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18 November 2016 @ 07:11 am
A multi-ethnic person (like me) on ”cultural appropriation”

Thanx to andrewducker
browngirl on November 18th, 2016 05:05 pm (UTC)
Mrmn. I both agree and disagree.

because the reason for racism isn’t appreciation, adoption and interest towards other cultures, but ignorance, ostracisation and othering of them

he writes as if these can't coexist. I kind of want to tell him about the way musical forms pioneered by Black people in the US got repackaged with White artists and credited entirely to them (to the point that Negro spirituals were deemed impossible for Black slaves to have composed) but he'd probably just tell me my perspective is too Americentric. And hey, it might be. But I'm not entirely from the US either

I don't care if Miley Cyrus wears dreadlocks, but I reserve the right to curl my lip when someone praises her dreads and then I overhear them talking about how filthy and unkempt my natural hair is. (It isn't.) I love talking about Jamaican food all day and feeding people my cooking, but I reserve the right to tell someone who tells me that there's nothing to Jamaican culture but reggae and pot that they're wrong. And knowing how many people say "I'm not racist, I'm just Telling The Truth" I fear his article will embolden those who want to wear warbonnets while dismissing all Native Americans as worthless drunks, and so on.

ANd yet, I love living in a city where I can talk to people of umpteen different backgrounds, and I know how complex people's backgrounds can be. Like I said, I both agree and disagree with this article. I think there's a difference between cultural sharing and cultural appropriation, but I'd have to write an essay of my own to even try to define it.

(Also, jerks whose hobby is telling others You're Doing It Wrong/You Don't Get To Do that will always exist, and the remedy is to point out how shitty their hobby is, to say that they sometimes use valid criticisms in an invalid way.)

... *rereads* Obviously, I have Thoughts on the subject.
Elenbarathi: Abandon hopeelenbarathi on November 18th, 2016 09:11 pm (UTC)
Good article. It's such a shame; all the 'ethnic' styles and fabrics that were so attractive and fun in my youth are now out-of-fashion because no one wants to be harassed for 'cultural appropriation'.
"Perhaps one of the most unhelpful cultural assumptions a lot of these discussions make is that everything works the way it does in America, and everywhere is the same. I have purposefully steered clear of the topic of cultural appropriation and American Indian cultural traditions, for instance, because I know that I am limited in my knowledge of that particular dynamic, and I know that there are many more complex issues there relating to the use of sacred iconography and so on."
The author did well to not get into that can of worms, which is a big issue where I live. The safest 'rule of thumb' is, leave them and their stuff strictly alone - which sucks for their artists and artisans, who make a lot of lovely things, but owning those things means getting shit for 'appropriating' them. It's sad.

Edited at 2016-11-18 09:12 pm (UTC)
et in Arcadia egoboo: Sacred Chaoapostle_of_eris on November 20th, 2016 12:07 am (UTC)
"Cultural appropriation" can definitely be a real thing. At the same time left Puritans with sticks up their asses are a real thing too.
At my neighborhood Central American grocery with the great restaurant in back, I got a bottle of "ERZULIE DANTOUR Cologne" -- with the Black Madonna of Prague on the label. Who's appropriating what?