Chet Hanks is back at it again.
After baffling the Black diaspora at the Golden Globe Awards with his sudden (faux) Jamaican-tinged Patois accents, Hanks is voicing his thoughts on cultural appropriation.
Fresh accusations of cultural appropriation were levelled against Hanks after he posted another video of himself speaking Patois at a pool party on his official Instagram page. In a separate 4-minute long “Chet Chat” to the social platform, he addressed the backlash and compared himself speaking in Patois to Black people taking up snowboarding.
“People are saying snowboarding is a terrible example because you can't compare a sport to people's hair,” he said in the video. “That’s true but if you're focusing on what I said about snowboarding as a sport, you're missing the point. I didn't mean it as a sport, I meant it as a reference for a community that surrounds it. The community that surrounds snowboarding is mainly white.”
He continued, “Anybody can snowboard….I'm not saying white people have a monopoly on snowboarding. I'm saying it's a reflection point for a community which is predominantly white. Because this is the other response I've been seeing is people saying, white people have no culture.”
He said the notion was “confusing” to him given the various different European cultures. He used another age-old analogy to illustrate his point: hip-hop versus country music.
“If a white person gets into hip-hop and they start wearing braids and gold teeth, some people call that appropriation,” he said. “But if a Black person puts on cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and gets into country music, there’s nothing wrong with that,” he began, adding “of course, there’s nothing with that.”
But, he questioned, “if you don’t have a problem with Black people wearing cowboy hats and cowboy boots, and loving country music then why do you have a problem with white people wearing braids and gold teeth and getting into hip-hop music?”
Hanks acknowledged that cultural appropriation is a real thing. However, he wondered, “why does it have to be all about stealing?”
“Why are we so caught up on this idea of theft and stealing like everything is so malicious, a person needs to steal from another to profit off of them and then make it theirs?” he posed. “Isn’t it just as easy to look at it from the other perspective which is just people like what they like..and nobody should have a problem with that?”
“Why are we so quick to be angry and tense at the blurring of racial communities instead of just being welcoming towards? That’s the only point I’m trying to make,” he concluded.
Listen to Chet Hank’s full remarks below.
(Photo: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)