So let’s talk about Holi. For one thing, I didn’t even realize this very Indian holiday had been appropriated by ridiculous white Midwesterners until recently. I mean, fair enough, to many Indians, it primarily means an opportunity to drink, consume bhang, and drive dangerously — so you can understand why it would appeal to college students in the States.
Buuuuuut, it’s a Hindu holiday. It’s on the Hindu calendar, not the Gregorian one. It’s also supposed to celebrate the start of spring. Which it isn’t in the United States, because the USA is in the NORTHERN HEMISPHERE.
And it is one of the most blatant examples of exotification of another culture I’ve ever seen — if you want to have a water festival where you throw coloured dye on each other, just have a water festival where you throw coloured dye on each other. You could call it the We Throw Coloured Dye On Each Other Festival. Why you gotta call it Holi? Oh right, because that exotic brightly coloured powder and the charming photos of dark-skinned people doing such amazingly rustic and interesting things is SO COOL and we want to do what they do!
Appropriation and cultural fetishizing: never cool. Quit it.
And this is why we can’t have nice things. Because of entitled brats who think it’s all theirs, all the time, just for the having, in any way they like.
It particularly hurts in the case of Holi, which is a festival I would LIKE to share with others; but when so many of them think “share” means “grab and mangle”, it’s just not possible.
It’s like if I bake a cake, and there’s no fun in eating cake alone, and I want to share it with some friends, and some stranger waltzes in, goes OH HEY CAKE THAT WOULD BE AWESOME WITH LSD, smooshes their fist into it, grabs a handful while reducing the rest to a mess, and smears it all over their face, and goes “Well you were going to share, right?”
It just gets to the point where it’s less painful not to have cake.
^This is an excellent metaphor.
Ha, agreed, great analogy.
It’s not like they couldn’t have gotten away with just calling it a paint fight or something but noooo it’s not *fun* and *quirky* and *free-spirited* unless they’re appropriating
fucking boring douchey white people
no fuck it i am reblogging this again and with hate
seriously what the fuck is up with white people and their creepy habit of stealing aspects of our faith and culture and then turn it into drug induced bullshit
you don’t give a shit about Hindus when we want more presence in society
you laugh at us and belittle us when we talk about want some more public acknowledgement of our faith
you don’t allow us to facilitate spaces where we can understand our own faith
you’re not there for us when we’re discriminated against
you think we’re irrelevant when it comes to discussions on religion and philosophy
when shit looks bright and shiny to your pasty vision of the world, you fucking steal and disrespect it
all of you
Dear White people:
Mayor Mills would like to say …
What do you expect? White people have stolen treasures from our lands, plundered our lands, raped our women and children, banned our cultures (such as martial arts and classical dances), mocked our religions, and criminalized our communities (such as certain tribes and lower castes). So why am I not surprised that a bunch of fucking privileged white hipster douche-bags have now stolen Holi to turn it into a whitewashed thing for dumb white bitches.
i feel like when white people who refuse to accept they made a mistake and did something racist and hurtful, and they get super defensive, it turns into this sick game for them to harass the people who called them out. like a whole ‘two can play at that game, i don’t give a fuck how you feel either’ kind of approach.
not only is it incredibly fucked up to respond to any situation that way, but racism is not a motherfucking game. being hurt or angry because someone did something racist is not equivalent to being offended because someone called you out on your shit. the reason people call out racism is because racism gets POC killed, racism gets POC harassed and abused, and racism is the dominant structure of what America is fucking built on. this is people’s lives—their personal, physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing, not a game! people don’t call out racism because it’s ~fun~, they call out racism because it’s necessary for survival.
don’t wanna get called out? don’t be racist! it’s not that hard—just treat POC like fucking human beings and with respect and decency. take their feelings and words seriously.
choosing not to wear a headdress or a fake ‘afro’, or to not use a racial slur, is not hard! and it’s not up for fucking debate either—aside from the vast repository of historic information proving these activities are grounded in discourses stemming from racism & genocide, it’s as simple as respecting POC and their words when they say—no, don’t do that, it’s hurtful, and it’s not yours to take.
it’s so fucking simple! anyone who doesn’t get that is an entitled racist douche and deserves whatever kinda retribution they get.
