In the latest episode of DeRay McKesson’s podcast, “Pod Save the People” (Episode 8: “When You Have to Face Yourself”), McKesson interviews singer Katy Perry. During the conversation, Perry and McKesson discuss many topics, including the subject of cultural appropriation.
Perry has been heavily criticized — including by this blog — for multiple incidents of racial insensitivity and cultural appropriation, including at the 2013 AMA Music Awards when Perry dressed as a geisha in an Orientalist staging of her song “Unconditionally” (video after the jump). Perry was also accused of racism and appropriating black hair for her music video, “This Is How We Do“, wherein the singer was shown wearing cornrows and eating watermelon.
In her latest Twitter meltdown, Banks spent most of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning posting disgustingly racist, homophobic, and xenophobic slurs targeting fellow musician and former One Direction member Zayn Malik, who is biracially Pakistani British. Banks was apparently infuriated by her perception that Malik had copied some of Banks’ personal style. Whether or not that is true, this is no excuse for the revolting bigotry of Banks’ tweets, published late last night (screenshots after the jump via Kajalmag.com; trigger warning for slurs).
When I was a college student, I attended my university’s annual Diwali program, organized by a Hindu student organization on campus. In a university with a large number of Hindu students, turnout at this yearly event is substantial and attendance stretches far beyond the Hindu population. Students who are not Hindu or Indian enthusiastically attend in droves, with some professors in the Sociology department even urging their students to attend in order to understand and appreciate the Hindu festival.