The topic of this week is cultural appropriation, cultural appropriation which means the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture. This can be controversial when members of a dominant culture appropriate from disadvantaged minority cultures. In this blog I want to talk about one example of “cultural appropriation” and discuss about the problematic of cultural appropriation.
Jeremy Lin who is is an American professional basketball player from NBA. Lin has cycled through a number of hairstyles over his seven-year NBA career.,worried about being accused of cultural appropriation.
In 2017, Lin got a new haircut which is dreadlocks.Dreadlocks, also locs, dreads, or in Sanskrit, Jaṭā,are ropelike strands of hair formed by matting or braiding hair. However, he got flamed by another retired NBA player who is Kenyon Martin. After seeing Lin’s new haircut, Martin post a short video on Instagram and this is what he said.
“Do I need to remind this damn boy that his last name Lin?” Martin said in the video. “Like, come on man. Let’s stop this, man, with these people, man. There is no way possible that he would have made it on one of our teams with that bulls–t goin’ on in his head. Come on man, somebody need to tell him, like: ‘All right bro, we get it. You wanna be black.’ Like, we get it. But the last name is Lin.”
It’s obviously that Martin deemed Lin’s haircut as cultural appropriation.Lin also responded Martin with kindness.
“Hey man, it’s all good. You definitely don’t have to like my hair and definitely entitled to your opinion,” Lin wrote. “Actually I am legit grateful for you sharin it to be honest. At the end of the day, I appreciate that I have dreads and you have Chinese tattoos because I think its a sign of respect. And I think as minorities, the more that we appreciate each other’s cultures, the more we influence mainstream society.
We can see that Lin does not want to be black people by change his haircut to dreadlocks, he got this haircut because he thinks its really cool and appreciate to black culture. Lin also remind Martin that he got Chinese tattoos either, but Lin didn’t deem it as a cultural appropriation.
In fact, Dreadlocks are not unique symbols in black culture,this hairstyle is spread all over the aboriginal communities in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Australia, but different ethnic groups have different appellations for it.
At the end, Martin did apologized to Lin for his offensive language. Lin accepted his apologized and emphasize that he never changed his haircut for disrespect other culture, he changed his haircut to give himself a chance to learn and experienced things from other culture.
How do you consider of Lin’s haircut? Do you think is it allowed for him to have dreadlocks? Leave your comment under this blog and we can discuss about it.