Press Watch

EDM festivals fraught with white privilege
In Pipe Dream, by Chelsea Desruisseaux
This article is so laughably moronic that it reads like an Onion piece, which makes it difficult to Press Watch. I’ve never backed down from a challenge though, unless it required lots of hard work and dedication, so I’ll proceed.

“My experience at this past summer’s Electric Forest Festival proved to me that so many white people just don’t get it…I faced covert racism and microaggressions from pseudo-hippies that left me cynical about festival culture and colorblindness among the younger generation.”

The author goes on to complain how only black people are allowed to wear dreadlocks, and then she has the gall to doubt our generation’s colorblindness. It’s hard to think of a more appropriate time than this to say: Look in the goddamn mirror! You’re calling other people racist, while generalizing about “so many white people.”

“The amount of white people with dreads at Electric Forest was astounding. I was prepared to be one of the few people of color at the festival, but I wasn’t prepared to see people steal my culture.”

As multiple people in the comments section of the article have pointed out, dreadlocks are not exclusively part of black culture. Celts wore dreads, Indian sadhus wore dreads, etc. Of course, Pipe Dream enforces a strict NO RESEARCH, NO GOOGLE ban on all of its opinion columns, so there was no way for the author to know that. But hell, even if they were invented by “people of color” (I’m not sure why this term itself is not considered racist, since it originates from the term “colored,” which was used by Southern segregationists), like jazz and blues were, that doesn’t mean that other people can’t wear them. This entire concept of cultural appropriation is absurd. Is it suddenly racist for a beginning guitar player to play a Jimi Hendrix riff? How would Jimi have reacted if you told him that? He would have laughed at you, set your guitar on fire, and then done some drugs. Which brings me to another staggering part of the article…

“Another issue I have with these festivals is the visible drug culture within them. I am by no means judging anyone for their choices, but the role of drugs in the majority-white festivals is vastly different than it is in the black community. As I witnessed the open sale and use of narcotics on the festival campgrounds, I couldn’t help but think about the black and brown people from low-income neighborhoods that are disproportionately thrown in jail for drugs.”

First of all, don’t say that you’re not judging anyone for their choices. The crux of your entire article is judging people in a very racist and hateful way for their choice of hairstyle. Secondly, this is by far the dumbest reason not to drugs I have ever seen. I, too, disapprove of excessive drug use. But it’s because drugs, when used in excess, can often sap motivation and have deleterious health effects. It’s most certainly not because the War on Drugs is racist (which it probably is.) It would be like saying, “You know, I was going to eat this sandwich, but there are people in the world who don’t have sandwiches, so I’m just going to starve to death.” Speaking of which, all of this talk of privilege ignores one of the biggest privileges of all: being born in America!

“Overall, my time at the Electric Forest was a bust. The scenery was magical and I got to see Lauryn Hill perform, but this was not a safe space for me to express my love of music as a black woman.”

What about this festival made you feel “unsafe?” Was it white people having the freedom to do the things you believe only minorities should be allowed to do? If that makes you feel unsafe, you’re probably better off locking yourself in a basement for the rest of your life and never coming out, because your hideous leftist worldview just isn’t going to take hold.

Here is a selection of great comments on the article:
Tomato • 3 days ago This is some of the most blatantly racist verbal diarrhea I have ever had the misfortune of reading in my entire life. “Now, there is nothing wrong with black people who straighten their hair, but there is everything wrong with white people having dreadlocks.” [this is actually a quote from the article] Double standards are wrong, racism is wrong, and to you madam: I have stepped in mud more intelligent than you.

HerodiousPeaskinner • a day ago Chelsea has appropriated a white name. Where do I complain?

Abaraxas • 8 hours ago This young lady right here, is a perfect example of a racist in training. Dr. King must be rolling over in his grave to see what has happened to his dream. No equality, no treating people as individuals versus their complexion, Instead, a resurgence of segregation, this time self-segregation by the grandchildren who suffered under it.

Clear&PresentDanger • 2 days ago This screed was written ~10 mos after the festival in question. Makes one wonder if it is a shot across the bow of EFF 2015, or, more likely, simply a writing assignment for one of her Angry Studies courses.

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