Montreal Club Cancels Comedian For Wearing Dreadlocks

I have been previously critical of “cultural appropriation” campaigns against students and faculty and others accused of incorporating or adopting clothes, food (here and here and here), or exercise (and here) or even art (and here) associated with other cultures. These controversies have also involved hair and jewelry styles, including dreadlocks. The latest controversy arose over a comedian, Zach Poitras, who happened to have dreadlocks who was scheduled to have a show in Montreal at a bar associated with the University of Quebec. It was cancelled after people objected that he was white and thus his hair style was cultural appropriation. It is the same misguided position that we have seen on college campuses in sanctioning those who explore different styles or art forms or foods.

The Coop les Récoltes is connected with the Université du Québec à Montréal’s Groupe de recherches d’intérêt public. The co-operative posted a statement that it is committed being “a safe space, free from any link to oppression,” and describes cultural appropriation as a form of violence. It states “a person from a dominant culture appropriates the symbols, clothing or even the hairstyles of persons from a historically dominated culture.”

I remain unpersuaded by that argument. Poitras may be wearing the hair style out of identification with the culture or simply aesthetics but it is not an effort to appropriate someone else’s culture. All of our cultures influence a pluralistic society and many of our traditions or foods or styles are incorporated into a varied and collective mosaic. I realize the good intentions behind the movement and the legitimate concerns over some displays deemed offensive. However, these are cases of people who adopt positive elements of other cultures rather than appropriate them. The effort to sanction people for such cultural appropriation has become increasingly intolerant of the choices of others in our society in my view.

What do you think?

45 thoughts on “Montreal Club Cancels Comedian For Wearing Dreadlocks”

  1. This is so stupid. Is Canada not a free country anymore? You can be prohibited from performing as a comedian because of your hair?

    Cultural appropriation is a manufactured crisis. We don’t steal cultures. Ideas, fashion, and inventions flow. We share ideas and what we like. That’s why more than one community uses fire to cook their food, and we’re not all wearing animal skins instead of woven cloth. Agriculture, industry, cuisine, fashion…all shared. Someone sees something, likes it, uses it. Period.

    We have bigger problems than policing some comedian’s hair. This is one of the many reasons why I hate identity politics so much. This guy isn’t permitted to wear a certain hairstyle because he’s the wrong color. What is this, the new Jim Crow?

    1. This is just an attempt by arrogant liberals to pontificate themselves and gain status among their peers, along with an attempt to bring relevance to their otherwise unproductive lives.

      You are correct about this being a manufactured crisis. They have very little to offer these days since the economy and employment is performing generally well and the ordinary person has a decent lot in life. Their practice harkens back to the old sales maxim “create the fear, close the deal.” As long as politicians and ambitious individuals cannot make something of their own that enriches them to their liking they can always rely on other people’s outrage and topics du jour to do creative work for them.

      To make structural level positive systems for a society requires a great amount of skill and organizational ability, abilities commanded by few individuals. But since most politicians’ contributions in the U.S. are as worthless as tits on a male boar, they jump on whatever sound bite or prepackaged crisis to con voters into lending them their ears and ballots. That is why we see the same old rhetoric every day from these individuals. They are incapable of achieving true talent.

      Back to the topic at hand, I find that many white liberals are the most racist individuals currently in the U.S. The oddity is that if one looks at the most high profile type of racist, KKK members, we have really what a few hundred members in the entire country. But when we look at the number of people who subscribe to the left’s version of racism the adherents are probably in the hundreds of thousands to millions. So it begs the question, what is the face of racism currently in the U.S? It seems by the multitude of examples that the party that caters to it tends to vote for Democrats and generally is white, college educated, middle to upper class, and names their own race as being the racists in America. (Except the individuals themselves of course). It’s astounding how many people got duped into hating their own race. The ultimate sheep and useful idiots.

      You have to wonder at what point there will be an awakening of conscious but I have my doubts for many of these individuals.

        1. David:

          The meaning of words change in the lexicon. If you believe in individual liberty, then you are probably thinking of what is now defined as Classical Liberalism. Its definition is more aligned with modern conservatives today than it is with Liberals, who don’t believe in individual liberty, freedom to conduct business, capitalism, or a weak government, at all.

