The moment I saw the ad for 3rd Degree's episode on black hair, I knew I had to watch it. So, at 21h30, I curled up on the couch in a blanket, coffee in hand, monitoring Twitter because this is Debora Patta after all - and I knew that sparks were going to fly.
And boy was there controversy!
This morning, I read Zama Ndlovu's fantastic column on the topic and while I agree with her on most points, there's one thing that bugs me.
Just last year, Chris Rock made an entire documentary on black hair called "Good Hair". In it, he covered most of the stuff that Deborah spoke about. In fact, Chris pushed the envelope. Heck, he even referred to relaxer as "creamy crack"!
His insults, however, caused minimal outrage.
So why – I simply have to ask - is it such a big deal if Debora Patta covers the same ‘issue’? I don’t think it has anything to do with her being white and having an opinion about hair she knows little about. Instead, it boils down to her style of reporting. As I told a friend, "It's like she’s always in attack-mode."
That said, it should not take away from the topic at hand. Black women's hair is a huge socio-political issue with major implications on identity.
• If you wear a weave are you trying to be white?
• Why is it acceptable to burn your scalp every month to get rid of the natural kink? Is that part of trying to "be white"?
• Why are you perceived differently if you've got an afro or are bald?
• And dyeing your hair blonde a la Beyonce and Lebo Mashile… does that also mean you're trying to "be white"?
• Are we all "fake" because our hair isn't real and we're trying to look like "another race"?
• And what is up with the dreadlock thieves, dude?
Dude. People are stealing other people's hair – and then wearing it. What kind of world is this?!
This shit is going too far now – hair crimes? No man.
But I digress. My point is this – as my friend Tumi put it: it comes down to choice.
"We're a democratic society and that means freedom of choice. Judge me on my intellect, not my hair," as Tumi wrote.
It's that simple. So excuse me while I flick my weave and move on with my life.
P.S. Debora? Really, please work on your style of presenting – it's getting in the way of some really excellent reporting.
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