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Cultural Appropriation

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posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 03:46 AM
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There's been a lot in the news lately on the topic of Cultural Appropriation, with people making apologies for having misrepresented their race/culture as another.

I am puzzled by the idea; if one can "identify" as a man while in a woman's body & vice versa (& I support the right to do so) why is there a problem with identifying as a different race, particularly if that race has been historically marginalized. It could be seen as an attempt to show that we are All One human race, & that culture is a superficial trapping. For example on a popular level, I'm thinking of the pop singer Adele, who wore her hair in a black fashion & sported a Jamaican flag during a festival. She has been roundly criticized for it in the press, & I am not entirely sure why.

I do not identify as any race & if required to do so on a legal form, tick "Other". Yet I suppose I do have a sneaky sense of cultural feeling towards my father's nation (Spain). I hold strong views on topics such as bull fighting & cruelty to racing dogs. The slogan" Cultura no es Tortura" rings true (Culture is not Torture), though this would still be my conviction if I originated in any other culture, I hope.

If I attend a Hindu temple, which I used to do, I wear a sari so as to blend in & show respect. Many Indian ladies gifted me with saris as hand-me-downs, & I wore them gratefully. There was no sense of being an invader; I was welcomed & taken in hand, so to speak. Does this count as cultural appropriation?




posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 04:05 AM
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originally posted by: kiro8lak
There's been a lot in the news lately on the topic of Cultural Appropriation, with people making apologies for having misrepresented their race/culture as another.

I am puzzled by the idea; if one can "identify" as a man while in a woman's body & vice versa (& I support the right to do so) why is there a problem with identifying as a different race, particularly if that race has been historically marginalized. It could be seen as an attempt to show that we are All One human race, & that culture is a superficial trapping. For example on a popular level, I'm thinking of the pop singer Adele, who wore her hair in a black fashion & sported a Jamaican flag during a festival. She has been roundly criticized for it in the press, & I am not entirely sure why.

I do not identify as any race & if required to do so on a legal form, tick "Other". Yet I suppose I do have a sneaky sense of cultural feeling towards my father's nation (Spain). I hold strong views on topics such as bull fighting & cruelty to racing dogs. The slogan" Cultura no es Tortura" rings true (Culture is not Torture), though this would still be my conviction if I originated in any other culture, I hope.

If I attend a Hindu temple, which I used to do, I wear a sari so as to blend in & show respect. Many Indian ladies gifted me with saris as hand-me-downs, & I wore them gratefully. There was no sense of being an invader; I was welcomed & taken in hand, so to speak. Does this count as cultural appropriation?



Hear! hear! for some sanity.......

Who has never copied who .....from the cradle to the grave?

And as for whites wearing their hair braided, what about those (and many celebs)

who chemically straighten afro hair?



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 04:34 AM
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a reply to: kiro8lak



If I attend a Hindu temple, which I used to do, I wear a sari so as to blend in & show respect. Many Indian ladies gifted me with saris as hand-me-downs, & I wore them gratefully. There was no sense of being an invader; I was welcomed & taken in hand, so to speak. Does this count as cultural appropriation?


I agree, it has less to do with being a "traitor" to own culture but opening up the mind for different kinds of world views. There is no wrong or right culture as it is all fluid and since we are formed and shaped by our surroundings, we also need community to strive. This comes with identifying with that community, as it provides safety and a sense of common thoughts, like we needed it for thousands of years.

I think it is a natural response and should neither be condemned nor seen as the absolute right thing to do. I never understood the problem some have with wearing something that is not common in the local culture. Everyone has the right to choose what they like and should also grant that right to others.

One example was a white man or women, wearing traditional clothes of African descent. I think some parts of society had a big problem with it, or else I would not even know about it. This person was mocked and attacked from both sides of the cultural spectrum involved in the discussion.

It's divisive.



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 05:09 AM
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a reply to: kiro8lak

Great thread, first of all.

I have never understood the idea of "cultural appropriation" either. IMO culture, any culture, should be celebrated. My culture is one of the least "acceptable" cultures on the planet it seems, but I still celebrate it and can still laugh at the caricatures I see.

I am a classic Southern male... no, worse, a Southern redneck.

I look the part, too, for the most part. I sport a full beard, about 2" long (it has been up to 4" before), my hair hasn't been cut in 5 years, so it flows down to my back. I top all that off with a black, re-shaped (I shape my own) Stetson Durango. Not exactly the look most would want, but somehow it suits me... I actually take pride in the fact that, due to a tornado damaging the normal venue, two of my degrees were awarded in a cattle barn. My walking cane is another source of pride; it is crafted from a knotty stick with a high finish. Most of my friends know I am into a more rustic, unsophisticated look and accept that.

I also act the part. I fix my own car, make my own repairs, and create my own furniture. It's my little way of paying homage to my ancestors, by keeping their ways alive. Southern hospitality still reigns supreme in my household: guests are treated as royalty. Racism is not a part of my culture... maybe it was at one time, but that part I have rejected.

