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Sunny Hostin and Whoopi Goldberg Clash Over Whether Black Women Wearing Weaves is Cultural Appropriation

On Monday’s edition of The View, comedienne Whoopi Goldberg and attorney Sunny Hostin debate the backlash and allegations of cultural appropriation aimed at pop star Justin Timberlake after the BET Awards.

Hostin begins the clip talking about Jesse Williams’ BET Humanitarian Award acceptance speech and its message to white people about cultural appropriation.

“… A dominant group in a society exploits a less privileged group without understanding that group’s experiences,” Hostin explains. “It is wonderful to love Black culture, but when Black people are being murdered on the streets and when Black people are being discriminated against, where are you?”

At the 4-minute mark, Goldberg responds to Hostin’s statements. She starts by defending Timberlake, saying that he was just inspired by the speech and did not mean any harm.

The comedienne goes as far to say that Black people appropriate white culture. She uses singer Usher and his protege, Justin Beiber, as an example.

“It’s the one language in the world where you don’t have to know what’s being said to get the groove,” Goldberg says of music and  Williams’ speech. “I think there is a lot of appropriation going back and forth.”

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24 thoughts on “Sunny Hostin and Whoopi Goldberg Clash Over Whether Black Women Wearing Weaves is Cultural Appropriation

  1. Please, Whoopi is way off. First of all, there are "black folks" who naturally have blonde hair, straight hair, blue eyes, … And sure, most black women are probably not wearing wigs and weaves with naturally blonde or straight haired blacks in mind, but we have to consider the fact that blacks (not only in the US, but worldwide) have been at the receiving end of psychological warfare for years and years. For how many generations were we told that our natural hair is ugly, that our skin is ugly, our big lips and wide noses are ugly? All the while we live in a system that works against us wherever possible, and constantly perpetuates the idea that we are inferior. Black women are not allowed to wear their hair natural or in cornrows/braids at their jobs, because it is "unprofessional" or "ghetto". But white girls do it and all of a sudden it's cute and edgy and hip. Whoopi talking about black people appropriating whites… woman, you outta yo damn mind.

  2. Whoopi was trying to create balance, and she missed the essence of the Jesse Williams' speech.

  3. Not surprised at whoopie's betrayal. That is her role. She drank the white kool-aid and must do her duty.

  4. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

  5. That was a stretch Whoopi. You are off base, braids and all…

  6. So then it's ok if black women believe their hair is ugly ? " BUY " into the self hatred and weave in the long blonde or black hair that most of us don't naturally have ? I don't know where you are but in the big city I live in I wish I had $5.00 for every black woman I see that has a weave ! Then I would be rolling in the dollars along with all the Koreans. Wake up up sisters and be proud of who you are !!!

  7. LMAO….. stfu. You havent lost anything. The opportunity to have a happy life is there if you stop throwing a pity party for yourself!

  8. FineGal Mariama Exactly! You can't call it cultural appropriation! When is being a consumer, cultural appropriation?

  9. I never said anything like that. Of course it isn't okay, it's horrible and very sad. All I was saying is that I think it's stupid of Whoopi to call it appropriation, when black women wear weaves and wigs (because of what black women had to and stll have to deal with, because of how they naturally look). In my opinion, you can't call it cultural appropriation, because blacks have been conditioned for generations to see themselves as less. So if a black woman wears straight weave and uses make up to "contour" her nose to look slimmer etc, it's different from white girls wearing "boxer braids", bindis and stealing from other peoples cultures. Because we live in a society where a eurocentric look is the beauty default.

  10. LMAO….. stfu. You havent lost anything. The opportunity to have a happy life is there if you stop throwing a pity party for yourself!

  11. I have two words for this: B.S.

  12. Ronnie Brown says:

    Whoopi's attempt to create "balance" was based on a false premise…the essence of white supremacy is FORCED cultural assimilation…wigs, weaves, lightening creams, jerri curls, nose jobs, colored contact lenses, etc. are the by-products of having our natural selves degraded and dismissed over the centuries…Conformity to white values/standards is the price Black people must pay in order to survive in this world.