Cultural Appropriation? Let’s fix this.
As white people, we find there are many things that we can’t do due to it being labelled as cultural appropriation. It’s only fair that other races do not appropriate our culture.
So here is a list of things that you, as a non-white person, can not do.
- You can not speak English.
- You can not use Western medicine.
- You may not use the internet.
- You may not listen to rock music.
- You may not use the word ‘cracker’. It is not your word.
- Do not use things invented by white people, i.e. computers, pianos, telephones, aircrafts, pencils, cameras, or the theatre.
- You may not get drunk with beer.
- You may not wear any clothing created by white people, as it is racist and appropriating.
- You may not synthetically dye your hair.
- Do not use slang created by our people.
white people are so sad they don’t even know where their culture ends and the personal achievements and theft from other cultures begins.
“clothing created by white people”
you mean the clothing sewn by low-wage workers in asian and african countries for mass-production countries.
and you have no “western medicine” considering a big chunk of europe was too fucking stupid to bathe. nor do you have rock music without the creation of jazz by black artists in harlem.
read a book.
Is that Barbara? What in all caucasian hell possessed her to act a fool and do this?
But the side-eye is strong, and rightfully so.
Girl. I don’t have the words for this. I don’t.
This is from the film Up the Sandbox about a woman who starts having weird dreams that range from this screen-cap to trying to blow up the Statue of Liberty. The others in the cap are actors. The screenplay was written with Barbra* in mind, but for obvious reasons the movie flopped. It made no sense and was clearly offensive.
But to answer your question, a paycheck possessed her to do this. She probably considers this to be a low-point in her career.
i live for that side eye tho.
That is the side eye of life.
wtf BARBRA NO YOU’RE A QUEEN PLEASE DON’T DO THIS TO ME.
I hoped she learned her lesson.
[Image: A photo of two racist white women wearing faux headdresses looking ridiculous with the apt caption “crackers” in fancy font written on the picture.” One seems to be leaning her head to the side and the other may be attempting to dance.]
1) What is Cultural appropriation?
Cultural appropriation is the taking on elements of other cultures and removing these elements from their original cultural context and ending up assigning different meanings and significance to them… that is to say you twist a cultural aspect that does not belong to you into your own.
It is wrong because it:
- Invalidates: the culture/society/the people
- Homogenizes: let’s look at the white girls wearing warbonnets and mukluks. War bonnets are worn traditionally only by various Native plains tribes and mukluks are boots made of usually seal skin warn/made traditionally by Alaskan/Arctic natives. This haphazard and disrespectful throwing together different pieces of two completely different Native cultures which is portraying an image of homogeneity and reinforces the stereotype that there is just one Native American culture and they are all the same, which reinforces oppression and racism.
- Commodifies: putting a monetary value on something that should not be sold or purchased or marketed in any way, eg. spiritual practices.
- Reinforces stereotypes: which reinforce oppression and racism-a tool of colonisation.
- Distorts traditions into inaccurate and offensive caricatures
- Romanticises cultures: often this is something that results in entire groups of people being seen as ‘something that used to exist’ as opposed to people with lives and cultures that exist and flourish today. You get this a lot with Native American and Canadian culture.
- Eroticises/exoticizes people: this is incredibly dehumanising.
2) Who can do cultural appropriation?
A Japanese teen wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the logo of a big American company is not the same as Madonna sporting a bindi as part of her latest reinvention. The difference is history and power. Colonization has made Western Anglo culture supreme–powerful and coveted. It is understood in its diversity and nuance as other cultures can only hope to be. Ignorance of culture that is a burden to Asians, African and indigenous peoples, is unknown to most European descendants or at least lacks the same negative impact.
It matters who is doing the appropriating. If a dominant culture fancies some random element (a mode of dress, a manner of speaking, a style of music) of my culture interesting or exotic, but otherwise disdains my being and seeks to marginalize me, it is surely an insult.
That being said, PoCs(People of Color) can culturally (mis)appropriate each other. I as a Afro-Latina can’t just don on a hangbok because I love South Korean culture. It’s not a custom, and that hangbok bears a lot of significance to South Korean culture and it’s not my symbol to try to represent.
