When I personally think of the term “wigger“, I think of white kids, who mockingly dress up in “ghetto gear”, wear gold grill, gold chains and other blinging jewelry, and speak a fake, forced version of black slang. Wiggers ignorantly attach themselves to all the negative things they have been miseducated in concerning black culture. They seem to prefer the miseducation to the truth, because it’s easier to mock. They especially love to mock black hair by wearing huge afro wigs, probably because the afro is such a powerful symbol of blackness.
Wigger is a pejorative slang term for a white person who emulates mannerisms, language, and fashions associated with African-American culture, particularly hip hop in the United States or the Grime/Garage scene in Britain. The term is a portmanteau of either wannabe or white and nigger. The term is considered derogatory, reflecting stereotypes of African-American or Black British culture, and can be used pejoratively, because of its connotations of cultural appropriation. It is also often used in a racist manner, not only belittling the person perceived as acting black, but also demeaning black people and culture by proxy. Some, however, use the term neutrally, or as a light joke, without any racism intended. Wikipedia
Then there are those “wiggers” as defined perjoratively by their white counterparts. These are the white kids who actually have a love for black culture, usually black music. They pride themselves on how informed they are about the culture and they usually play out this love by dressing or acting or speaking “black”. This boldness is what brings them the wrath of their white peers. They are the new “nigger lovers” of the 60’s that whites hated almost as much as black people themselves. Nonetheless, these “wiggers” endure the ridicule, maybe because they feel that they have found something their broken souls have been seeking. Ironically, this ridicule actually becomes an added bonus, a type of currency, because to them they can now relate with black oppression. Wiggers are the new Niggers.
GO TO 4:55 TO SEE WHAT I MEAN.
To say it’s very convoluted is a colossal understatement.
So when these kids go over to the black side of town to partake in a hip hop show or a jazz performance or a reggae show, they are just like you, black folks. They have condescended and are now on your dark level, and they expect you to acknowledge them for it. Give them their props and accolades. After all, they probably know more about Bob Marley’s history than you, Rasta! When and where Bob was born, who his musical influences were, when he broke away from the Wailers and why, who first produced them, the name of every Wailers recording in chronological order, what part of Jamaica Rita Marley’s mother’s sister is from. OK, I jest. But in truth, they won’t miss an opportunity to teach you, black man, about the details of your culture. In fact, they may feel more deserving of your culture than you, black woman.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s a bad thing for people of one culture to show interest in another’s culture. It’s a human thing. Back in the 70’s I had a nice little Chinese inspired satin dress with the asian motifs, and I wore decorative chopsticks in my hair, which was all the rage. We all borrow from each other’s culture. White kids wearing dreadlocks are borrowing from black culture, and black kids wearing fro-hawks are borrowing from white culture. There are many examples of this, and when done right, it’s a beautiful thing.
What is foul is when white folks mis-appropriate POC cultural norms. When they roll over the culture, sucking the spirit out of it and destroying its true meaning; when they break it down and force it into a strange, unfamiliar shape; when they suck the blood from its veins, then let it drop. Like so many Twilight Buffy Vampires on the prowl searching in vain for authenticity outside of themselves, they go from culture to culture seeking that which they can destroy.
What’s so sad is if they could release their white superiority complex, they would be able to share in the world’s beauty. They would be able to reclaim their humanity. Alas, fear and greed will not allow it. So as they go on their endless search, their broken mindsets block them from partaking in truth. Because they look down upon the keepers of each culture they encounter, they aren’t able to learn from them. Like a bull in a china shop, they break in, clumsily smashing the spiritual meaning, of which they refuse to relate. There is no intention of sharing in the culture or trying to understand it from the perspective of the people from which it comes.
We all have negative emotional stuff, and white folks are not immune. It’s very interesting how white people bring so much negative emotional and psychological baggage along with them to the race narrative–jealousy, hatred, overcompensation, ridicule, insensitivity, selective memory, condescension; yet they refuse to acknowledge that they do. And for those who do admit it, they claim that their oppressive history is proof of their superiority. It’s very rare to hear a white person just own up to anything.
It’s interesting to listen like a fly on the wall when white people talk about cultural appropriation. When they are talking among themselves, it’s a mish mash of opinions. When they are talking to you, my fellow POC, they have the art of the derail perfected. They have selective understanding perfected. I think these arts are learned from birth, from their mothers knee, the way dancing is learned in black culture from birth. I’m just sayin. But there is a great amount of insecurity in white people about their cultural thievery none the less. There seems to be no recourse for them, though.
But for we people of color, is it our calling to be the cultural appropriation police? In the beginning of my studying this phenomenon, I felt that we people of color needed to step back from “this thing” that white people do. I felt that it’s so poisonous to our psyches, that we should sidestep it altogether. I felt that maybe it’s a part of the healing (or whatever) that white people have to go through. But as I have done more research on this, I see that when cultural MIS-appropriation is going on, it has to be called out as often as possible. Those of us who are strong enough to deal with ought to do so. But if we do get involved, we ought not be offended when white folks play their derail card, or their selective understanding card. When they pretend to not understand our “oversensitivity” (as the white person in the above link couldn’t understand the native american person’s explanations of the pain of his culture being mis-appropriated), we have to be able to remain diligent, and not emotional because there are always people in these online debates who are “listening” intently. These are the ones that you may be able to influence positively. We have to be able to properly wage this battle without folding emotionally.
This whole culture mis-appropriation battle is old anyway. Blackface minstrels, white jazzmen, the Beat culture aka Beatnik, Motown, the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and now hip hop, and that’s just black culture. I’m not even speaking of native, asian, latino, and so many others.
- Wigger, Please! (nachalooman.wordpress.com)
- https://nachalooman.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/cnns-love-affair-with-black-pathos/ (Anna Renee Is Still Talking)
- http://www.irosf.com/q/zine/article/10087 Appropriate Cultural Appropriation