Is Chet Hanks Right or Wrong to Insist on a Fake Jamaican Accent

Cultural appropriation is something that gets written about online despite the fact that most people who aren’t terminally online will think you’re an idiot if you try to talk to them about it. This isn’t a judgment on if it’s a valid subject to discuss, but we should be realistic about the fact that it is not a popular one and that a large majority of people will roll their eyes.

Chet Hanks has been one of the people who think cultural appropriation is bullshit, having said in the past “If you don’t have a problem with a Black person wearing cowboy hats and cowboys 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? It’s this whole idea of theft, of they steal it from us.”

He’s in the news again for defending his use of a Jamaican accent, and Page Six reports he said “It’s not coming from a place of like, ‘Oh, I’m going to s—t on these people,’” he said. “You know what I mean?” and compared it to speaking in a British accent after watching British movies.

The problem is that this isn’t really about cultural appropriation.

Like, you know how there’s a difference between a white kid listening to Run-D.M.C. and that same kid wearing blackface? Doing certain ethnic accents is a lot closer to blackface than it is to whatever minor dumbass thing eight Mary Sue writers are mad about, like putting American cheese in ramen.

You know exactly what I’m talking about, you’ve heard people do voices to sound Asian or stereotypically black in a way that was pretty racist in a way that made you uncomfortable. Have you ever heard someone do an accent like that and have it not feel a little bit racist? Yeah, I didn’t think so. And that’s why Chet Hanks is an idiot even if like most people you think cultural appropriation is dumb babies yelling about nothing.

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2 years ago

The trouble is, a lot of Americans don’t seem to understand that Jamaican =/= black. Jamaica is a multiracial society (the motto: “Out of Many, One People”), and there are white, asian, Indian etc Jamaicans who all speak patois. So speaking in patois really doesn’t even come close to blackface. Americans seem to be really keen with these issues like Chet Hanks or Adele, to tell Jamaicans how oppressed they are, but most Jamaicans really don’t care about this. As soon as they say that though, just hear how quickly the slurs come out of the supposedly “woke” Americans’ mouths:… Read more »