When a PoC does cultural appropriation on other PoC it is more disrespectful adn perpetuates stereotypes than anything. When a white person does it is oppressive because whites have privilege and power.
3) How can I appreciate and admire another culture, without venturing into cultural appropriation?
1) Is it marketed to you as an object/custom from a marginalised culture without any context? If yes/unsure, don’t do it.
2) What are your reasons? Are you appreciating it because you feel bored, or because it’s cool, or you think it’s aesthetically pleasing (“exotic”)? If the answer to any of these is yes/unsure, then don’t do it.
3) What is the history/meaning of objects/languages/rituals in the culture? Are you aware of the meanings/history of these things? Will you be using them in a way that misrepresents them, or diminishes their power? If yes/unsure, don’t do it.
4) Are you comfortable with the understanding that as someone benefiting from imperialism, even if your local history does not have any, you may be contributing to the suppression of others’ cultural symbols, & that by your actions there is a strong possibility of further oppression? Are you willing to work through the nuances of privilege that occur when the question of cultural appropriation is brought up? If your answer to the second is no, and to the first is yes, then don’t do it.
5) If someone from calls you out on appropriation/racism, are you going defend your perceived right to appreciate their heritage, & how they shouldn’t be offended? If the answer is yes/unsure, you definitely shouldn’t do it.
Next time you want to go around making dream-catchers, screaming “kawaii”, and wearing a kimono all the sake of ”I really love this culture, I am homage paying to them” think about this:
You are stripping down another person’s IDENTITY and CULTURE in order to conform to your own views on them, which just further perpetuates stereotypes. These stereotypes can be anything from “omg these Japanese people are so kawaii desu, and so weird an awesome” when you misappropriate their culture to “all black people are rappers and dance so good…” when you try to copy black culture.
There comes a point where you are now a walking caricature of the another culture by exotifying and romanticizing their culture and that’s offensive and dehumanizing. So please, re-evaluate your “admiration” with the points listed above to make sure you are appreciating respectfully rather than misappropriating blindly.
OMG YOU GAIZ
Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a story of white appropriation.
Just think about it.
Like, she comes in and tries on everyone’s lifestyle, eats their food, takes over their space. When she gets scared off by them she leaves, but after she has had everything she wants.
white girls who want my culture’s bindis and saris and henna
white girls who want my culture’s bindis and saris and henna
take my skin colour too
and my dark brown lips
take my self-hatred because i don’t fit into the euro-centric ideals of beauty
take the oppression too
take the history of colonization that has devastated my country
and the drones that currently devastate my country
take all the bad stuff too
not just the pretty, shiny, sparky bits
take the ugly, dehumanizing and shitty parts too
My girl Cathy and I have talked about this extensively. Don’t get her started.
Headdresses- And Why They Aren’t Offensive
I know I’m super late to the party on this (I only have Internet at work right now because there’s some bullshit with our service provider). I also know that the OP has declared that they have no fucks to give about the education that’s been laid down before them by the rest of the tumblr NDN community.
But I’m still going to go through this and point out why every single fucking words of this fucking post is fucking awful. For my followers. Because PSA’s are kind of what I do here in between pretty dresses and cute animals.
Wow, people on tumblr have really been annoying the fuck out of me lately, so I guess I’m going to have to use all my pent up anger to finally make a post about this
‘I’m angry at target X so I’m going to address target Y’ is never an encouraging start…
So basically some self-righeous assholes have made the claim and spread the belief that Native American headdresses/Native American inspired fashion is culturally insensitive or wrong.
That would be the entire NDN community on tumblr.
First, let me just say- if you personally believe this and for that reason you do not wear these things, that is totally cool and fine. Like really. If that’s your opinion, fine.
How magnanimous of you.
What is not okay, is making others feel bad for wearing Native American fashion when they don’t personally think it’s offensive.
But here’s where you fall down. Because if someone is hurting me, I am hurt regardless of their awareness or belief that they have done a hurtful thing. That’s not how hurt works.
I am one of those people who doesn’t find it offensive, and before you write me off as a “culturally insensitive asshole who doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” please hear me out-
You are wrong.
There is no argument about this.
Your opinion here is factually incorrect.
