The dreaded conversation



Comments (19)

Comment Feed


This was so tone deaf it hurts 💀.

- more than 1 year ago

So much privilege here, it stinks

I just can't with this wyt magazine anymore - which, by the way, is committing an actual, punishable crime when it announces job positions that require that a person is a Native speaker of a certain language. By law, native-level should SUFFICE.

So done with y'all more than 1 year ago

Just no

White people: do not loot for once in our lives. Do not steal. Do not appropriate. Stay the hell quiet, enjoy your damn privilege if you're not gonna work to DISMANTLE THE SYSTEM THAT YOU BENEFIT FROM, and DON'T WEAR DREADLOCKS.

Izzy more than 1 year ago

Context matters

I have a friend with really curly hair and if he doesn’t brudh it for like two days, it starts to dread. He is 100% caucasion and isn’t trying to mimic black fashion. He just gsve up because his hair maintenance was insane. I wouldn’t consider that appropriation if that’s his natural hair? I get that there are a lot of white people who go to have their hair dreaded, especially in the rastafarian and hippy communities but it has never been to try and legitimise black culture or fashion. They see it as becoming more intune with the natural state of being. I do believe that identity politics change dramatically depending on where you are. In the US, mainstream fashion has been trying to exploit and capitalise on black culture for years now which is without a doubt cultural appropriation. When you are expropriating from black culture to be „in“ while the country is still facing massive inequality and racism then its a massive problem. You are stealing from the people who you are laughing at for having those things which is digusting. In more integrated societies like in Germany, however, we dont see that dynamic. Blackness isn’t something that is looked down on, there isnt that institutionalised inequality where black people are disadvantaged. There are distinct but equal groups that inspire each other culturally. My room mate is German and its astonishing as a South African to see how differently she gree up. There is no sense of segregation in germany. Poverty doesn’t have any association with skin colour. Schools are extremely integrated and mixed. This stands in total contrast as to how i grew up. My middle class neighbourhood is all white. Our townships are almost all black. We have no integration. There are clear power dynamics and privilege lended to the white population. So there are differences. You can’t really project one country‘s social and political landscape onto another. I agree with you however that this article doesn’t go into enough depth and the perspective feels very shallow. The writer seems to be on a hunt in germany to defend the actions of white people in the US almost? There isn’t enough context and comparison between different political contexts so could easily give the wrong impression, especially to self righteous white people looking for sources to justify problematic behaviour. I feel that there is a lot more that could go into this discussion. It’s something that is important for me to explore as a political science student.

Domi 228 days ago


I'm just another white person here to say that whatever the cultural context, I am proof that white people's hair will automatically turn into dreadlocks if left to its own devices. I don't want to be insensitive to other people, especially those whose suffering was the price of my privileged birth, but dreadlocks are the natural state of most hair, not just African.
My hair is almost dead straight and blond, but after a year of doing nothing aside from shampooing and pulling locs apart that were joining up, it has knotted almost all the way up to the scalp by itself (except for the front - that still has a way to go).
I am not appropriating culture, I just stopped brushing my hair.

Adam more than 1 year ago

No one wants to hear from white people

You haven't kept your mouths shut for the past several centuries. Time to zip it and LISTEN.

Caroline more than 1 year ago


Rastafarians have To Have Dreadlocks so what if white people want to Convert to Rasta

Shamus Campbell more than 1 year ago


Rastafarians have To Have Dreadlocks so what if white people want to Convert to Rasta

Shamus Campbell more than 1 year ago

beauty of a loc

i know, i know we have to try and understand the who, what, where, how, and why of things. Its just human nature. When i think of locs and and the fact that my hair just naturally mats up into this rope I'm amazed. I like the way that i feel with locs. setting culture, history, and background aside can be hard to do but that is what locs do for me in my day to day life. I can sit and ponder the depth of them but i can also enjoy being freed up. Locs help me set all of the nitty gritty details and just exist and that is truly the greatest feeling. First, as a woman who settles on wash and go and avoiding all of the drama that is hair is awesome relief. secondly, as a black woman avoiding all of the hair drama really helps me avoid all of the dark negativity surrounding our hair. (Dark negativity to me is being told that any part of your being isn't good enough and needs to change.) Heat free, comb free, chemical free, manipulation free, and mostly product free. therefor im Free to grow, free to ponder, free to feel effortlessly beautiful and free to exist naturally.

Veronica more than 2 years ago

Im white

I haven’t brushed my hair in 5 months and have full on dread locks. Tell me, will a black person get dreads from not brushing ? No, you have to twist the hair. Which is what? Not natural. I have done nothing to my hair and guess what ? I have dreads. That are what ? Natural.

Brandon more than 2 years ago

Im Black

That's not necessarily true. I have extremely curly hair. Before I began my loc journey, if I didn't brush my hair every day, my hair began to matt up. When I washed my hair, it would take HOURS to untangle my hair. Even if it didn't get tangled, my hair still took a hour to detangle. The twisting is only for preparation. We use comb coils, two strand twist, and even the free forming method as a way to mold our locs to what we want them to look like. Naturally kinky hair will twist on its own. It does it everyday, all day. Black people, with any hair style, wear their hair natural but they manipulate it to make it how they want it. Just because you didn't comb your hair for 5 months doesn't make your hair any better than a black person.

