While reading a blog by a fellow KBW member I saw a comment left by my sworn enemy. It was mainly gibberish (as usual) but contained in all that nonsense was the unthinkable, the unmentionable. I wonâ€™t even link to it but I shall say this: it is a dumb person who dares refer to my dreadlocks as braids and it is a dead person who dares to suggest that my hair is FAKE!!!
Those comments by the fake-cousin-I- wish-I- never-had have led me to think about some daft and at times offensive things that non-locked people say when in the company of we dread folk.
For those without locks please consider the list below as a guide of things NEVER to say when you meet a person with locks.
Things NOT to say
- Is this your real hair?
- I didnâ€™t think black hair grew this long
Number 1 and 2 are related in that they rely on the assumption that long hair is good hair and that black hair in itâ€™s natural state can not grow long/look good.
I have often found that this is questions asked more by black people than white people.
- Do you wash your hair?
I often do not explain why I take offence to this question. It really should be obvious. What reason would I have not to wash my hair? Unless I was a dirty slob â€“ and when asked this question I shall automatically conclude that the asker has assumed I am a dirty slob.
From my experience I have found this question is asked more by white people. I canâ€™t even think of a black person who has asked me this.
- How often do you wash your hair?
- How do you wash your hair?
I debated about putting these on the list because there are times when it is not offensive or rude to ask about lock maintenance. If for instance someone wants to start locking their hair and wants to find out more, I would be more than willing to answer 3 and 4.
On the other hand there are times when I have been asked this question by people I consider total strangers and who are not interested in locking hair.
Washing my hair is a personal matter and I think it is a sign of ill breeding to walk up to someone and ask such a stupid question. As for ‘how to wash’…from what I know; the ways to wash hair are fairly straightforward. Water, shampoo, scrub, rinse.
Most people regardless of race ask this question, though I have found that it is mainly white people who are shocked to hear that I do not wash my hair everyday.
- Weed, sister?
- Do you smoke pot?
Prior to locking my hair I could breeze through customs without anyone stopping me; recently though it seems that every custom official I meet takes one looks at me and my hair and immediately asks if I am carrying drugs.
I am also asked this at parties, in bars and usually by total strangers.
It appears that both white and black people ask the same question but in different ways.
- Are you Jamaican?
- Have you been to Jamaica?
I arrived in Turkey and handed my passport to the immigration man and he looked at me and said â€œJamaican huh?â€? Just for the record my passport is not Jamaican and I still canâ€™t understand how that man got a job as an immigration officer.
Do people have to be told that not all locked people are from Jamaica? I wonder if white locked people get asked the same thing.
As for being asked if I have been to Jamaicaâ€¦this is another of those â€˜in contextâ€™ questions.
- Your hair is so crazy
Someone I work with once said this to me. Crazy as used by a stranger is not a term of endearment.
These are just a few things that people have said to me. I am sure there are many more and I would love to hear about them.
Oh…I nearly forgot to strike back at he-who-shall-not-be-linked…..
Those fake hair comments have taken this war to a whole new level and I have been left with no choice but to rely on weapon only reserved for the ugliest of wars.
Ngamia bila magongo this is for you:
Iâ€™m rubber youâ€™re glue
Everything you say
Bounces off me
And sticks on you.