  13. Kylie Jenner and the whole Kardashian family is guilty of cultural misappropiation. That said, black women going blonde can never be guilty of cultural misappropriation.

  14. John Voss says:

    Weaves? Really? I'm sure people realize that wigs and weaves and all manner of making the most of hair is historically pretty consistent throughout cultures. I think this is stretching it.

  15. Black women always mettle with our hair, whether zigzag parts, hair balls, ribbons, or hair bows, as little girls, to experimenting with hair extentions as adults. It is a learned/natural behavior for us. Every other ethnicity of women can wear their hair straight down, even as little girls, and run about their business. Our natural form is not welcomed, ask any black woman: we all wouldn't make it up. Because of this, were always messing with our hair: from childhood up. House keepers, in the slavery days, even had to hide their hair with rags if they wanted to keep their "good jobs:" ask Aunt Jemima on your syrup bottles lol. I guess those were the vintage weaves. Natural hair has become pubicly acceptable, but corporate America still sees most curly hair (whether white or black) as liberal and unprofessional. The conservative republican look is the standard. I do not think weaves are appropiation, as it is another look that our hair can withstand. Personally, the only issue that I have with weaves is that many women would rather wear horrible helmet weaves than their own hair. (Elsa sings let it go)

  16. Carrietta Lott Being anti black on television is not an opinion for her, it is her job

  17. .

    Whoopi also supported Bill Cosby whose mantra was to put black folks down too until his dirt caught up with him. She like Bill Cosby has selective amnesia when it comes to their black history. Money will do that to you.

  18. When you have been manipulated by a society that has promoted straight,blond hair 100 percent of the time and you are not exposed to the beauty that is your naturalness you become acclimated to that mindset. Black hair has never been promoted in America as becoming or beautiful. When you know better you do better and there are many black women embracing the beauty and uniqueness of our hair because we believe that is beautiful by teaching our mindset truth and not manipulation.

  19. Ronnie Brown Although I agree that we as Black women have been ostracised and rejected (even by our own) because of our unique features, I'm not too annoyed with Whoppi for calling out those of us who choose assimulation over taking a stance for our own being. Black women are in a much better position today than our ancestors and should use this moment to stand up and freely express and celebrate our uniqueness, not as a trend, but as a natural progression towards understanding and loving ourselves. We have to take some responsibility for valuing our own natural appearance through celebrating and not tolerating insults, rejection, and exclusions because of our uniqueness. And additionally, we can rock the blond wig from time to time as a fashion accessory, but it should not be a factor that defines who we are, or whether or not we qualify. That's bowing to racist ideals, something we should be held responsible.

  20. FineGal Mariama Not only the beauty default, but the professional default as well. Just recently a young Black women straight from college was denied employment with a large corporation because of her elegantly braided hairstyle. This happened maybe a week ago. C'mon, it's no secret that aside from any profitable talent, the "whiter" a Black woman looks the easier it will be for her to move into mainstream media, social enterprise and business. Whoppi's locks and overall "look" are not accepted by American culture as the norm. That's an unfortunate fact.

  21. Deana Dorsey says:

    Whoopi really annoyed me with this. Experimenting with your hair is a "woman" thing. White Brunette women dye their hair blonde, red, auburn, etc. Many straight haired white women curl their hair. Black women wear it natural or straight or colored. Whatever. As long as WOMEN exist you will see us with different hairstyles/colors. A while back I didn't wear my hair natural because other BLACK people ridiculed it. Made me not want to wear it natural for a looong time…..(I noticed white people around me didn't call me nappy headed, though). Nice to see it is more accepted now.

  22. Big difference between appropriation and assimilation. Whoopi is just a lil' undereducated here…Wearing a weave for convenience, to protect one's natural hair, aesthetics, versatility, or the pressure to conform to Eurocentric ideals of beauty is not appropriation. Maybe ancient Egyptians doing it could be argued as such, but not what we see today.

  23. Mark Price says:

    This cultural appropriation thing is just stupid. Another tool folks use to divide us. If I want to braid or weave my hair, I'll freaking do it. If I want long straight blonde hair, I'll get it. It's none of your freaking business why. If you don't like it, and if you're offended in some way, then YOU are part of the problem.

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