You don’t believe that cultural appropriation is offensive?
It is, indeed, offensive. It is hurtful. It is damaging to NDN people and NDN communities.
Your opinion that is is not is counter-factual.
holding an opinion does not make an opinion which is factually incorrect magically correct and/or valid somehow.
if I state that it is my opinion that the moon is entirely made from the compress bodies of g1 my little ponies, I am wrong because that is not true. it is counterfactual.
opinions can be wrong.
Here are some of the arguments people have made, and this is why they’re wrong:
Whenever you prepare arguments without actually quoting people, you’re necessarily building strawmen. Just so you know.
Note: I have cut some bullshit here because it’s not worth responding to in a point by point fashion; you can see it in the original post if you want.
- “Your ancestors killed them/were inhumane to them.”
- Yes, some people’s ancestors were. I don’t see how this is relevant? Some people’s ancestors were also very cruel to African Americans. Does that mean we can’t wear African tribal inspired fashion, as well?
Yes. Cultural appropriation is fuckery no matter who you’re appropriating. If specific cultural groups are telling you that it’s not ok to fashionably adopt a specific thing because it’s not just clothes, you are a fucking asshole for doing so.
Some things are just clothes and it’s ok to utilize them in fashion (though even this often comes with a heapin’ helpin’ of racist exoticism, so take it with a grain of salt) but SOME THINGS ARE NOT. For fuck’s sake why do privileged people seem incapable of understanding this very basic fact? That the entire world isn’t yours to have?
I could go on and on with almost every culture and the fashion that originated from it. The point is, is that almost everything in fashion (especially cultural) can be linked to something tragic. So if you’re not going to wear Native American inspired fashion, you also shouldn’t be wearing Asian/African/Scottish(that means plaid) inspired clothing.
I could tell you a funny story about Plaid, but I’ll save that for a later post.
But here’s the thing: I’m mostly on board with what you just said. SHOCKING I KNOW, but your attempt at wild hyperbole is actually correct.
YOU SHOULDN’T CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE.
In conclusion, the whole argument for why “Native American fashion is offensive” does not make any sense. Every point set forth, can be refuted with a basic knowledge of fashion, history, and understanding. If you want to actually do anything about things in fashion that are “tragic,” I suggest you stop looking to the past. Instead, start looking at what companies inhumanely treat animals for their fur/skin. In my opinion, that’s a little more important than whether I want to wear a fucking headdress or not. Thanks.
You’ve displayed a total lack of comprehension, and that your capacity to give a fuck about hurting others is broken, but I’m going to take a bash at education anyway, because it seems from your posts that you have no idea what the ramifications are or WHY it really is a big deal:
Dressing up in redface is hurtful. Wearing war bonnets is hurtful. Dressing up as another race by wearing terribly stereotypical caricatures of what you think that race looks like is not appropriate. When you dress up like this and take photos like this it adds one more images to the ponderous pile of this shit that creates the pervasive cultural notion that this is what people should think of when they hear ‘Native American’ , and IT HURTS REAL NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLE. It creates, in the minds of the people that see you dressed like this, a stereotype - a caricature of what Native people do/should look like that erases us in reality and removes us from their perception of the modern world. It turns ‘Native American’ into someone wearing beads and headbands and feathers and face paint. It turns an ethnic, racial identity into a costume.
This is racism.
When you only speak about Native American people in the past tense, in certain contexts. When you only mention them as pertains to White history. When you depict them in stereotypical ways. This is how racist thought is cemented in your mind and the minds of others.
I am tired of cultural appropriation.
I am tired of having to constantly be an educator of people who largely don’t want to be educated. I am tired of being -hurt- by racism. I am tired of people who claim that they love and admire ‘Native American Culture’ but in fact know fuck all about Pan-Indian culture or the fact that ‘Native American’ is a blanket term for hundreds of hugely disparate indigenous nations across two continents and that we do NOT have just one culture.
And before you argue that you didn’t MEAN to be racist or that you were just having fun, before your many white allies rally around you to tell me how wrong I am and what a good person you are and how you are not a racist…know this:
Racism is not in your intent.
Your intent is immaterial in how racist your actions are.
