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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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Dreadlocks for spiritual reasons

Dreadlocks have many ties to spirituality. A variety of cultures have religious practices surrounding hair, such as Amish people and Hasidic Jewish people. Dreadlocks are just another manifestation of altering one's hair for religious purposes. Anyone who holds those spiritual beliefs surrounding dreadlocks ought to be able to wear them.
culture spirituality

The Argument

Throughout history, people have had dreadlocks because of their spiritual beliefs. Ethiopians and Rastafarians associate dreads with having spiritual strength, but ancient Egyptians and Shivas used them to flaunt their wealth, power, or status. Cultures around the world thought energy left peoples' bodies through their heads, so they matted and knotted their hair as tightly as possible to slow the process. Therefore, the person will feel spiritual strength and energy for a longer period of time.[1] A person should be able to dread their hair for spiritual reasons no matter their race. To prohibit someone from spiritually expressing themselves is discriminatory. Even if a person is white, they should be able to follow their beliefs without facing any backlash.

Counter arguments

Even if a white person wants to dread their hair to follow their spiritual beliefs they should not. Dreadlocks are still most commonly associated with African and Rastafarian cultures, so it would be inappropriate for anyone else to have the hairstyle. White people often get backlash from others about having dreads, so having them can be risky.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] People dread their hair for spiritual reasons. [P2] People should be allowed to follow their spiritual beliefs. [P3] Therefore, white people should be able to have dreadlocks.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] White people still should not wear dreadlocks - the majority of the time they do not wear them for spiritual reasons, and even if they do, it is still culturally insensitive.

References

  1. https://drlocs.com/blogs/articles/spiritual-locs

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 9 Jun 2020 at 21:11 UTC

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