Author Topic: Cultural Appropriation  (Read 354 times)

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Offline Jag

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Cultural Appropriation
« on: September 07, 2018, 12:59:56 PM »
First, I want to state clearly that I do believe this is a thing.

Second, I want to state clearly, the boundaries appear to be ill-defined. I understand why.

So here's where it gets murky to me. A good example is Dia de Muertos/Day of the Dead art. I'm not of Mexican descent, but I think the art form is gorgeous, and I own two pieces.

I just watched an argument unfold about exactly this. It was about using sugar skulls to decorate one month in a planner, of all things, and someone got touchy about cultural appropriation.

As I understand it, it becomes as issue when it involves power (historically), or is belittling or insulting to the group being represented. The mere use of a symbol is not appropriation, the intent is what defines something as appropriation or not. When it's reductive - treating a single symbol as representative of the entirety of a culture - that's a problem. When it's insulting, when it reinforces stereotypes, when it's overtly racist*, and so on.

To me, sugar skulls  - when used in ways like this, not as costumes - is similar to Celtic knot work, or to Arabic borders in thread or fiber art. Yes, it has a clear cultural connection, but the use of such imagery by people outside of the cultural group is not in itself appropriation. Am I guilty of cultural appropriation because I have art in that style?

I'm open to being schooled on this. If I'm wrong, I'd like to know, but I'd also like to know WHY. Ideally, I'd like a better boundary than "I'm white, therefore I'm in dangerous territory when I'm drawn to anything from a culture that is predominantly NOT white". How do I navigate these waters? For context, I have Native American ancestry and a bunch of European dribs and drabs on my paternal side, and primarily Irish on my maternal side.

*Edited for clarity: racism CAN be hard to recognize as well, and can be seen where it was never intended. That's why I specifically stated overt, which is not meant to suggest that covert racism is okay.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 01:02:19 PM by Jag »
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2018, 02:13:41 PM »
I'm bothered by this whole thing.  I can understand it to a point, but then I think "well, everyone some kind of dumpling thing, do they identify them by their dumpling and want no one else to make a dumpling like theirs because they want to be different/special/selfish?"

I find myself in a bit of the same thing about the Day of the Dead imagery.  I really love it, and I'd love to do it as a Halloween costume, but is someone going to have a snit if I have blue eyes, and not one scrap of native American or Hispanic genetics? 
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Offline shnozzola

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2018, 03:24:43 PM »
I don't know,  just another great irony of life.  I absolutely love investigating the cultures of the world,  respecting them, learning about the stories,  the ceremonies, rituals, etc.  I could live 50 lifetimes in 50 different cultures, still not satisfied I had squeezed every ounce of curiosity out of it all.  But yet, deep down I am so convinced we are all the same.   The older I get, the more I laugh at the ironies.   :)
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Offline Fiji

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2018, 05:12:01 PM »
I think cultural appropriation is a load of dingo’s kidney’s and people who complain about it are racists. Remember Bonita Tindle’s assault of Cory Goldstein because of his dreads?
She attacked him because she made a value judgment about his skin color. In her opinion, he had the wrong skin color. Is that not the textbook definition of racism?
In the case above, as Cory pointed out, dreads are not a strictly black hairstyle. Egyptians used is, Vikings used it, Samoans used it … hell, when Caesar described my ancestors in De Bello Gallico, he wrote about their dreads.
And that is a huge problem with cultural appropriation … how do you determine which titbit of culture belongs to which superficial outward trait? How far back do you go? Dias de los muertes in itself has borrowed from older cultures … France and Spain, in particular … so, do we march in the UN soldiers and shoot any Mexican who tries to make a sugar skull? Or do the Mexicans who look sufficiently French get a pass?
Here’s another thing … Dances with Wolves, Seven years in Tibet, 13th warrior, Last Samurai and Karate Kid (and to an extent, How I Live Now) … what do all those, much loved, movies have in common? The core of the script in each of them is a person integrating himself (herself) into a different culture and all sides benefit from it. How many alien invasion movies/TV series are there where the saving grace is an alien learning to appreciate human culture.
That’s what we do. We’re biologically programmed to favor the people who look like ourselves, but when that’s not an option … we learn, we adapt, we adopt, we grow.
If the cultural appropriation hating PC crowd got their way we’d all live in isolated communities of perfect ethnic unity. All perfectly narrow-minded, afraid of our own shadows, rubbing sticks together to make fire, cause without cultural exchange, science collapses.
Also, quite a few of you have expressed a love of Belgian beer, Belgian waffles, Belgian chocolate … and I’d hazard a guess that a good number of you have eaten fries and/or French toast … Should I get upset at all of you now?
Do you feel guilty, every time you eat a fry (unless you’re Belgian, but since I’m the only one around here) … or a slice of pizza (unless you’re Italian) … or a bowl of noodles (unless you’re Chinese) … or a hamburger (unless, you’re from, you know, Hamburg) … or when you watch fireworks (unless you’re, again, Chinese) … wear anything made from denim (unless you’re from Nîmes) … and hey, if you wear a duffle coat, or use a duffle bag you’re appropriating the culture of my home town.

