While I was listening to Eminem, the story of a struggling white man trying to eke out a living within a reverse-racist black dominated rap industry, with nothing but a handful of witticisms about how craps his mum was I stumbled across the biggest cultural appropriation heist since Europeans started doing Yoga tutorials for other Europeans. No, it wasn’t Coldplay’s new anthem for gap year students in India. I’m talking about the colonisation of parts of East London by what for the purposes of this exercise I will call “Hipsters”.
There are bearded Hipsters cycling around in East London on their penny farthings raising the rent wherever they settle. Their type of cultural appropriation is of a pernicious nature, a modern day selling back of tea to the Chinese. Quite frankly it stinks of scented beard oil and roll up tobacco.
As one native of Tower Hamlets told me, “They walk around with their roll up jeans and their beards, jacking the whole Muslim aesthetic. But when they see me and the mandem in Stratford Westfield, they act like I’m the one that’s going to rob them.”
Another concerned minority related to me how the Lahore style grill places of her childhood had started providing cutlery to cater for the influx of economic migrants from the suburbs. This minority woman asks the question “Why would you want cutlery? Why don’t they integrate? You don’t need cutlery, that is why we invented Peshwari naan.”
They come over here and don’t want to fit in, and instead request a soupspoon for the chilli sauce. Tell me, why do they need a knife and fork for four piece chicken wings and chips at Chicken Cottage, did God not give them fingers?
I went to speak to curry house workers on the frontline of this cultural divide, the curry mile on Brick Lane. They confirm a shocking lack of integration by Hipsters; “they’re always asking if the Lamb-Bhoona is locally sourced.” They also have to turf out at least ten a night, because they keep taking selfies with Lota’s provided for paying guests in the lavatories.
It is important to state, not all employed in the curry industry mind the quips or inane commentary like they’re breaking down a non-existent fourth wall. Some in the curry trade say their English has greatly improved, indeed, one opined, “It’s like a curry based ESOL class.”
However lack of respect for local indigenous cultures is a recurring Hipster theme. You only need look at how they interact with the local population in Shoreditch. I spoke to Muslims there and they said Hipster kids in plaid shirts and stripy socks started showing up at the local Mosque to read Rumi loudly, because spirituality of Rumi’s poetry chimed with the ambiance of the Mosque.
The gentrification of safe places by Hipsters is not just confined to Mosques however; they come to our Shisha bars and try mining you for gap year memories, so they can pass it off as their own on Tumblr. Why is it my problem that their parents were too cheap to fund a year to find themselves in India?
Columnists in The Telegraph may moan about veils blighting communication between them and the mass of veiled women cashiers in their local Waitrose, but have you tried non-verbal communication with a bearded hipster? You know they’re speaking, but all you can think is that curly moustache and beard makes you look like a baddie from the silent movie era and therefore I can’t understand a thing you say.
Hipsters are also a security threat. As a police officer explained to me, they speak ironic based English. Which, while fine within the confines of their micro-brewery in Hoxton, can lead to misunderstanding and resentment within the local populace. Just like ex-pats in Spain, Hipsters refuse to learn the language of East London. Tell me why? Will David Cameron not intervene? I’m a tax payer too.
The same police officer went onto say they run around with huge beards like a recent convert to Islamism. Have these Hipsters not read about the cases of ginger convert extremists in the news? They are diverting valuable resources away from our war on Muslims when they walk through Maryland station with their beards and concealed baguette. “They are forcing us to monitor them because of their insistence on looking like Muslims.”
What about the women? Well outliers have been spotted. These mainly first year journalism students have started a trend of wearing a hijab for the day. Like mehndi on their hands, they don’t want to make it a permanent thing. It turns out what they’re really after is a viral blog post to share online.
These women are also spotted in Green Street in Newham, buying sari material for throw cushions to add that ethnic twist on the IKEA furniture thus pricing out Asian women.
Hipsters use a stealthy Taqiyah, a Lawrence of Arabia type scenario; they even feign interest in Lowkey’s fire in the booth on 1xtra. But they’re going to kill us with their passive aggressive gentrification, like those who boarded the Mayflower.
Why do they need so many bicycle and coffee shops? They already have a cornflakes shop in the most deprived borough in London, taunting hungry school kids walking past, who have to rely on breakfast clubs and food banks.
Oh you may say I’m being too harsh on the Hipster artisanal shops and it’s just a business, but I say to them British India company was just a business too.
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Raf is a vegetarian Muslim who does current affairs with jokes. Follow him on Twitter @1Rafz
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