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Culture Appropriation 101 with the Kardashians

Lipkits, rappers, and black athletes have all been used to position the Kardashians as the “it” girls of pop culture which is run by urban culture.  If their fans haven’t gotten irritated by Kylie and Kendall transposing their image on the images of rock legends, or irritated with Kylie starring in a Pepsi commercial that mocked the black lives matter movement, then perhaps they will finally be upset  with Khloe standing over an androgynous Slick Woods in a picture that screams white superiority in volumes. I may be the only one who is bold enough to say it, but it reeks of Trump’s slight, “look at my African American.”

I know it can’t be just me feeling sick looking at this picture of the bald headed black girl adoringly stroking Khloe’s leg while she looks down on her. We all know from an artistic perspective positioning in pictures is key. If you want to assert dominance you stand above and look down on someone.  Bowing ones head is a sign of submission.

Besides these obvious non-verbal cues, the artistic direction screams master/slave in a BDSM flavored pose. This picture is no accident, no mistake. The Kardashians feel entitled to use urban culture to position themselves as “better than”.  If it’s dating the hottest black celebrity or athlete or hanging out with the black “it” girl, the Kardashians have figured out that associating with African American talent makes their brand hotter.

While this isn’t illegal, it’s absolutely in poor taste and this picture takes their bold insensitivity to new levels. I don’t think there is another example of consistent cultural appropriation that fits as perfectly as the numerous infractions made by the Kardashians. Kim wearing cornrows, the entire family’s fake bubble butts, Kylie wearing kinky weave; it’s more than an admiration and respect for the culture, it’s closer to mockery. Unfortunately it’s mockery that some African Americans can’t see past because of their obsession with the cosmetic beauty and popularity of the family.

It seems the only couple that isn’t under the Kardashian spell is Beyonce and Jay Z and for that I am thankful. Trust me if Kim could post pictures of North West with Blue Ivy, she would definitely have added that feature to her Instagram LIVE. Thankfully Beyonce and Jay Z are celebrities that understand the value of their brand and aren’t weak enough to fall for “what’s poppin”.  I for one will be glad when the rest of us take Spike Lee’s directive from the 1989 pop culture hit, Do the Right Thing and “WAKE UP!”

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