Hell, you need to consult an encyclopedia every time you take a single bite of food or put on any item of clothing. Oh, btw, better get used to going commando … unless you’re French.
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2018, 06:42:03 PM »
I remember when I first became aware that there was a serious problem in America was when the idea that America was this great Melting Pot became classified as a micro aggression on some college campuses.

[http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-ed-microaggression-what-not-to-say-at-uc-20150624-story.html

https://www.mediaite.com/online/do-you-think-america-is-a-melting-pot-thats-a-microaggression-according-to-one-school/

https://sph.umn.edu/site/docs/hewg/microaggressions.pdf]

I remember reading about two women from Oregon who fell in love with how people in Mexico made tortilla shells and came back home from their trip and opened up a "pop up" burrito stand in Oregon. They shut down in less than two weeks because of the accusations of cultural appropriation on social media.

https://www.sfgate.com/food/article/2-white-women-opened-a-burrito-shop-It-closed-11173885.php
Quote
A Portland, Ore. burrito shop shuttered a week after being featured in an article, amid accusations of cultural appropriation.

Kali Wilgus and Liz "LC" Connelly took an impromptu road trip to Puerto Nuevo, Mexico last December and became smitten with the tortillas.

"They are handmade flour tortillas that are stretchy and a little buttery, and best of all, unlimited," Connelly told the Willamette Week. The two women were "so enamored with the tortillas, they tried to uncover the recipe," says the article.

Upon return to their hometown of Portland, the women decided to open a burrito pop-up, which the Week featured in an article titled, "Kooks Serves Pop-Up Breakfast Burritos With Handmade Tortillas Out of a Food Cart on Cesar Chavez."

What went wrong for the two tortilla lovers? A maelstrom of cultural appropriation accusations after their quotes surfaced.

In the article, Connelly describes her and Wilgus' efforts to "uncover the recipe" of the handmade tortillas: "I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did," she said.

"They told us the basic ingredients, and we saw them moving and stretching the dough similar to how pizza makers do before rolling it out with rolling pins.

"They wouldn't tell us too much about technique, but we were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look."

Many took to social media and the comment section of the article to express their outrage.

One commenter — of hundreds — claims the women "boldly and pretty f---ing unapologetically stole the basis of these women's livelihoods" so  that "other white ppl don't have to be inconvenienced of dealing with a pesky brown middle woman getting in their way."

"They are clearly exploiting centuries of tradition and survival," wrote another.

And then there is the sad tale of Jeff Sessions eating at a Mexican restaurant. A MEXICAN RESTAURANT...IN AMERICA!

What right does HE have to do that?

The worst part about that story is that is was the Mexican (American) owner who was on the receiving end of the social justice machine because he didn't refuse to serve Sessions and to add insult to injury had the audacity to have a picture taken with the Attorney General and then....get this....he posted it online like he was proud to serve his Mexican food to Jeff Mother F'ing Sessions!.

My fellow Americans, it gives me no pleasure whatsoever to bring this news to you today. It is with a heavy heart and a deep sigh of resignation that I must tell you, we have jumped the shark.

