Appropriate Then Discard: Miley Cyrus And The Problem With White Stars Adopting Black Culture

An interview and a tweet from both Miley Cyrus and YesJulz reveal the uncomfortable and irresponsible relationship they have with Black culture.

There was always something deeply irritating about Miley Cyrus to me.

Post Disney Network reign, the daughter of country music star Billy Ray Cyrus decided — like so many others before her — to transition into the world of pop music. While she produced three albums previously, Bangerz was a departure from her cookie-cutter label to RCA Records where she was "breaking through" and "taking more control" over her image.

RELATED: Tory Burch Ad Criticized For Cultural Appropriation, And The Internet Wasn't Here For It

I saw the B.S. coming from a mile away.

RELATED: Teen Actress Amandla Stenberg Expertly Explains What's Wrong with Cultural Appropriation

Having been a child of the '90s, I'd seen Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera do it before. In a desperate attempt to completely disconnect from their childhood innocence, they embraced hyper-sexual personas ladened with skimpy clothing and obscene lyrics/dance moves. But something about Miley was impeccably disturbing to me.

First of all, having absolutely no connection with the Black community prior to Bangerz, she was all of a sudden singing alongside the likes of French Montana, Three 6 Mafia, Future, Ludacris, and Nelly. Her videos were filled with Black women dancing, she made twerking "mainstream" and was working with Mike WiLL Made-It and Pharrell Williams on records.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.

I was disgusted, angered and ready for it to end. And eventually, it did.

She moved on, got back with her ex-fiance Liam Hemsworth, and just this week in an interview with Billboard talked about cleaning up her tarnished image. 

"That’s what pushed me out of the hip-hop scene a little," she says about graphic lyrics, "It was too much 'Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a girl on my cock' —I am so not that."

Days after the Billboard article dropped, Miami-based party promoter Julieanna Goddard (aka YesJulz) tweeted a photo of a shirt that said, "Ni**as lie a lot" with the caption "So am I allowed to wear this shirt to the festival tomorrow or naw?"

Accordingly, Black Twitter went ablaze over yet another White woman feeling comfortable enough to say something without the privilege or access to say it.

"It's so trite that people like YesJulz are still doing stuff like this," author, Starrene Rhett Rocque told ESSENCE. "With all the social media and access to information out there, she can't cry ignorance here. She knew better, but let's cut to the chase, people who do things like this do not care. It's obvious they don't care because they keep doing it, never learn from previous examples, and keep offering half-ass apologies for it."

What followed the YesJulz incident was a string of tweets calling out White "culture vultures," who use Blackness to push their own agenda. 

 

https://twitter.com/AnaSofaKingCoo/status/860085108489039873

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/DuragsBoatshoes/status/860343445080199168

 

https://twitter.com/bronze_bombSHEL/status/860327531576262656

"We have to be mindful of the people we push forward," Deanii Scott, Hot 97 digital producer said. "We (Black people) have the most valuable/profitable voices ever. Everything we say and do is gold. We've always had the keys."

"Let's protect it and support women/men who love and respect us, instead of opportunists who abuse and blemish our culture."

Read More
Filed under: Culture