stylist and owner of Dr. Locs. ‘No matter the race, you will find a connection to having dreadlocks for spiritual reasons.’”
But since I don’t want Rachel’s erstwhile look, I’ll go with the flow — her style is off limits. In fact, it belongs solely to the first person who ever did it. Everyone afterward was in breach of appropriation protocol.
Gotta go now — I’m getting all my doors replaced and have to make all new keys. It’s stressful, because I dread locks.
Oh — my apologies for the pain. To someone who’s been dead for thousands of years.
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