Think about it. Should I get offended when a black person puts mayonnaise on their sandwich? Should I shout down a middle eastern person for cooking an apple pie.

No.

Of coarse not.

I have been told that white Americans have no culture to call their own so what the fuck are we supposed to do if we can't borrow from other cultures?

Every aspect of American life has been culturally appropriated from somewhere else.

Melting Pot indeed.

I thought that was the point.



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Offline Astreja

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2018, 12:31:34 AM »
My ancestry can be traced back to Norway and Scotland, but it's unlikely you'll catch me preparing lutefisk (urk!) or haggis (not nearly as bad as it sounds, but darned if I'm going to attempt it at home) when there are cultures with vastly more sane cuisine.  Virtually any other culture, in fact.

As for Canadian cuisine, there's only so much poutine and donair and Nanaimo bars one can stand.  (I find Nanaimo bars too sweet anyway, and tend to have one every decade or so.)

Cultural appropriation is more of a problem to me as a writer.  In one story now into second draft, I have a character who's from Japan.  I write his dialogue in straight English, not Japanese-inflected English.  He tosses in a Japanese word now and then and I just leave it there.  (The same story also has some Mandarin-speaking dragons, a phone call in Icelandic, and some swearing in Sumerian.  I used footnotes, if only so *I* can remember what the characters were saying.)
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Online One Above All

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2018, 04:04:30 AM »
My ancestry can be traced back to Norway and Scotland, but it's unlikely you'll catch me preparing lutefisk (urk!) or haggis (not nearly as bad as it sounds, but darned if I'm going to attempt it at home) when there are cultures with vastly more sane cuisine.  Virtually any other culture, in fact.

As for Canadian cuisine, there's only so much poutine and donair and Nanaimo bars one can stand.  (I find Nanaimo bars too sweet anyway, and tend to have one every decade or so.)

Portuguese cuisine is best cuisine. Try Cozido à Portuguesa. It'll be the best thing you've ever eaten (except maybe haggis, I have to admit the idea of haggis has grown on me, but I haven't had the chance to actually eat it).
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Offline Jag

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2018, 10:17:42 AM »
Regarding tortillas in Portland - IDK about cultural apprpriation, the accusation that their actions harmed the women's livelihood is not terribly credible in my opinion, but that it would allow people to buy from white folks rather than brown is probably fairly accurate.

But to me, that's not even remotely the issue. The bigger issue was disclosed by them in an interview.

In the article, Connelly describes her and Wilgus' efforts to "uncover the recipe" of the handmade tortillas: "I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did," she said.

"They told us the basic ingredients, and we saw them moving and stretching the dough similar to how pizza makers do before rolling it out with rolling pins.

"They wouldn't tell us too much about technique, but we were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look."


These local women wouldn't disclose the techniques, so they spied on them to figure it out - for the specific purpose of taking the recipe home and turning it into a business. People go to prison for shit like that in the Corporate world, and just because they're a tiny operation - that sure as shit doesn't make their behavior suddenly "not theft". What kind of fucking idiot announces that to the general public and doesn't expect some backlash? THAT would have been enough to turn me away.

In essence, I agree with the final outcome - they literally and shamelessly stole the recipe - I just don't share the outrage about the cultural appropriation aspect.
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2018, 12:22:02 PM »
Would it have been less criminal if they had just googled it?

https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/flour-tortillas-de-harina/

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Offline Jag

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2018, 03:20:38 PM »
I think you're missing my point - they spied on these women, after realizing that there were details that were not being disclosed. THAT'S the part that I think is outrageous; well, that, and the fact that they went on to tell people about it.

It's not the case that a list of ingredients equals a recipe - but that's tangential to what I said. It's the SPYING - in their own admission, they were peeking through the windows of the kitchens. I can't find a way to interpret their behavior in any way that isn't invasive, obnoxious, and potentially illegal. Who the hell does that? Seriously, that's not absolutely AYFKM? to anyone but me?

Is it okay because they really really wanted to know? Would it be equally meh if it involved something other than a recipe? Where is the line at which spying on people to get information they have chosen not to share with you - and which they are under absolutely no obligation to disclose to you in the first place - becomes ok?

