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Dear White Women: Our Blackness Is Not a Costume For You to Put On

Dear White Women: Stop claiming Blackness when we get killed for it. From Michael Jackson’s daughter to South African DJ The Duchaz aka kasi mlungu (meaning white township girl), what’s up with all the white women claiming to be Black?

I am so tired of white women claiming to be Black when they are still benefitting as white women in this world. This is just another example of white privilege taken to the extreme. Now I may not understand why MJ told his daughter Paris she was Black, but perhaps other family members could have tried to disabuse her of this notion. Sure there are white-passing black people in the world, I’ve met a few in Cape Town and in the US. Black people inhabit the widest range of the colour spectrum in the human race. But – some of these people claiming, Dolezaling their way into Blackness, are really suspect. I think Paris Jackson already has some issues, so I’ll just leave that at that.

But this Kasi Mlungu person. No. Let’s deal with her, all the way. She’s just using her non-Black ‘blackness’ to gain fame and notoriety, which, à la Kardashians, is the new heist some white women are into these days. Fill up your lips, slap on some boobs, sort out your butt as though you foot-pedal pumped some air into it and – hey presto issa Black Woman. Anyone can be one, right? That shit is not cute. Okay so Kasi Mlungu didn’t get the butt job and filled up lips. But she’s certainly wearing approximations of what she thinks being a Black woman in South Africa is.

Here is Anita Ronge aka "Kasi Mlungu" playing a game of Black Woman. Image credit: Anita Ronge's Twitter account

Here is Anita Ronge aka “Kasi Mlungu” playing a game of Black Woman.

Y’all claim to be Black but don’t even experience what it is to be Black. Y’all don’t get the kind of hatred we do, the disrespect just for living in the skin we’re in. So now you’re Black and light-skinded, now what? Do you even understand the kind of privilege you have acting Black but not having the skin colour? Do you even understand how mentally distressing it is to have us as real Black women watching you pretend to be us? You appropriate Black cultures, get paid for that shit when we get harassed, spat on, urinated on, bullied, whipped, killed, shot, beaten, screamed at, disrespected, paid less, not hired, fired, chased, stared at, ignored when we need or want service, followed, and the list goes on. The list goes on but you just think putting us on as a costume, trying us out to get our brothers to fuck you, trying us out to get the media to love and follow you so you can sell some lipsticks cheap tricks to get money, TV shows and kicks to get fame is a cute thing.

In Kasi Mlungu’s case I am not sure what she’s selling, is it music? But this is not the gig, Anita. Why can’t you just be yourself? Your name is Anita Ronge. You’re wrong for this though. You are not a Black woman trapped in a white body, if that was the case honey you’da presented Black a long time ago and your show name woulda been different. Kasi Mlungu? What in tarnation? Why say you’re Black but still go by Mlungu, meaning white person? Are you trying to confuse everyone into acceptance, or you’re clearly just confused yourself? No ghel it’s not working.

We’re just a profitable costume for you. While we, actual Black women, are getting abused for being ourselves and for looking like we do, on you it’s seen as beautiful and profitable. Many of us feel this way and just imagine what it’s like when yet another whack white woman decides to don us as a costume, to inhabit our spaces, our beauty and aesthetics just because she can and because she thinks it’s a joke.

This is Paris Jackson, Michael Jackson's daughter. She considers herself Black. Image credit: Getty Images

This is Paris Jackson, Michael Jackson’s daughter. She considers herself Black. Image credit: Getty Images

Our lives, our inherited beauty, traits, cultural magic and artistic genius are not a joke. Just stop this nonsense of wearing other people’s skin. Put it this way, let me also try it and see how far I get. I will become white next week, and start saying shit like: “European culture and European women are so amazing. They don’t own who they are, they just try on everyone else’s culture just for kicks, as a costume. It’s truly amazing.”

You could have just put on a few bangles and necklaces as a nod to African aesthetics and own your own personal style, as most white women here do. Many know how to accessorise in just the right way so we know they’re from here, but they are still themselves while giving a nod to the local aesthetic. They’re not trying to pretend they ARE us by wearing traditionally Black hairstyles and clothes. Mattafact, while some want a little of what we have, they still want to maintain the privileges they receive by being white. Now you on the other hand…

Let’s hope next thing it won’t be that you’ve gone and changed your entire face and body so you could possess someone else’s natural aesthetic. And that you invented full lips, ‘boxer braids’ and lord knows what else. I can’t. I can’t any more with you, white women claiming to be Black. There is no such thing as “transracial”. Just be yourselves and leave our perpetually disdained for being ourselves bodies and aesthetic expressions to us. Get your own. Or please just move your Kartrashian ideals to another planet, because this one is not big enough for the idea that you can be us.

Or walk on the ones created by Black Women.

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