With the best of intentions, we wrote a piece in Tropical Life on hip-hop couture in the language of the genre. A interesting story idea? Yes.
An attempt to appeal to younger readers? Yes. An attempt at creativity?
But, when we appropriate the language of the group we are writing about, we run a high risk of offending some. What was intended as a positive piece on hip-hop, came across to some as a mocking parody, a gimmick that was short on substance.
We know that wasn't the intent. But this is a reminder that in a community as culturally diverse as ours, it is important that we're careful in the use of our most powerful tool -- language. In this case, we should have told it straight, through the voices of the featured people.
Cultural sensitivity is critical to dealing with each other. If you have comments, please email us.