I truly hope you are playing devil's advocate versus presenting any sort of defense against their behavior in relationship to what I said about the issue.
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Offline Jag

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2018, 03:23:04 PM »
Would it have been less criminal if they had just googled it?

https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/flour-tortillas-de-harina/

And to answer your question: yes, in my irrelevant to the legality of the issue opinion, yes. There's a world of difference between looking up a video and being a Peeping Tom, don't you think?
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2018, 08:45:41 PM »
Cultural appropriation or self expression?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQwsiJHprQ8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfTbHITdhEI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvKyBcCDOB4

My wife worked as a waitress in a Chinese Buffet restaurant in South Carolina. She was the only white person who worked there. The owners were Chinese. The cooks were Mexican. Most of the customers were black (or African American).

My wife has some great stories about that experience.



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Offline Astreja

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2018, 02:59:53 AM »
Portuguese cuisine is best cuisine. Try Cozido à Portuguesa. It'll be the best thing you've ever eaten (except maybe haggis, I have to admit the idea of haggis has grown on me, but I haven't had the chance to actually eat it).

Cozido à Portuguesa, better than bifanas or pastel de nata?  Definitely sounds like it's worth a try.  I've only had bifanas once, in a Portuguese restaurant that's no longer operating, so I may try to make that sometime soon.  My daughter has already mastered the egg tarts, which is awesome.

I think a network could run a cooking show out of our kitchen.   ;D

As for haggis, if you were to mix oatmeal with fried ground lamb you'd be heading in the right direction.
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Online One Above All

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2018, 03:22:11 AM »
Portuguese cuisine is best cuisine. Try Cozido à Portuguesa. It'll be the best thing you've ever eaten (except maybe haggis, I have to admit the idea of haggis has grown on me, but I haven't had the chance to actually eat it).

Cozido à Portuguesa, better than bifanas or pastel de nata?  Definitely sounds like it's worth a try.  I've only had bifanas once, in a Portuguese restaurant that's no longer operating, so I may try to make that sometime soon.  My daughter has already mastered the egg tarts, which is awesome.

Bifanas are nothing compared to the awesome power of Cozido à Portuguesa. I don't like pastel de nata, so I'm not sure how to compare it. You may also want to try Sopa da Pedra, named after an old legend.

As for haggis, if you were to mix oatmeal with fried ground lamb you'd be heading in the right direction.

Is it bad that that sounds intriguing?

PS: We should probably move this conversation elsewhere, lest Jag tear me a new one.
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Offline Jag

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2018, 10:10:11 AM »
Cultural appropriation or self expression?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQwsiJHprQ8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfTbHITdhEI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvKyBcCDOB4

My wife worked as a waitress in a Chinese Buffet restaurant in South Carolina. She was the only white person who worked there. The owners were Chinese. The cooks were Mexican. Most of the customers were black (or African American).

My wife has some great stories about that experience.

.........so, you're not going to respond to what I said? You're just going to post more links at me? Don't bother, but thanks for participating.
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Offline Jag

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2018, 10:11:22 AM »
PS: We should probably move this conversation elsewhere, lest Jag tear me a new one.

Dear fuck, she expects us to actually talk about the topic!  :?
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2018, 11:41:16 AM »
My ancestry can be traced back to Norway and Scotland, but it's unlikely you'll catch me preparing lutefisk (urk!) or haggis (not nearly as bad as it sounds, but darned if I'm going to attempt it at home) when there are cultures with vastly more sane cuisine.  Virtually any other culture, in fact.

As for Canadian cuisine, there's only so much poutine and donair and Nanaimo bars one can stand.  (I find Nanaimo bars too sweet anyway, and tend to have one every decade or so.)

Cultural appropriation is more of a problem to me as a writer.  In one story now into second draft, I have a character who's from Japan.  I write his dialogue in straight English, not Japanese-inflected English.  He tosses in a Japanese word now and then and I just leave it there.  (The same story also has some Mandarin-speaking dragons, a phone call in Icelandic, and some swearing in Sumerian.  I used footnotes, if only so *I* can remember what the characters were saying.)

