* Takes deep breath *
I have got to get something off my chest because you lot want to keep stressing me the fuck out. Earlier this year, I mentioned in my post ‘Dark n’ Stormy’ that “I’m done with our dialect being mass-produced and worn by people who don’t talk like that and would likely not hire someone who did.”
I didn’t go into detail nor include links to the websites of the offenders, because the amount of fuckery I was already addressing in that piece was enough. And after the few posts I wrote about race this year, the whitelash in my inbox kept me pretty busy … and I have wine to drink. Also, I work in tourism, and a lot of these dastardly deed-doers are in that circle.
So I left it alone.
I saw you all wearing those trucker hats and side-eyed you.
But I left it alone.
I saw a tribal slash gombey ‘ace girl’ shirt, designed by a white non-Bermudian that don’t even live here no more. When exclaiming her glee at coming to the island to drop off these latest designs, she wrote, ‘ya ace girl is back pon de rock’.
* clenches jaw * Imma let you keep those edges. Imma leave it alone.
I saw a person struggle-banter in a Bermudian accent on NBC. And that one … woosah, that one cut me DEEP, I must say.
I WROTE NARY A WORD. I. LEFT. IT. ALONE.
But then, on Instagram, this happened.
photo of Bermuda Memes mural from Bernews.
* insert Shabba voice *
LAWWWDDDDD A MERCY
OK FIRST... STOP. I see you poising your fingers to send me unsolicited and tomfoolery comments like ‘is this really that important’ or ‘surely there are other things that matter more in a country where [insert Bermuda’s latest problem]’.
Let it be known good people of the land that I can walk and chew gum at the same time. In this case, that means I can be outraged at the state of key issues in the island, even *gasp* the WORLD, AND be pissed as FUCK that these preppy, Martha’s Vineyard belts [that Chase will wear with Sperry topsiders and a pastel button down while nibbling on canapés] are plastered with a ton of black-isms. Most importantly – using a design that is clearly stolen from Bermuda Memes mural, and giving them ZERO credit UNTIL they got called out on Instagram, whereupon they claimed to be 'inspired' by the mural. Nah bruv.
There was AMPLE opportunity for this company to reach out to Bermuda Memes and suggest a collaboration. How dope would that have been? Imagine the mural in the store with belts and umbrellas and dang near everything! Bermuda Memes can pretty much be credited with the modern celebration of the Bermudian accent and slang and obviously merch would be a next step for them but #accesstocapital #twoblackboys. It would have also brought a whole new segment of the population to their store.
When appreciation and inspiration is done correctly, everybody wins. But nope.
WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY are whypipo out here Columbusing the shit out of black Bermudian culture with nary any awareness? You might be fixing your tongue to say, these are BERMUDIAN words, not owned solely by one race. Mmhmm... when was the last time that Chase said ‘dickty’ without jest? How about ‘shrudetrees’? 'Ace girl'?
You are LYING if you don't acknowledge that the slang and accent comes mostly from a certain community. And if you won't acknowledge that truism... * glares at you, blinking slowly with intense judgement *
Over the last year, we saw an (r)evolution, where for the first time, people using images of gombeys to sell everything from artwork to towels have been asked if they have ever financially supported a troupe. (Heaps of love to artist April Branco and community culture-ist Carlita Lodge for leading that movement). The tide is turning.
So consider this post the end of me ‘leaving it alone’. I'm calling you all out. I’m done.
And you appropriating lot *swivels head sharply *, distancing yourself from black people at every turn, not engaging on any issues that impact us, but having the peak caucasity to mine our culture for profit… I highly suggest you be done as well.
UPDATE: It was pointed out by Nekeisha Cameron on my Facebook post that I was remiss in not addressing the misuse and misspelling of the word 'dicty'. As she stated, 'A 90 year old in stilettos can be dicty. Holding your tea cup with pinky finger extended can be dicty. A belt cannot be dicty... I’ve never personally known it to be directed towards a male. And def not a male article of clothing.' And as I added, 'what’s interesting is that it was spelled that way (dickty) in the (Bermuda Memes) mural, which I always thought was wrong. But these guys didn’t even know enough to question that! Just stole a word spelled weirdly then used it incorrectly.' Further #sideeye.