          I advise you to look up the definition of “Classical Liberal” and compare it with modern Liberalism.

          When Gentile decried “Liberals”, he used the definition of his time, in which Liberalism was in favor of strong individual rights, weak government, and the freedom to conduct business as one chose. All of this was anathema to Fascism, which was yet another attempt to improve upon Socialism.

          1. So-called modern liberalism is misnamed and despoils the language. There are many words in the English language and, of course, one can always make up a new one.

            1. You can spend your days pissing into the wind trying to get the entirety of a society to adopt your demands to retain a rigid lexicon, or you can participate in the discussion having the presence of mind to go with the flow. If you wish to participate in the illusion that language must be static and inflexible then you are welcome to speak in the English in its pure form before the Norman influence. Since almost nobody today intends to speak the language of a thousand years ago to accommodate your demand, finding yourself alone will be your fate.

      1. Darren – I agree. What chills me to the bone is wondering what similarities we have with Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Stalin’s Russia just prior to the tipping point of catastrophe. All were preceded by rhetoric about subverting rights for the common good, and focusing hatred on part of the population as the source of all ills. At one point, they all thought they were fighting the good fight. History and the barest minimum of conscience proved them wrong.

        Here in the US, the Left espouses Socialism, the root of Nazism, Fascism, and mass murder in the name of Lenin. Good little Oktoberists preach power to the people, when such a system actually renders the people absolutely powerless in the face of dictatorial government. We have identity politics which, by definition, is racist and bigoted. A significant proportion of our society actually is naive enough to believe that men are toxic. The Left has manufactured a scarecrow boogeyman to unite the people into giving up their rights, and violently harassing those who don’t believe as they do. They’re trained now. One scandal after another has proven false, but they still jump, as they did at the recent false accusations against Catholic school boys. The Left now dutifully gives innocent teenagers death threats. There seems to be no introspection, no self awareness of this pattern of unthinking over-reaction.

        How far is this going to go? Are we witnessing the beginnings of our own great calamity?

        1. I agree they are a threat to individual liberty but I suspect individually they are each paper tigers, unlike the actual Nazis or Fascists in Italy and elsewhere who were armed and brutalized people into submission. The SJW types are mostly crybabies, a lot of shout and not much force. The closest they come to actual physical threat is a hooded Portlander who exacts violence against a trash can or window.

          I choose total economic boycotting. While I agree I do not spend enough money to matter against any business in particular or in aggregate If I approach a business that gets political on me I simply leave. It works for me personally since I don’t have to put up with their ridiculousness and if they eventually go out of business or succeed its their concern not mine.

          I too am greatly concerned with what is going on at a national level to suppress people. But as for practice I say and do what I want. I recognize what can happen in doing so as to a cost/benefit But I refuse to change my ways because someone might be unreasonably offended.

          You might find some solace in coming to the point where you no longer care what others demand of you.

  2. i think Poitras is an idiot. I don’t need to know, I just see a white dude with dreads and say IDIOT.

    With respect to Prof T., I say who cares if the lefties ban in montreal ban him. he’s likely just another chump

    Montreal has good erotic dance clubs btw. check that out instead!

  3. The co-operative posted a statement that it is committed being “a safe space, free from any link to oppression,” and describes cultural appropriation as a form of violence.

    Coop les Récoltes is completely off the rails bonkers – straight jackets for one and all.

    How can styling your hair in a certain manner be viewed as a form of violence?

    cultural appropriation is the finest form of human flattery to be found on planet Earth – without it we would still be living in caves/trees living a hunter/gatherer existence.

  4. Nothing is taken away. They still can make use of those expressions of cultural origin themselves, so it’s more akin to sharing than to true appropriation (or borrowing). The expression is merely partially copied so calling it culture sharing would be a better way to look at this.

