Cultural appropriation

Zakianna & Kiana 

2/18/2020

Appropriation of black culture 

Like the above image asks, “What if?” That’s the question that all African Americans ask. Nowadays Black culture isn’t as appreciated as it should be. People believe that racism is over but in reality it isn’t. It’s still affecting African American people. 

Many people try and appreciate the Black culture. But do they know how African American people feel when they do what they do? People see appreciating Black culture as doing things that they feel are right but in reality are actually really wrong and hurtful. Like for instance, when other races get box braids or get extensions added to their hair people react to them with positive comments. But for an African American woman or girl to do the same thing it’s considered “ghetto” or it “isn’t cute.” 

These are the types of things that go on everyday and people don’t seem to realize it, but it happens. The caucasian community loves to make fun of the Black community by calling them things like “hoodrats,” “ghetto,” or ”ratchet.” These are words commonly used everyday to bring down the spirits and hopes of the African American culture. 

We ourselves as African Americans are proud to be who we are. But just being proud really isn’t enough anymore. Other cultures and ethnicities don’t know what it’s like to be in our shoes. They don’t know what it’s like to be called out for trying to protect your hair or being fired for wearing color in your hair which they call ”inappropriate.” As an African American it’s hard to live life when you’re constantly judged during it. 

African American women are constantly judged everyday for trying to protect their hair. When they wear box braids, or twist, or any form of weave they’re called ghetto, but African American people wear weaves because they like it and think it is pretty.

Many famous people have celebrated cultural appropriation. But little did they know that non famous people were hurt by them because they were not of color and did not look okay wearing what they had done. Kim Kardashian once had cornrows.

They did not look right because it was just not a look for her. Instead of doing multiple cornrows she should do just 2. In my opinion when non African American people try and celebrate cultural appropriation they should try and involve African American people or, just give us credit for our looks and how we look and dress. 

With that being said, cultural appropriation is a big thing in the world. 

Sex trafficking nationally

 

Minnesota is such a quiet place no one would think something like sex trafficking would be going on. It is known for teens to do risky things in the bathroom at malls and movies in Minnesota. But no one really knows if they’re forced to interact in these sexual encounters. There was a total of 28 victims forced into human sex trafficking last year during the “Final Four” in March of 2019, also sex trafficking is huge during the Super Bowl, which Minnesota hosted not that long ago. 

All 28 of those victims were rescued, including one minor, and there was a total of 58 men and women that were arrested for these crimes.

But this isn’t only happening in Minnesota, it’s a worldwide problem. Over 20.9 million are victims of human trafficking globally. This is occurring everyday and is ruining little girls and women’s lives. 

The average age of when a sex trafficking victim is first sold is 13years old. The ages go up to as high as 30 years old. One pimp of who was a sex trafficker, but ultimately was caught said, “The goal is to get the girls as dependent as possible. Mentally you’ve gotta burn into their brains you’re the only one…You’re god. Once you’ve got that down and they’re ready to work…Then you instal the fear…The wrath of god. If they mess up, there’s a price to pay, and they know it’s a heavy price.”

Most everyone knows about sex trafficking from what they see and hear in movies and the news but no one has ever sat down to actually listen to the victims instead of interviewing them to get famous off their stories.

So, as we conducted research, we went around to the students of Highland Park Senior High School and asked their opinions on the topic. We interviewed multiple students but only a few of these students’ opinions really stood out. The same two questions were asked: “How do you feel about human sex trafficking?” and “What are your emotions towards the victims that go through sex trafficking?”. 

Jerry Flores a sophomore attending Highland Park Senior High said, “Well sex trafficking is a controversial topic and isn’t well thought out or more of the less thought of. I feel that there should be more laws about how to compensate these families when going through these type of experiences.” 

Brianna Avalos said, “It has messed up young girls’ lives because they don’t experience things that everybody else does because of it.” She also said. “It makes me feel bad because they have to go through it everyday and they don’t have a normal lifestyle that a normal person would have.”

Another Highland Park student said, “The authorities need to do a better job regulating it.”

We then asked our parents about sex trafficking and here’s what they had to say:

“It’s horrible and they need to have a specific force team for just sex trafficking.”

“I feel that this kind of thing happens almost everyday and for these young girls to go through something like that it’s really really sad. I feel that the police should do more to stop the creeps and pedophiles who use these young girls for their bodies.”

According to the U.N.-backed International Labor Organization (ILO) globally, it is estimated that up to 40 million people today are affected by this industry. In 2019 alone, per the Institute for Sport and Social Justice’s “Shut Out Trafficking” program, there were 2,907 individuals arrested, suspected or charged with human trafficking activities in the United States. More than 400 people over 18 years of age were rescued from being trafficked and nearly 115 children under age 18 were freed. There were 83 new laws passed and 483 community-based initiatives to fight human trafficking.

There are plenty of groups and organizations working and helping the police in different states to stop this crime from happening. So, if you, or anyone, are in need of help please don’t hesitate to call the National Trafficking Hotline at: 1-888-373-7888 or text “HELP” to Polaris Project’s BeFree Textline at 233733. And please take the information provided to you and spread the word; it’ll help a lot of kids and women.