*In a recent hot topics segment on The View about cultural appropriation, Whoopi Goldberg stunned many viewers when she confessed that black women are also guilty of “jacking” elements of the dominant culture by wearing blonde weaves.
Host Sunny Hostin tried to explain the meaning of cultural appropriation to her fellow panelists during a discussion about Jesse Williams BET Awards speech.
Hostin explained that Cultural appropriation is when “a dominant group in society exploits the culture of a less privileged group without understanding that group’s experience.”
Jet.com reports that each woman on the panel weighed in on their lack of understanding about appropriation, but Whoopi confused the term with “assimilation.”
Assimilation is the sister-wife that sprung from white supremacist standards of beauty, living, and social practices. It’s the process by which a person or a group’s culture comes to resemble that of the dominant group. Essentially, assimilation is the culprit behind the phenomenon of skin lightening and the belief that lighter is better, or the idea that anything that resembles whiteness holds more weight. It was the colonizers way of destroying indigenous culture.
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According to Asif Wilson, social activist and Director of Student Services at Harold Washington College in Chicago, Goldberg failed to mention just how mentally and physically colonized black folks are.
“If I’m colonized, I believe whiteness to be beauty. It makes perfect sense for me to get blonde weave. It’s not about how culturally appropriative we are, it comes down to how colonized we are. I don’t know how we can be accused of appropriating white culture,” he explains.
Wilson does acknowledge there are ways Black people can appropriate from African cultures.
“When Black folks go to Africa we come back with some form of garb without always knowing deeply about it,” he says. “It’s the American ideal of, again white supremacy. I’m going to go to a place and exploit that place for how I see fit and approach it through a colonial gaze, meaning what do I like about it and how can I take it back home?”
Goldberg’s view on cultural appropriation falls in line with many of her white-male identified beliefs. She defended Roman Polanski, the film director who was convicted of sexual assault, by saying, “What he did was not rape-rape,” and gave Rachel Dolezal, queen of cultural deception, a pass by co-signing her black fetishism. Whoopi also dated actor Ted “Blackface” Danson in the late 80’s.