But I am also an accomplished electrical research engineer, sporting several university degrees and 40+ years of "tinkering" with new high-tech concepts and running experiments in various physical phenomena. That flies in the face of the caricatures most are familiar with: the dumb, bumbling, moonshine-swilling bumpkin with three teeth and an IQ of 6. Yet, I laugh at those caricatures when I see them... they're funny, usually because I can see where they are (very loosely) based in one reality.

If someone dresses up as a "hillbilly" for Halloween, it brings a smile to my old face. Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery. It's not an insult.

Now, should someone from New York try to claim they are a Southern redneck, and act out the caricatures continuously in a way that is intended to do nothing but denigrate and make fun of my culture, that would be insulting to me. I think the real problem is not when someone accepts a culture and tries to either celebrate it or blend in out of respect, but when someone tries to denigrate that culture, or worse, tries to claim it as their own without regard to a deep understanding of the intricacies. That New Yorker can never be as integral with my culture as I am, and they shouldn't try. That minimizes my culture and tries to redefine it. If they want to dress up in worn-out overalls, sport a corncob pipe, and try to talk with an accent to have a good time, that's another story. I can laugh right along with them. If they want to experience my culture and try to blend in, that's great! It's a compliment. Just don't try to change it.

Let's face it: every culture has its good and bad. It is the duty of every generation in that culture to find the good and perpetuate it, while culling out the bad. That's how cultures evolve, and that evolution need not cancel out the realities of the culture at an earlier time.

We live, however, in a time when some people who claim to be leaders do not understand what culture is. That statue of Stonewall Jackson? To me it signifies honor under fire and an unmatched tenacity. I see the good in it. To some it may represent slavery; that only means they see the bad. By toppling it, they (attempt to) remove part of my culture, both the good and the bad. In removing that part of my culture, they only destroy the good, for they will still see the bad... they can see nothing else, for if they could they would have seen the good as well.

That is the danger of cultural appropriation... the revision of a culture by outsiders to that culture. Your actions at the Hindu temple are not an attempt to revise their culture; it is an act of honor toward their culture. Is it cultural appropriation to wear a gifted sari? Technically yes, but it is not endangering the culture so pragmatically no.

(BTW, what's a sari? lol)

The true irony in all this is that the very people who cry continuously about cultural appropriation are the same ones who seek to destroy some cultures through violence, others through isolation, and so are themselves the greatest danger to cultural diversity. I offer in closing an old saying from my culture: "Mind your own business and you won't have time to mind mine."

Or, to be more precise: "Min' yeron bizniss an' ye won' have time ta min' mine."


TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 05:30 AM
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Why is it all one way.

We could get just as stupid and berate them (whom ever them is ) for culturally appropriating electricity, cars and toilets.

Yeah, OK, they can have the toilets, live and let live.

Celebrate the differences of our respectful cultures.

P



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 06:47 AM
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a reply to: kiro8lak

Bravo. I don't get it much either. I identify as blend57. I realized a long time ago that the only "label" that truly identifies me on a daily basis is my name.
Ben Hogan Quote: “Your name is the most important thing you own. Don't ever do anything to disgrace or cheapen it.”
It encompasses everything I am at any moment of any day.

I've learned so much from others! Every person I've come in contact with has taught me something. They have grown me as an individual. And I'm truly grateful for those experiences and interactions.

I can't hate anyone for being who they are. I mean, really....how do people think we got to the level of society that we did? It was all those crazy, lovely, different thinking individuals that gave us all these comforts of life we now enjoy. It was because someone took everything they learned from others, put it all together, and decided to give back to this world. Diversity is beautiful. It is what makes an ecosystem thrive..it is what makes the world thrive. It keeps us from becoming redundant and obsolete as a species..

Anyhow, I'm rambling (it's early here, that's my excuse)...the only label you should except is your name. Everything else is inconsequential and matters not.

Thanks,
blend



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 07:58 AM
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When you realize it’s all about power and not culture.

If you are not good enough to get power in the current structure, you have to remake the structure so you have power.

White people doing yoga = cultural appropriation

Black people not doing yoga = lack of inclusion and racism



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 08:25 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Love your reply (& all the others, too! ) & your celebration of who you are!

PS A sari is a long length of fabric that is folded & would around the body . . . most Hindu Indian ladies wear them - very comfortable when one get used to them!


edit on 5-9-2020 by kiro8lak because: correction



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 08:27 AM
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It’s just another dumbarse idea so that the virtuous of the world can harp on everyone. It’s a waste of time.



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 08:30 AM
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originally posted by: kiro8lak
There's been a lot in the news lately on the topic of Cultural Appropriation, with people making apologies for having misrepresented their race/culture as another.

I am puzzled by the idea; if one can "identify" as a man while in a woman's body & vice versa (& I support the right to do so) why is there a problem with identifying as a different race, particularly if that race has been historically marginalized. It could be seen as an attempt to show that we are All One human race, & that culture is a superficial trapping. For example on a popular level, I'm thinking of the pop singer Adele, who wore her hair in a black fashion & sported a Jamaican flag during a festival. She has been roundly criticized for it in the press, & I am not entirely sure why.

