Maybe you have heard of this wedding?* The wedding between a white man and a white woman, in South Africa, that had a "Colonial Africa" theme? The wedding that was raved about on some photography website for how authentic it was and how neat it was that the couple used actual "colonial artifacts." THE WEDDING THAT FEATURED A STAFF OF BLACK SERVANTS DRESSED UP LIKE SOME IDIOT'S OUT OF AFRICA WET DREAM??
Yea. It makes my head explode with rage and my mind fold in on itself in sorrow. THE. FUCK.
I spent years studying the ravages of colonialism on the continent of Africa (I could say countries because I hate it when people treat the continent like a country, but the country barriers are colonial vestiges anyway). I lived in a post-colonial country.** Even if you f you can get past ignoring cultures to create your own country boundaries for financial and political gain, assimilating people so they make better servants (which, why would you get past that without seeing how it is offensive?) you still have: cutting off children's hands when they don't collect enough rubber on your plantation, raping, killing, enslaving people and sending them across the world in deathships only to suffer even more and longer upon their arrival to some terrible foreign country. The list goes fucking on, people.
Listen. I usually don't get wrapped up in these flash-in-the-pan Internet hysterics. It is not my nature to freak out in the comments of other people's blogs about some terrible thing they did. I know that a lot of things come off wrong, especially on the Internet. Part of me (a very little part) wants to give these people the benefit of the doubt. Like maybe they are just extremely stupid and not the total pieces of shit I imagine them to be. But, NO. You cannot be a white person marrying a white man in South Africa and NOT GET why having a "Colonial Africa" themed wedding is all kinds of fucked up. That is not stupidity or innocent ignorance, it is willful denial of white privilege and it is exactly the kind of shit that causes pain and trouble all over the world.
Ugh. I hate them. That is all. Sorry for being such an anger ball.
*I am not linking to the photography blog that posted the wedding because my hatred for them right now is such that I cannot give them more press right now. The source is in the link above if you want to go to the original post. Thankfully most the commenters feel the way I do (how often does that happen?)
**And strove every day to be aware of my situation and privileges that I had as a white American. I tried very, very hard to be aware of the circumstances that allowed me to be there and the responsibilities that meant I had. I knew that I was walking a very thin line between honest attempts to get to know another country/peoples/cultures and a shallow fetishism of the "Other." I can't say that I always succeeded but at least I thought about it (a lot) and at least I tried.