Culture

The Internet Is Upset That Demi Lovato Was Not More Sensitive about the ‘Cultural Appropriation’ She Didn’t Even Commit

(Reuters photo: Danny Moloshok)

Pop singer Demi Lovato was falsely accused of cultural appropriation earlier this week.

But now, she’s being accused of insensitivity for not making it clear that it would have been very bad if she had done what people were accusing her of doing.

Lovato was hit with “cultural appropriation” accusations for wearing what some people had wrongly assumed were dreadlocks in her new music video.

That’s crazy enough, right?

But since this is 2017, that wasn’t the end of the story.

Lovato finally responded to the outrage on Monday with the following tweets:

The controversy went beyond a couple of tweets, even inspiring a essay in the blog Mic that was titled “After being called out for wearing faux dreadlocks, Demi Lovato still doesn’t get it.”

Well, do you know what? I guess that I don’t really get it either. I mean, in what universe are people who are falsely accused of something expected to clarify that it would have been bad if they’d done what they had been falsely accused of doing?

Now, I do acknowledge that — as a white person myself — I could never understand the trauma that a nonwhite person might experience upon seeing a white person wearing dreadlocks, which I know many people of color consider to amount to white people “stealing” from their culture. Here’s the thing, though: If I had accused someone of, say, stealing my wallet, but then it turned out that they did not steal my wallet, there’s no way I would have faulted them for not telling me that they would never steal my wallet and that they totally understand why I’d be upset if they had stolen my wallet, because I’d be too busy apologizing for acting like an a**hole.

But unfortunately, that’s generally not the attitude of the Social Justice Warrior–obsessed crowd. When you ascribe to an ideology where feelings matter over facts, it can lead you to behave as if you’re right even when you’re wrong. To these people, regardless of what is objectively true, the source of your offense automatically owes you something.

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