This isn’t about you BEING a racist. It’s about you DOING A THING that is racist.
Your intent doesn’t change it. Your ignorance of its meaning doesn’t change it. It’s got nothing to do with you as a person and everything to do with the meaning of your action in the context of sociocultural history.
Please watch this video.
If you think that dressing up as a stereotype is somehow ‘celebrating’ anyone’s culture, that speaks to some really problematic shit in how you’ve been educated, what you’ve been exposed to, what you think you know about what Native Americans are and what we look like. And while it’s not your fault that the culture of your upbringing has handed you that shit on a silver platter and said ‘eat it’, and not your fault that you did eat it without knowing better, it’s still bullshit and it’s still hurtful. You have the Internet at your disposal. You can become educated as to what Native Americans really are like and what we really are about and why not only is that outfit that you put on not remotely like anything legitimately Native American - but that you CAN’T make a costume that’s legitimately Native American. Because we don’t all look alike. Because we’re people.
Here’s a quick checklist for whether it’s ok to wear a war bonnet:
Was it placed onto your head by an elder/legitimate authority figure from a select number of plains nations because you personally achieved something so great that it is worthy of that kind of honor? (corollary: If yes to the above, are you currently wearing it in an appropriate ceremonial fashion/setting? Like are you at a powwow or speaking with the president?)
If you answered ‘no’ then IT IS NOT OK.
Any more than it would be ok to buy a decorated veteran’s purple heart that he had to pawn and put -that- on for a sexy/edgy/hip photo shoot. It’s that kind of disrespect, on top of the slap in the face that is cultural appropriation in general.
Here’s a quick checklist of when it’s ok to wear a cheapass knockoff war bonnet made from the feathers of Weeping Rainbow Chicken:
Dear white people: you want to know the difference between bitching about “omg the Irish were racially oppressed” and “bitching” about Slavery, Japanese Internment Camps, and the Trail of Fucking Tears?
…Irish people being historic minorities is NO LONGER TOPICALLY RELEVANT TO A DISCOURSE ON THE CURRENT OPPRESSION OF POCS.
The next time I hear the whole “omg I am irish, I was oppressed, therefore, I am a minority and not all white people are entitled and empowered” I’m going to cut a bitch.
Because last time I checked, Nobody fucking follows you around a store because you’re fucking Irish.
Nobody assumes female submission and an inability to speak English or discounts your American citizenship if you’re FUCKING IRISH.
And nobody insists on cultural appropriation of religious/sacred garments and turning them into OFFENSIVELY LABELLED FASHION ITEMS because you’re fucking irish.
And another thing: If by “I’m Irish,” you mean, “my ancestors came over 300 years ago and I’m actually a huge blend of different European ethnicities which are all white and I don’t actually know anything about Irish history, or culture, and my family has no real distinguishably, definite, “Irish” traditions or practices…”
…Newsflash: YOU’RE NOT. FUCKING. IRISH.
YOU are a fucking white-ass American, and that’s great for you, because nobody will ever ask you if you have a green card when you show them your american passport, no stranger will ever ask you uncomfortably intimate questions about “where you’re really from,” nobody will attack you as a mothefucking thug just by wearing a fucking hoodie, and nobody will ever fetishize your racial identity with extremely inaccurate and exotified portrayals of sacred traditions.
Yes, you may have been bullied in school, maybe you are poor, and maybe you are gay.
IF WE ARE TAKING ABOUT RACE, NONE OF THAT IS TOPICAL TO THE CONVERSATION. IT IS SIMPLY A WAY FOR YOU TO ATTEMPT TO EXCUSE YOURSELF FROM ACCOUNTABILITY FOR YOUR UNDENIABLY RACIST ASSUMPTIONS.
bitch, just admit it, live with it, and deal with it:
…You. are. motherfucking. RACIST.
question to white people: do you really think indigenous people and poc are being “mollycoddled”?
Do you really think we get free money and extra benefits and special rights?
Do you really think we get any breaks that you don’t?
Can you point to ANY instance of this preferential treatment taking place, with sources?
Can you also explain to me HOW and WHY was it preferential and unfair, taking into account all applicable historical and socioeconomical factors?
I’m really, truly, genuinely curious.
