First things first, we have been overwhelmed by the support & love we've been receiving since launching our clothing line. 💜
We want to take this time to respond to some questions we've been getting in our DM & email with allies wondering if wearing our merch or becoming members of our movement would be considered cultural appropriation.
Quick answer: No, wearing our merch OR becoming members would not be considered cultural appropriation.
More elaborate answer: OF COURSE we want you to buy & rep our merch & support our movement through our paid memberships (duh, 🗣 that's how we pay our bills). 💵
But honestly, it's so much more than your business that we need. We NEED your support.
You especially: the non-Arab or non-Muslim person, lurking on our page. 👀 we see you! Thank you for being here, seriously. 🙏🏼
We know conversations around cultural appropriation can be confusing, & tbh, we're here for it. It's supposed to be a bit confusing because all that means is we are all becoming more mindful, & we are DEFINITELY here for that too.
With that being said, this is why repping our merch OR becoming a member is NOT appropriative:
1. Thawra means revolution in Arabic. Our merch is about encouraging the internal revolution that needs to happen before things can change externally. The revolution or thawra that begins within us, within our homes, in our group chats, in our family gatherings. From the quiet & humble thawra, to the loud & in your face kind - we are here for it all. & we need you to be here with us too. When you support us, you are supporting the accurate & affirming representation of Arabs &/or Muslims in America. Nothing appropriative about that.
2. Chances are, you - the non Arab & non Muslim - have access to a network of people who may not know a lot about the unique experiences & struggles of Arab Americans & Muslim Americans. & it's not their fault that they don't know much about us - it's part of the problem you're helping us solve: identity erasure & media misrepresentation. We can already imagine our "Welcome to the Thawra" tee being an excellent conversation starter for you! 😍
3. People of color can benefit greatly from the support & buy-in of those outside of their communities. When you truly respect & appreciate a community, & when you have done your diligence to ensure you are not crossing boundaries by wearing certain garments, your support & celebration of that community can do wonders. The absolute best way to support us is buy becoming a member. In exchange, we'll give you exclusive behind the scenes content, quarterly discounts on our shop, & more. 🎁
We get it though, there is a fine line between celebration & appropriation, & we are so glad you're taking steps to make sure you're on the right side of it. Regardless, thank you for being here & for supporting the thawra in whatever ways feel most inspiring to you. ✊🏼
a Dearborn Girl