Ferryn Laws, American Renaissance, June 7, 2020
Sarah Stevenson is a full-time fitness and “lifestyle influencer” from Australia. Her YouTube channel has 1.44 million subscribers and 196,993,052 views (and counting). On Instagram, her posts reach a million followers and average 62,000 likes. As a “professional” influencer, her job is to post to social media and exercise her “power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.” Miss Stevenson is good at her job. She has deals with beauty companies, protein powder producers, and clothing manufacturers.
As a promotion for her latest sportswear collection for White Fox Boutique, Miss Stevenson released a video of herself with waist length, light blue braids.
There was a flood of accusations of “cultural appropriation.” Commenters attacked Miss Stevenson for using braids, which apparently are reserved for black women. Here are some of the exchanges between fans that ensued.
Naturally, Miss Stevenson apologized. She pronounced herself “absolutely heartbroken,” and said she was “doing as much research as I can regarding the topic of cultural appropriation.” She removed the original video and replaced it with a new one. Her hair is pulled back — almost hidden from the camera.
Some of her fans said she should not have apologized.
Her supporters pointed out that the braids she wore are called Dutch braids — not box braids or dreadlocks, which are popular among black women. Dutch braids are very similar to French braids, and are made by adding hair to one strand of the braid at a time. They tend to lie flat against the scalp.
Box braids and dreadlocks are made with many small sections of hair woven together, and can be thickened with hair extension or braided together. Black women’s hair is more suited to this type of braiding than white women’s hair.
Needless to say, some of Miss Stevenson’s critics shot back at her defenders.
Miss Stevenson is a native Australian. At the time of the video she had never traveled outside of Australia. She grew up in a country with an overwhelmingly white population. The largest non-white groups are Chinese (3.6 percent), Aboriginal/Native (3 percent), and Indian (1.7 percent). There are almost no blacks in Australia. The idea that she was copying blacks — and therefore insulting them — is ridiculous.
Accusations of “cultural appropriation” are about one thing: power. Their purpose is to humiliate whites and make them grovel. Weakened, apologetic whites are easy prey for demands of all kinds. And every apology feeds this process.