Q:Your steadfast opinion that only those of African descent can have dreadlocks is wrong, just so you know. And a lot of us who have them, have done so for intensely personal and spiritual reasons. I was told by my patron Goddess to start my locks. My locks are a promise to her to show my commitment to the path she has set my feet upon. They have forced me to grow and be a better person.
In no particular order:
- You’ve got to have more to your argument than “Your opinion is wrong!” Sources. Logical arguments. Supporting data. SOMETHING. Or else we just go back and forth saying “Your opinion is wrong!” “No you!” “No you!” forever and nothing is accomplished.
- I’m actually really curious, what did you expect me to say when you said “Your opinion is wrong”? Like, did you actually expect me to go “Oh my god, you’re right, I’ve been so wrong, thank you for telling me!” Especially considering you’re not even the first person, anon or not, to argue with me over this. If I’ve engaged in multiple discussions and still not been swayed from the position I’ve taken, why do you think a plain unsupported statement like “ur wrong” is going to do any good? How did that make sense to you?
- What you’re missing here is that it’s not my opinion in the strictest sense. The only place my personal opinion factors into this is when I said to myself, a while back, “You know, the people who actually face this issue and who are personally impacted by it are probably the best judge of what is and isn’t hurtful, and I should listen to them.” That’s the extent of my opinion. What you’re critiquing (and I use the word loosely) are my actions, in that I’ve made the choice to actively step up and say something to other white people who pull this shit and do my best to amplify the voices of the people whose opinions DO matter in this. Hence the post that started this, which consisted of four links to articles and PDFs written by people of color. Where, in that, do you see “my opinion”?
- So when you consider that, your declaration that “[my] opinion is wrong!” can mean one of two things:
- Either you mean my personal opinion about respecting the voices of people directly affected is wrong, which, sorry, I’m never going to agree with that and you are basically a giant asshole if you really think that “I will listen to people who tell me they are hurt by something” is a wrong opinion to have.
- Or, you mean that people who are telling you “I am hurt by this and I am not okay with it” are wrong, which makes you a gaslighting douchebag who refuses to respect the lived experiences of others.
- Either way, you’re not looking too good here.
- Oh, boy. This is going to be an interesting one. Allow me to present you with a selection of explanatory gifs that will convey to you how I feel about your “spiritual reasons” for appropriating locs:
- In case I have not adequately made you aware of how many fucks I give about your “intensely spiritual reasons” for appropriation, the number is ZERO.
- And if your deity really did tell you to do something appropriative and hurtful which contributes the oppression of others…well. I can’t really muster up a whole lot of respect for a deity and/or spiritual path that insists upon oppressing others, so. The number of fucks I give remains unchanged, and I will add: also you both suck.
- Even if I take your claim at face value, that having locs has made you a better person…at what cost? Sure, YOU’RE a better person (and personally I question how much better of a person you can be when you’re refusing to listen to the voices of people who are saying “this hurts me knock it the fuck off”), but what about the other people affected here? It seems you give as many fucks about them as I give about you.
- In case it’s not clear yet, I’m not one of those pagans - and never, ever will be - who gives a free pass to anyone who says “My god/dess told me to do it! I was given instructions to do this!”
- You know what else the gods/universe/evolution/whatever have given us? A FUCKING BRAIN. Think critically. Don’t follow blindly. I am absolutely 100% certain you could think of another way to show your devotion if you wanted to.
- And even if you can’t. Even if your god/dess gave you this directive in the most plain and clear terms and told you it was an absolute requirement of your devotion to them.
- You then have a choice: do you follow what your gods told you at the cost of harming other people, or do you say “I’m sorry, I’m not okay with what you’re asking of me, because I respect my fellow humans too much to participate in appropriation which continues to harm their cultures.”
- So you had a choice. You still have a choice. And you’ve made it quite clear that you care more about your own spiritual path, than you do about the harm you do to other people while living out your path.
- And frankly, that makes your path a really shitty one.