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Via Vice:

So you’ve decided you don’t like reggae. I can respect this decision. There’s some good thinking involved in this decision. Whenever I talk to a fellow white person who has decided they don’t like reggae, they usually make the following points: 1. I don’t really smoke weed, so it doesn’t really do anything for me; 2. I find it repetitive and unvarying, two qualities I don’t appreciate in music because see point 1; 3. I am white; 4. people who are “really into reggae,” especially white people who are “really into reggae,” are annoying little dipshits, and based on social programming, I wish to avoid being seen as an annoying little dipshit; 5. Bob Marley Legends is the fucking WORST.

There is some pretty indisputable logic going on there. There’s also some fear of the other, but I can be charitable and call it fear of the self in the form of colonial, self-aggrandizing, condescending racism of appropriation that comes from white people overindulging in “multiculturalism.” As far as the cultural achievements of nonwhite people are concerned, white people SHOULD walk a fine line. Appreciate, but don’t exploit. I mention all of this because white people who don’t like reggae, and they are legion, have usually come to this decision after having made another decision: not to investigate reggae. “It’s not for me, best to leave it alone.” That’s not an ignoble sentiment for a white person to have, especially compared to “Wait, what are you people up to? I WANT IN.”

All the above is fine fine fine, except reggae, even at its most rootsy and sacred, is just music. White people, just like all people with all music, are allowed to like it or not like it. And in the case of reggae, its existence and emergence is a feat of impressive enough majesty that it SHOULD be investigated, and appreciated, and extolled, even if you have no interest (and I think you should) in also jamming and/or sexing and/or smoking to it. To not do so based on the five unassailable tenets of Reggae No Thank You as stated above is to do the world a disservice. And you’ve done that enough, Whitey.



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