Let us consider the White Girl with Dreadlocks, or "WGD"

* make us famous

As a person of color, the first thing I must note is the element of cultural appropriation. That is enough to fill one with disgust. Dreadlocks have been worn by various peoples worldwide, and became popular in the African diaspora after the coronation of Haile Selassie in 1930. The look became associated with African holy people in general by those who longed for the ancestral homeland of humankind from across the Atlantic. I get that. I like that. I approve of that. Black women with dreads, you rule. Black men with dreads, keep on keepin’ on.

WGD’s, however, are none of that. The WGD is not attempting to be an African holy person, though she may be into marijuana, and probably is, and maybe wishes to look like a Rastafarian, in spite of not being such. She is likely into yoga, another cultural appropriation, or belly dancing, and may consider herself a “Gypsy” or at least use that term for people who are into things she is into, in spite of the fact that the term refers to an ethnicity better known as “Roma” or “Romani.” I hope she doesn’t think she’s Native American if she likes feathers, or Japanese because she eats sushi. She likely dances the dances of ethnic groups her ancestors mercilessly colonized, with no thought about such. She and her team of “Gypsies” may be seen at local fairs, painting hands with henna and spinning around and such, with no actual ethnic connection to any of that. The literature of cultural appropriation is vast and important and I don’t wish to add much to that aspect here, only to mention it as a central feature of WGD culture.

Really though, what I find most loathsome about WGD’s is their desire to be looked at, their unholy craving for attention, and their wanton snobbery. The white girl with dreads, you will find, always wishes to be the center of attention. “Look upon my hair and give me your attention,” she silently screams, “for I am creative, artistic, and into things that you must watch!” She wants people to ask about her hair so that she can be condescending to them. She wants people to look at her hair so that she can glare at them for looking. “Look at me! Don’t look at me! Look at me! Why are you looking at me, creep! LOOK AT ME!” is her chant. In the likely event that she is a yoga instructor, she will do yoga poses everywhere she goes so that you will look at her ask if she is a yoga instructor, and so she can answer you with full condescension. She wants power through her hair, power over the attention spans of others. She is not likely to return the smile of those not cool enough for her taste. She will not pick you up at the airport, even though her father’s hand-me-down Volvo is fully operational. She will not cover your shift at work or loan you 50 cents for the snack machine. She is, in short, not worth shit, but wants to be all that. She is never from a truly destitute family and is likely to have had every privilege in life that is so often denied African sistas with dreads.

WGD’s are not worthy of hatred, though. They should simply be ignored. Don’t look at them, and they will go away. That will benefit anyone who, like myself, abhors the stench of patchouli. Now, the white dude with dreadlocks, though, that fellow can stick around. He says to world, with a calm and cheerful voice, that he is cool with things and not to be bothered. He will not pick you up at the airport because he doesn’t trust himself to remember to do it. He is fundamentally honest in that regard. He is likely to, at some point, make a statement that might rub People of Color the wrong way, but only unintentionally. He probably has good weed, if one is into that. He probably works a job of some sort, poorly, and will cover your shift. He is what he represents himself as being. I’ll give him that. His cultural appropriation is loathsome and inexcusable. Still, he can sit next to me at the bar without me wincing too much or without me asking him to sit elsewhere, like I do those white folks who wear Native American-style war bonnets (sometimes known as “headdresses”). Those are some of the lowest forms of human filth.