Durag Debacle


Jerome Todd

Buff Puff season, the time every year where junior and senior boys duke it out in historically controversial video warfare to prove which Buff Puff team is better. In the Buff Puff video by the junior boys team, there were photos of two white students featured wearing a durag and waves, two things associated with black culture.

Representatives from both Black Student Union  and Community Ethics and Culture Committee made an announcement classifying the photos as cultural appropriation and stated that they put durags and waves into the umbrella of pop culture instead of keeping them within the black community. Members of the UPrep community looked at CECC and BSU as being dramatic and overreacting.

Despite the situation not stemming from bad intent, the impact of our actions do not always correlate, and you cannot discount minority perspectives. I fall into the category of people that thought,“What’s the big deal? It’s just a durag and waves. There really isn’t any harm that can come from them just being featured in a video, right?”

A lot of my friends and I agreed on one idea: the entire controversy will become moot upon reaching our ultimate goal of culture mixing and the removal of cultural appropriation of these cultures. However, having not reached a state in society or at UPrep where groups that feel targeted can be discredited for feeling that their culture is being attacked, it is important for many UPrep students to interpret these instances in which minority groups advocate for themselves as learning experiences. 

UPrep is known for its “bubble.” The thing that keeps UPrep students safe from many viewpoints and issues that conflict with school values. Students need to know that the real world is different. These moments become even more important once you realize that the skills groups that BSU and CECC are teaching, are to better prepare students on how to respectfully address cultures other than their own.

Next time a minority group exress themselves to you, listen.