One voice has been conspicuously absent from the, yes, somehow still circulating, really rather unproductive story surrounding the above video in which a black female SF State student accuses a white student with dreadlocks of cultural appropriation. And that would be her voice. She is Bonita Tindle, and in a public Facebook post circulated by school paper the Golden Gate Xpress she claims to have received death threats and all manner of harassment in the viral video's wake.
Putting aside the video, she writes, "You can tell me that the decisions I made are right or wrong but what we need to focus on is the wrong in the response to the video. In the aftermath, I have been the subject of violence in the form of death threats, rape threats, sexual harassment, and anti-Black hate speech."
Echoing this point, the dreadlocked man, Cory Goldstein — who of course gave his own interview far earlier — even commiserates with Tindle. As he reportedly wrote, "I want to apologize to the girl in the video because no one deserves the amount of backlash she received, I want her to know that I feel where she was coming from and wish we could have talked in a more positive and loving situation."
Tindle discusses her side of the experience in full, and it's a very unhappy one. "Over the past few weeks, America has held discussions about my personal Black experience," she writes, "dancing between their own definitions of right and wrong. Over the past few weeks I had to move from my home, change my cell phone number, and disable social media accounts."
She also argues that the clip excludes an initial interaction. "He selectively edits only a portion of the encounter that contrives to cast an impression of unprovoked aggression on my part," she writes.
While Goldstein has surely undergone some backlash, and thus gets where Tindle is coming from, I find it unlikely that he has received threats of sexual harassment, or had to move and change his phone number.
But, who knows! Perhaps he'll come forward and say that he has, in fact, experienced further suffering — more criticism of his hair or appearance. That would be fitting. After all, the real appropriation in all this story, as it seems to me, is that Goldstein and the media have conveniently borrowed a narrative of oppression. She criticized his hair, and someone threatened to kill her for it, but somehow, he's the oppressed party? Now that's offensive.