Facets of Faith: when trendy goes downhill


Hanl Brown

Staff reporter Faith Brocke expresses her emotions and experiences in her column, Facets of Faith.

Faith Brocke, Staff Reporter

As trending waves ebb and flow, it’s impossible to keep people from latching onto them and allowing themselves to get swept up in a tidepool upon hopping on some bandwagon.

That being said, it makes it easier than ever to exploit different cultures for their different practices, food, clothing, etcetera. 

In recent years, dozens of challenges have risen and surfed on the tidal wave of virality. One notable example is the Fufu Challenge, where individuals would go to West African owned establishments, order fufu, and review it.

This went downhill quickly.

While it increased profit and business opportunities for African restaurant owners, it mutilated reputations, as many Non-Africans would slander the meal while being wildly disrespectful, and in some cases not eating the meal the way it was intended to be served, leaving the recipient with a skewed idea of the dish’s actual taste or presentation. 

The impact was inherent, especially when customers with large followings advocated against the businesses and their food, ultimately influencing their viewers’ opinions on a food they’d never tried,

Africans were treated as the butt of the joke (but hey, what’s new) as people made racist, derogatory comments surrounding cuisine, and even mannerisms or accents.

As someone who is never afraid to try something new, especially of a different culture, it was disheartening to see people boil down culturally significant foods to something that they found too outlandish to enjoy.

As a Ghanaian, it was shocking to see people compare the food to the food in a gorilla’s enclosure, and in some cases even demand refunds or harass owners due to their dissatisfaction.

Being able to try and dislike something without immediately dipping into disrespectful—and in some cases, racially motivated—territory is a practice that should be taught universally, rippling through the tidepools of society in the same way that these trends do. 

Perpetuating racism for a few likes and at the expense of a business owner spreading their culture seems to be a trend of its own; is it worth the attention?