  5. I’m not as charitable as you, Mr. Turley. The left has become a bunch of wussies (and I consider myself on the left – this is me having it “up to here” with my companeros). This is just one version of political correctitude with a collection of neologisms associated with its newest linguistic iteration. The problem with political correctitude has always been that it presumptively privileges the impact of the communication on the person who is “subject” to it, whether or not that impact is reasonable, over the intentions of the person making the utterance, no matter what they are, e.g. neutral, oblivious, in jest, cruel, or not intending to communicate anything except in the most incidental way that would not offend any member of a genuinely free society. In other words, political correctitude starts from the premise that the hearer’s reactions are sacrosanct, and then proceeds to the analysis of whether a communication is offensive based solely on those reactions. This in infantile. Lately, because political correctitude has gone so far over the line, and there has been a backlash against it, despite its good intentions, there has been some welcome retreat from it by its most extreme proponents, albeit not much, to the saner notion that the moral value of a communicative act is assessed objectively, taking into account the impact on the hearer and the intentions of the speaker, and whether the sending and receiving of particular meanings actually took place or was fair to attribute to the one or the other. All talk of instances in which it is said that culture is being appropriated or not and, if it is, whether that appropriation is improper or offensive, comes down to this analysis of whether the hearer’s reactions are being improperly privileged, or both parties perspectives are being taken into account. I see no issue whatsoever in a white man having dreadlocks per se, anymore than I see an issue in a white man playing in a jazz band, and that it is not reasonable to think otherwise. I think liberals have lost their heads, and they need to get them back, to regain some perspective, and some willingness for F&&k’s sake (to advert to stand-up comedy) to laugh a little bit even if all the jokes aren’t 100% fair.

  6. Jaron Lanier is white and has dreadlocks, nobody complains about it. Some people (me) have round hair follicles, my hair is straight no matter how I comb it. Others have hair follicles that are more oval, their hair is curly. Most blacks have that. Some whites too. Mr. Lanier wears dreadlocks for the same reason as others with those follicles…to prevent ingrown hair. Same with beards. Ingrown hair can be painful. People with oval or flat hair follicles deserve sympathy. Cultural appropriation is BS.

  7. If people really believe this, then women should stop wearing pants. Anyone of Polynesian ancestry or from an equatorial climate should stop wearing almost all clothing, Anyone from a far northern climate should stop wearing anything other than animal skins.

    Get serious folks, some in our society have left the planet with their self appropriation.

  8. “I realize the good intentions behind the movement and the legitimate concerns over some displays deemed offensive.“
    I don’t. I find it patronizing and ridiculous. May African-Americans not wear trousers because it was a European invention? How about me frying up some General Tao’s chicken? Or am I only limited to spaghetti? This is a mechanism of control established by the Left using their usual repressive methods. They lord supposed compassion over their adversaries to end debate and dominate the narrative. Yet another nanny tactic and evidence of the feminization of society. I reject this busibodiness and attack on freedom. F — orget—them and the horse they rode in on.
    Now I’m off to the kitchen to whip up some Huevos Rancheros. Ole!

  9. Correctness pushed too far. Punishing a person that has integrated a cultural aspect of an other society. Intolerence toward tolerence.

  10. Why not? Shouldn’t every ethnic background be hand cuffed to the past disallowing any chance of effecting a change. Perhaps immigrants from Africa should be captured from some tribal units and ‘sold’ then ‘transported’ to various parts of the world without hindrance to the original ‘sellers’ as is happening now with the traffic in underage latinos.

    Obviousy no one should be allowed to effect change no matter what the outcome.

    Your bed PC now go lie in it.

  11. I had a heated argument one time with an unbelievably closed minded college student. He accused me of being a racist because I mentioned to another person that there was a study out that considered limiting menthol in cigarettes due to an extra health risk associated with the chemicals and that it was hitting the black community worse because black smokers tend to buy menthols more than other racial groups. After I told him this was just a scientific study he went into a big tirade at how much of a racist I was and that the study (which he admitted to never knowing of before) was designed to oppress blacks.

    When I asked him how I could be a racist and having been involved in two interracial relationships he claimed I had a deviant fetish for Asian women. So I prodded him with the fact that he must be against interracial relationships because he views such as being sexually deviant. I thought he was going to pop a cork after that one.