Rell more than 2 years ago


If black people don’t brush there hair it becomes what’s know as free formed locs. Look it up on the web. We are all one if you leave any hair a lone for long enough it will locs. Hair has it’s own life and as we are all unique so Is the time span It takes to locs naturally. The locs process belong to the universe it will do as it pleases

Qbass more than 1 year ago

wow... uuuhhhmmm...really?

i don't know what to think of this article,
this thinking that we're the only guys/girls with curly hair is incredibly narrow... considering that a lot of my friends have dreads or would have if they wouldn't brush. also here in europe, dreads are more considered to be a tribal thing (vikings, babarians and so on), so maybe you have to deal with the issue that not the entire world is as screwed up as the us society (in certain aspects)... which brings me to the last point and perhaps the most important as well... if you look at those who fought for our rights, especially in the us, and those who fought discrimmination in general, it has always been a fight to change the following mindset : " people of your (skincolor, religion, gender, political idea... the list goes on) should not / must not (do, wear, learn, practise,talk, teach... again, the list is long) this and this because it is not for you..."

RP didn't refused to give up her seat because it's our culture to stand in the bus...


anto more than 2 years ago

I really don't care, do you?

While I appreciate the article, I really don't care how people choose to wear their hair. All should be free to wear, color, cut, braid, loc, or do what they please regardless of what culture it emanates from. They also shouldn't have to explain or apologize if they are wearing a style that is outside of their own culture. Is blonde hair exclusive to white people? Would a black, Asian, or Indian person have to explain if they decided to dye their hair blonde?

Savanah more than 2 years ago


Your "color blindness" discourse is informed by whiteness and literally kills people.

Do get anti-racist education and stay quiet until then.

Izzy more than 1 year ago

So, there's this god named Shiva

Dreadlocks have a certain context in the West, generally associated with African heritage and Rastafarianism in particular. But dreadlocks also have deep historical roots in South Asian culture. They're associated with the god Shiva and are commonly worn by religious mendicants. Matted hair is also sported by so-called householders who have no particular religious connection. For some of these folks there's a nod to the godhead, and for others it's just a fashion statement or way of expressing individuality.

Oxblood Ruffin more than 3 years ago

deal with some REAL problems

I thought dreadlocks were a part of Rastafarian culture. Which isn't black culture, it's a religion. Anyone can follow any religion they please. Anyone can believe anything they please. My only problem with dreads on white people is that they usually smell of patchoulie and that smell makes me gag!

We are all the same. Crying about a white person having dreadlocks is like a white person complaining that a black person shouldn't wear trousers because white folk invented trousers, they should be naked like an African villager (which, technically, we should all be, since we're all descendents of the same people) No people should have any exclusive treatment, isn't that what all this is about? And yes, I know how shitty black folk in America get treated, and yes, I know about slavery. But black people were not the only people to be slaves. What about the Irish? If a black guy dies his hair ginger is that then cultural appropriation, should the decendants of Irish slaves be upset?!?

Can you not see how stupid this all is? If we want everyone to be the same, to be accepted as equal, we need to stop this kind of petty bullshit. There are things we should definately be concerned about, like the racism that puts four times as many black men in prison as white, but fussing about how a person chooses to wear their hair?! I was in London a few years ago, standing outside a pub with some Americans (white Americans) when a girl handing out flyers for a party walked passed wearing a feathered head-dress. The Americans started screaming at her, insulting her, telling her she was a bitch. So dumb. She wasn't pretending to be a Native "American", she just had a part of their traditional costume on to help her advertise a party. I was embarrassed and had to step in to prevent a fight. You can't have a world of free-speech if you don't let even asshole Nazis have their say. You can't say "refugees welcome" and then discriminate against the refugee with dreadlocks. If you have long hair and don't take care of it, it becomes matted. It's likely all hunter gatherers had dreads. It's not something exclusive to afro hair. Slavery isn't exclusive to black Americans. Learn world history.

Cycling home tonight I passed a graffiti that said "stop racial profiling". Five minutes later another that read "Smash the white male patriarchy". I felt like adding the words "stop racial profiling" underneath, because I'm tired of being told I'm the cause of all the worlds problems because I happen to have "white" skin and a penis. But hey, I'm trying to accept that all people are the same, no matter what colour their skin, where they were born, the amount of money they have in the bank, what their genetic make-up is (or what they choose it to be)... we are ALL made from the atoms of exploding stars, and we will all die. Can't we just focus on how fucking INCREDIBLE that is and make the most of this short time we have to love and care and create and dance and LIVE FREE!?!?

Dave more than 3 years ago

Well... You ARE the cause of all the problems in the world.

Nobody needs your opinion.
Read up on white fragility, male fragility, and

Ffs more than 1 year ago

Good luck

Your victim mentality will get you no where in life.

Dom more than 1 year ago

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

* indicates required