I do not identify as any race & if required to do so on a legal form, tick "Other". Yet I suppose I do have a sneaky sense of cultural feeling towards my father's nation (Spain). I hold strong views on topics such as bull fighting & cruelty to racing dogs. The slogan" Cultura no es Tortura" rings true (Culture is not Torture), though this would still be my conviction if I originated in any other culture, I hope.

If I attend a Hindu temple, which I used to do, I wear a sari so as to blend in & show respect. Many Indian ladies gifted me with saris as hand-me-downs, & I wore them gratefully. There was no sense of being an invader; I was welcomed & taken in hand, so to speak. Does this count as cultural appropriation?


Only black people have a problem with this. And it's never about actual culture. It's always about hair.

Hair. Hair that black women are afraid to get wet.

Hair you are not allowed to dread or braid.

Oh, that and Rap music.



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 08:43 AM
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a reply to: kiro8lak

I don't know why anyone worries about this.

I'd happily eat my taco pizza while wearing cornrows and a yakuta.



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 08:59 AM
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a reply to: kiro8lak

Everyone should celebrate who they are. Everyone.

During my time in academia, one of the things I enjoyed the most was talking with and getting to know those form other cultures. Like the guy from Hong Kong who taught one of my labs. Or the fellow from Saudi Arabia who once told me in broken English, "You come to Saudi, you will be my guest. My home will be your home." Or the budding photographer from Vietnam. Or the young girl from Russia. Or the Brainiac from Kenya that kept making me sound like a fool, lol. I learned from each of them, and I hope they learned from me... we certainly talked enough.

The biggest lesson? People are people.

Thanks for the info. Those are right pretty outfits.

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 09:04 AM
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a reply to: kiro8lak

It is a strange thing.

The USA has never had it's own natural culture.
It's always been a mix of many cultures.

Seems to me that all americans are part of cultural appropriations just from being born here.
I don't see inclusion as a bad thing.

This would be a better world if we all just mix together.
edit on 5-9-2020 by scraedtosleep because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 09:11 AM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
I learned from each of them, and I hope they learned from me... we certainly talked enough.


I just spoke with each of them and the said to tell you thanks, they can't stop saying "y'all" and chewin tabaccy.



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 09:20 AM
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a reply to: scraedtosleep



The USA has never had it's own natural culture.


But it adopted a lot of different cultures like German, Italian, Irish, British, French, Polish and a lot of other cultures. I don't see it a bad thing that the USA never had a natural culture since it is only a few hundred years old. Every culture grew. All cultures needed time to build up. Your culture is just more influenced than others. And the USA do has it's own culture.

Do not forget how huge the USA is, that makes it more difficult to spot a overal culture. Each state seems to be different and that's a good thing also. Life would be boring with just one culture on earth, we need to preserve it just like the genpool of every living being including plants.

What is lost will never come back.



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 09:55 AM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: TheRedneck
I learned from each of them, and I hope they learned from me... we certainly talked enough.


I just spoke with each of them and the said to tell you thanks, they can't stop saying "y'all" and chewin tabaccy.



Looooooooool!!!



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 09:04 PM
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a reply to: kiro8lak

I find this subject fascinating as it has come up in my life in the last few years because I have dreadlocks. It wasn't a problem until about five years ago and I'm white. I have curly ass hair that dreads naturally. My mom used to even cut them off me and hang them in a plastic baggie on the fridge to "shame" me in front of people. To me it is the worlds simplest solution to frizzy curls and I figure my white cave ancestors probably had dreads too.

Defending my position on them has gotten me kicked out of facebook pages too. I just don't see how that can be considered racist and I have black nephews that I love dearly.

Your comment about saris was interesting. I've been wearing clothes from india since I was a child as my grandfather worked there. His indian business partners would give him all sorts of gorgeous clothes, sari cloth, silk purses, dupattas to bring back for all the women in his family. I'm wondering if the cultural appropriation thing is just in north america.



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 09:08 PM
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Cultures aren't meant to be shared hippies.



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 09:10 PM
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Quit bogarting the premade identities.



posted on Sep, 5 2020 @ 09:53 PM
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/shrug

Appropriation harpies can suck it. I lived in South Korea and still practice two fairly essential Asian cultural traditions indicative of good manners and respect. Well, the first is. The other is fairly Korean in practice, AFAIK. The first one being you do not wear shoes in my house, unless you are there working (plumber, electrician, etc) And I do not budge on that, it keeps my damn floors clean, just like the Asians customarily aim for with it.

The other being the Korean custom of no one sitting or so much as beginning to eat a meal before the eldest person at the table does either one. Grandpa doesn't sit, neither do you. Grandpa takes his sweet time and isn't ready to begin the meal yet, well, neither are you. My (Chinese) stepmother is quite fond of that one herself, though her family never practiced it (much) in China outside of important, formal holidays or events.

She's a stickler for chopstick etiquette, though, and not being Asian of some country or another is no excuse, lol. She does make an understanding exception for my left-handed brother, though, he just can't use them right-handed (do not use chopsticks in the left hand, it's very rude)

So yeah, all these Appropriation harpies can bit me. They wouldn't know manners if it slapped 'em in the face and yelled "I'm happily appropriated, beyotches!




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