A friend of mine and I are having a discussion about his decision to get dreadlocks (he is white, yes). I told them despite the fact of them looking severely unflattering on his shorter hair, it’s cultural appropriation. We got deeper into it and at one point he said it was problematic to him that he can’t get a hairstyle because he’ll seem racist. So two questions: one, why does this bother me so much, and two, why does it make me not want to be around him anymore?
1. This bothers you because you weren’t able to convince your friend that he was wrong, which is doubly disappointing because it makes you feel like an ineffectual advocate while also making you feel like shit that your friend is such a punk. These feelings were further amplified when he came back at you with terms like “problematic” without the slightest understanding of either their meaning or the ironic implications of his own willful ignorance.
2. The dreadlocks aren’t the reason you don’t want to be around him anymore. You don’t want to be around him because he’s a selfish, disrespectful little douchebag, and this argument is merely the thing that made you realize it. Maybe he’ll grow out of it one day. Maybe he won’t. Either way, it’s not your job to hang out and try to fix him in the meantime.