You can learn a lot from someone based on how they react to a POC telling them they’re doing something unintentionally racist.
How someone interested in fighting racism responds:
- “I didn’t know that! I’ll avoid doing/saying that from now on.”
How someone who doesn’t care about racism responds:
- “Who are you, the PC police?”
- “Calm down.”
- “It’s really not a big deal.”
- “You’re just racist against white people!”
- “There are bigger battles to fight.”
- “I don’t complain when someone does (rude but not racist thing against white people)!”
- “My (POC) friend says/does that all the time!”
- “I was trying to APPRECIATE you!”
Fact: If your argument involves any of the following, it’s not an effective argument.
"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)
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.
Had a request to make a rebloggable version of this, so here it is :)