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Pitzer College’s Controversy Over White Women’s Cultural Appropriation

Some you may remember Pitzer College from a post we did previously where white women students threw a fit because the Black women students didn’t want to live in dorms with them.

Well, there is a new racial outrage currently brewing and it again centers around white women.

The above “free wall” was painted with the message: “White girl, take off your hoops!!!” after a group of Black and Latinx women became frustrated by wanna-be-down Beckies who were trying on their ethnic style for fashion.

A white student questioned what the purpose of the mural was and Junior year student Alegria Martinez obliged her via an email that was sent to the entire campus, via ClaremontIndependent:

“[T]he art was created by myself and a few other WOC [women of color] after being tired and annoyed with the reoccuring [sic] theme of white women appropriating styles … that belong to the black and brown folks who created the culture. The culture actually comes from a historical background of oppression and exclusion. The black and brown bodies who typically wear hooped earrings, (and other accessories like winged eyeliner, gold name plate necklaces, etc) are typically viewed as ghetto, and are not taken seriously by others in their daily lives. Because of this, I see our winged eyeliner, lined lips, and big hoop earrings serving as symbols [and] as an everyday act of resistance, especially here at the Claremont Colleges. Meanwhile we wonder, why should white girls be able to take part in this culture (wearing hoop earrings just being one case of it) and be seen as cute/aesthetic/ethnic. White people have actually exploited the culture and made it into fashion.”

Another student, sophomore Jacquelyn Aguilera chimed in:

“If you didn’t create the culture as a coping mechanism for marginalization, take off those hoops, if your feminism isn’t intersectional take off those hoops, if you try to wear mi cultura when the creators can no longer afford it, take off those hoops, if you are incapable of using a search engine and expect other people to educate you, take off those hoops, if you can’t pronounce my name or spell it … take off those hoops / I use “those” instead of “your” because hoops were never “yours” to begin with.”

How do you feel about white women wearing hoops, etc.? Are you as angry about it as these students?

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