An estranged friend was recently tagged in a photo wearing black face. She was posing in a group dressed as ‘Mexicans’, with too much bronzer, drawn on face tattoos and bandanas. I kind of get it, like okay they obviously haven’t had the chance to read or watch the array of think pieces that are trending far and wide, highlighting the major issues with cultural appropriation. But it’s kind of a bummer that some of my peers have chosen to remain so ignorant (or maybe their wifi has been down).
Almost 100 likes. Almost 100 closely acquainted people from a similar social circle had not seen the major problem with this photo. Instead they had commented on how cute the girls looked with cry-laughing emojis of support.
I felt compelled to comment with a link about the do’s and don’ts of participating in other cultures, adding some well intentioned heart emojis so everyone knew it was coming from a good/chill place. In this information age, ignorance should not exist within groups where google and wikipedia are almost built into our bodies. Especially on such a widely reported and important subject. I wasn’t trying to embarrass anyone. But at least now they knew why they didn't get my like.
I was nervously expecting a reaction to the comment. For self preservation, I don’t usually interact with the posts of long lost pals. And especially not with a political agenda and in such a haughty-taughty way. I save my haughtiness for real life, it has a much stronger effect.
The comment quickly became lost within the sea of compliments, and then mysteriously disappeared.
So, without the heart emojis this time, it’s not cute to ignore the difference between respectfully appreciating a culture, and using racial stereotypes for your own entertainment. Middle finger emoji. Sunglasses emoji.