Reblogging for relevance.
"And the hippies are jingling, jangling, blowing smoke all over Haight Ashbury, and they were letting their hair grow long. To the male Indian, this was a phenomenon, because for an Indian to grow his hair long was a violation of federal policy of 1906. According to the 1906 policy, food was withheld until compliance—in other words (by terms of this policy), we could be starved to death until we cut our hair."
Adam Fortunate Eagle (Red Lake Chippewa)
‘Cause there are some people who need reminding of the huge disparity between the disenfranchised natives and the hippies who continue to appropriate native cultures without a care.(via neetainari)
I’ve been a practicing Pagan for sixteen, almost seventeen years now, and when I say I don’t deal with white Pagans, please add an asterisk that means, “outside of the tiny handful that I personally know and trust who aren’t completely fucking ridiculous”. White Pagan foolishness is 99% of why I’m solitary.
Going into a white Pagan space, even an online one, means dealing with microaggressions just as a baseline assumption. Even moreso than in other white spaces. It means I get stares and furtive glances. It means I undergo constant interrogation. Do you practice vodun? (No.) Santeria then? (No.) What about that one with a Y? (traditional Yoruba ways? No.) Why not? (Because while I give much love and respect to the gods of my ancestors, and have learned about them where I can, I am not called to work with them in this life.) Why do you work with the gods you do work with? (translation: why do you work with white people gods, why don’t you work with those voodoo n***** gods? answer: because these are the gods who called me.) Without fail, this interrogation happens in one form or another every single time I meet a bunch of white Pagans. Even when I tell them off the bat (to head this shit off) I practice a form of eclectic Greco-Egyptian syncretism.
It means I can’t just be there to enjoy the ritual/event/discussion group like everyone else, I have to justify my presence and my credentials on a level white Pagans don’t have to. I’m always assumed to be a newbie/seeker—while some of that is certainly due to the fact that I look very young, I know wtf is up.
Being in a white Pagan space means dealing with people with no fucking concept of white privilege whatsoever. If it’s a warren of fluffbunnies, it means dealing with White Tears if you even mildly call them on bullshit in the nicest tone possible. If it’s a ~srs Paganz~ space, like say, a certain Pagan snark community on LJ, it means basic bitches being basic about fucking everything: privilege, cultural appropriation, etc.
Oh yes, the big C word. Don’t think I wasn’t going to bring that up when discussing white Pagan fuckery. Hipsters in war bonnets have absolutely nothing on these motherfuckers. Hipsters in war bonnets might be racist assholes all the same, but there is nothing quite like religiously-based self-righteousness. White Pagans treat brown people’s religions and traditions like the goddamn value menu at Wendy’s. And not only do they not even give a fuck, most of them don’t even pretend to give a fuck. They’re white, so they have the right to take it and fuck it up (and make money/gain prestige by selling it to other white Pagans), period.
There are more ‘splainers (mansplainers and whitesplainers and generally some gross combo of the two) per capita in white Pagan spaces than I have seen anywhere else in my life, even in other white spaces. If you think I’m exaggerating, go on the Wild Hunt’s comment section some time. And they have no qualms whatsoever about dominating a discussion to the point of driving everyone else away, because goddammit they are White (and usually Male) And They Know Everything. This particular Whiteness pathology is found in spades with Reconstructionists, which is why I avoid their asses even more than regular white Pagans.
White Pagans think that because they belong to a minority religious community, their shit does not stink. In the majority side, it’s like White Liberal Racism x 1000. On the flipside, you get to play Racist Roulette with people like the Norse Pagans—and even when talking to the “non racist” kind, they will generally vomit all kinds of racist dogwhistles to justify themselves. And all of them will cry persecution at the drop of a hat.
Basically, if you want to see every kind of pathological Whiteness on display—everything we talk about and deconstruct as POCs on a daily basis on Tumblr, go observe a group of white Pagans, particularly on the internet. It’s pretty much a petri dish for it.
It is fucking toxic and I refuse to put myself through that voluntarily anymore.
See bolded for the essence white consumer culture, paid for by the ongoing genocide of non-white peoples all over the world. Physical, economical, cultural, spiritual: it is still genocide. For the right to shop.