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Should white people have dreadlocks? Show more Show less
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Throughout history, dreadlocks have been significant to cultures around the globe. The matted and locked hairstyle was a way for people to prevent or slow positive energies from leaving the body. More recently, dreads have been an important aspect of Rastafarians and African-American culture in the United States. Yet, when white people try dreadlocks, there is often backlash and accusations of cultural appropriation. Should anyone be allowed to have dreads? Is it cultural appropriation for white people to have dreadlocks?

Yes, white people should be able to have dreadlocks Show more Show less

People should be able to express themselves how they want.
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Cultures should be shared

The values and material works that come from a specific culture should be accessible to everyone. Material culture—such as artwork, clothing, and even dreadlocks—does not belong only to the originating culture. Culture belongs to any human who acknowledges and appreciates the meaning attached to a cultural symbol.

The Argument

If handled correctly, culture should be available to everyone, not one group of people. Sharing different aspects of various cultures is a way to connect people, in turn creating a better-understood world. If white people are able to acknowledge and respect the significance dreadlocks have in minority cultures, then they should be able to have the hairstyle.[1] In Germany, a larger number of white people have dreadlocks. The hairstyle is also more accepted and common among their population. One white German citizen claims to have dreadlocks as a way to be fashionably different from the previous generation.[2] This is not a disrespectful act; it is simply a personal choice.

Counter arguments

White people should not be wearing dreadlocks because it takes away an aspect of black culture. It is a form of cultural appropriation since the primary race (in the U.S. and Europe) is white, and they are taking a form of cultural expression away from minority cultures to benefit themselves. There is not an expectation of white people with dreadlocks to be dirty or smoke marijuana but black people with that hairstyle have to be burdened with those stereotypes. Therefore, white people should not have dreadlocks.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Cultures can connect people. [P2] Everyone should have access to all cultures. [P3] Therefore, white people should be able to wear dreadlocks.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] White people should not have access to certain aspects of minority cultures.

References

  1. https://theundefeated.com/features/jeremy-lins-dreads-arent-cultural-appropriation-theyre-america/
  2. https://www.exberliner.com/features/the-dreaded-conversation/

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 3 Jun 2020 at 14:34 UTC

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