Consuming Otherness – until it’s not fun anymore

Recently, I had some interesting discussions with some unhappy White friends about the consumption and commodification of Black or Middle Eastern cultures/bodies/practices. The silence of ‘Black’ non-Black entertainers over Ferguson-and-more responds to the ‘But I love their culture’ better than any theoretical piece on appropriation ever could. When the rubber hits the road, when pain or struggle is involved, when the reality of Other people makes an appearance, these consumers of Blackness are nowhere to be found. That tells you everything you need to know about their ‘love’. It is an abusive, selfish, grasping love. It is about minting money and status out of subordinated and oppressed experience. Because they have so much, but they must have it ALL.

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