Discussion topic: cultural appropriation
Ideas to put on the table…
- Cultural appropriation is not inherently racist.
- Not all cultural appropriation is racist.
- Racist cultural appropriation would be better called “cultural misappropriation.”
since “appropriation” in this context basically means “theft”, I don’t see how it wouldn’t be racist. As I (and others concerned with this issue) use this term, it refers taking something w/specific cultural meaning out of context & using it in a way inconsistent w/its original cultural meaning. It’s a dominant culture expressing its entitlement to artifacts of a non-dominant culture.
I’m not sure what the reasoning could be behind re-naming this idea or creating another term for it, but it reeks of putting the Oppressor Group’s “fee fees” ahead of those of the oppressed. I shouldn’t have to tell you that this, itself, is an act of oppression itself.
All cultural appropriation is racist. We don’t need a special word for “racist cultural appropriation” vs “not-racist cultural appropriation” as the latter doesn’t exist. Explaining it in terms of “misappropriation of cultural artifacts, symbols & rituals” may be a good idea, but it’s still cultural appropriation.
More ideas on the subject:
- If you can’t call it normal cultural exchange because of the non-consensual, exploitative, demeaning and/or degrading manner in which it is done, why NOT call it appropriation, racism and/or colonialism like it is?
- If you need to look for any excuse at all to not be called on appropriative, racist, and/or colonialist behaviour, the idea that you/your behaviour just might BE appropriative, racist and/or colonialist (or that you might harbour those attitudes) should be entertained. Or at least let in and offered some tea and scones.
- Re-naming these things so they would sound less offensive to those doing the primary offending (i.e. engaging in appropriative, racist and/or colonialist behaviour) is hiding behind doublespeak, nothing else.
Honestly, the “cultural appropriation is not inherently racist” is a false premise just like the idea that culture cannot be stolen in a world where copyright laws protect the interests of the very few and aid in the exploitation of the many.