    The truth is there is no pleasing or satisfying people such as these. No matter how liberal one is, it is never liberal enough for them and their positions are often based on emotion and not reason. The best way to deal with them is to ignore what they demand and just live your life in the manner you see fitting.

    1. When I asked him how I could be a racist and having been involved in two interracial relationships he claimed I had a deviant fetish for Asian women. So I prodded him with the fact that he must be against interracial relationships because he views such as being sexually deviant. I thought he was going to pop a cork after that one.

      Was he your nephew or some punk your daughter brought home?

      1. He was a complete stranger. I was talking with someone else and he overheard me and felt compelled to interrupt our evening.

    2. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of that conversation.

      Data isn’t racist. It just is. There have been many health studies delving into genetic and cultural differences of outcomes among different racial cohorts. One example is following sickle cell anemia, which afflicts mostly African American communities, and its interaction with various diets, smoking, etc. Another is the disproportionate affect of alcoholism in the Native American communities, who genetically have more susceptibility, not having had thousands of years to evolve a resistance to alcohol as in Europe. SPAM is a curiously common food staple in Hawaii, with the result being negative health outcomes in native Hawaiians. Tacking such issues is a very common topic in health studies, and most emphatically is not racist. If it makes him feel any better, European ancestry has its own health concerns, such as increased risk of skin cancer.

      When the black community suffers more smoking related deaths, that’s a problem that most researches would want studies and solved. How telling that this critic would rather that they die in greater numbers than other groups, than to try to help.

  12. The comedian should file a lawsuit seeking damages for racial discrimination. I believe his case would be strong. The venue deserves to lose some dollars and it would be glorious to watch.

    I appropriated Japanese Culture by driving my Subaru out into the sticks, shot my German H&K MP5 and Brazilian made pistol, stopped by a Hawaiian Barbecue restaurant, and came home to some Indonesian coffee. Hopefully, I angered a SJW at some point. That would make the day complete.

    1. Taurus always seemed like the ripoff artist to me, taking design cues from S&W, so much i wondered if they were licensing from SW, or just stealing ideas?

  13. Jazz taught here. The current faculty will have to be replaced and only African Americans will be accepted as students.

    Only Russian students with German derived names will be allowed to play Rachmaninoff!

  14. Woody Guthrie once said about someone who had appropriated a tune from him that “He just stole from me, but I steal from everyone.” Pete Seeger’s father once remarked, “Plagiarism is basic to all culture.” I had vegetarian enchiladas for lunch today — that probably borrowed from more than one culture different from the one in which I was born.

    1. Justice H………oh, nooooooo. The only intolerance allowed is intolerance toward white people, only. Period. End of discussion.
      Michelle O. and other people of “color” ( which I’m guessing is green, because of envy) can straighten their Afros all they want.
      BTW, afros looked so cool when I was young, and still do, IMO. I dated a black guy with a great ‘fro. So, what happened? It seems the more blacks hate us, the more they want to look like us. I am very confused.

      1. Chris Rock did an excellent documentary called Good Hair that exposed the toxic chemicals in such straightening treatments. Women severely damage their hair straightening it, getting weaves, yanking combs through it, constantly braiding it, bleaching it, and otherwise torturing it. That’s true for anyone who processes their hair, but especially so for those who have the curliest hair. The curlier the hair, the harder it is for its natural oils to travel down the strands, rendering it more fragile, dry, and prone to breakage.

        I like natural black hair and find the several types very pretty. There’s a numbering system that evaluates hair, no matter the ethnicity. I like natural, healthy hair that is vibrant with good health, no matter the race. I’m happy to see that natural black hair is making a comeback. No one understands how to care for hair like a black woman with her own natural hair. There are websites, stores, and Youtube channels devoted to cultivating it, which is a commitment. There are also snake oil salesmen who take advantage of the unwary.

        1. Interesting…..Thank you, Karen. I figured those straighteners were toxic….and I’ve wondered about Prince Harry’s Meghan using those chemicals while pregnant. You’re not supposed to do that if carrying a baby……not even supposed to use hair dyes.
          Pictures of Meghan as a child show a typical little black girl with very kinky hair. She was so cute.

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