I need to read this :)


I think that the literal stealing does make the difference.  However, I've never got the idea that one has to keep a secret about food, or how you do a certain think in an artistic medium, etc.  I know it can be a thing if you want to make money off of a unique thing, but I've never had a problem with it. It can be a problem with people who are just theives by personality, but most people IMO, are just too honest, or simply too lazy, to copy. 
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2018, 08:24:28 PM »
First, I want to state clearly that I do believe this is a thing.

Second, I want to state clearly, the boundaries appear to be ill-defined. I understand why.

So here's where it gets murky to me. A good example is Dia de Muertos/Day of the Dead art. I'm not of Mexican descent, but I think the art form is gorgeous, and I own two pieces.

I just watched an argument unfold about exactly this. It was about using sugar skulls to decorate one month in a planner, of all things, and someone got touchy about cultural appropriation.

Since this is the beginning of your thread I feel it is important to get back to the basic issue at hand.

Sugar skulls are beautiful. I know many people who appreciate the aesthetics of the art as well as the deeper underlying reason for why that art exists. Myself included. However, in my mind, I believe that the crime of cultural appropriation as applied to art is a red herring...just another tool to keep us divided.

Another way to look at it would be to ask the question

Is it cultural appropriation or cultural appreciation?

Seriously what do we want America to be? A land where all cultures and customs are recognized and freely accepted or a land where people are expected to stay within their culturally assigned lanes and never deviate from their ancestors cultural norms?

 
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 08:26:41 PM by Mr. Blackwell »
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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2018, 09:00:16 PM »
There should be a list of what is ok and what isn't.

For example it's alright to eat food of another culture, say Indian food, but not cool to wear a Sari?  Jerk chicken is fine but stay away from the dreads?  A couple pieces of art are lovely but costumes are right out?

I would really like to know.  Everyone is so easily offended these days.  It's like people look for reasons to take offense.  Instead of just being proud that people want to emulate their culture.

I was not really raised with any heritage or culture.  We were just Midwestern Americans.  I have since traveled a lot and picked up things here and there.  Mostly food related.  I would hate to be limited to the little area where I grew up because everything else is not "my" culture.
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Offline albeto

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2018, 02:11:42 PM »
I'm open to being schooled on this. If I'm wrong, I'd like to know, but I'd also like to know WHY. Ideally, I'd like a better boundary than "I'm white, therefore I'm in dangerous territory when I'm drawn to anything from a culture that is predominantly NOT white". How do I navigate these waters? For context, I have Native American ancestry and a bunch of European dribs and drabs on my paternal side, and primarily Irish on my maternal side.

*Edited for clarity: racism CAN be hard to recognize as well, and can be seen where it was never intended. That's why I specifically stated overt, which is not meant to suggest that covert racism is okay.

I think there is a difference between wearing blackface and wearing dreadlocks. I think there is a difference between using objects of cultural/religious sacredness as fashion accessories because they're trendy and displaying and using images and artifacts from other cultures in the context of art or celebrating humanity. I think the topic gets more challenging when the examples fall away from the extremes and are interspersed with non-appropriative behavior.

What catches my attention is how these conversations so quickly gravitate towards criticizing the one extreme of this argument. Sure we all know examples of people taking the idea so far as to be absurd, but that doesn't negate the general argument made. What an interesting application of straw man, because it's so readily embraced. At least in my experience. I see it in this thread as well.

Cultures are always evolving, even ours, even right before our eyes. This is where I see the stereotype of the older generation shaking their fists at the younger. Those of us old enough to remember playing Cowboys and Indians as kids grew up not thinking of these things as cultural appropriation, "and we turned out just fine." Only, maybe we were more ignorant and reinforced racism more than we realized. And it's fair for people to tell us that. And it's fair for us to say when someone is taking that argument too far. And it's fair for us to not be entirely sure what the consensus is or should be while this is working itself out. And it's fair for us to continue the conversation in the meantime.

So to answer your question Jag about knowing how to navigate this, I don't know of a better way than addressing the issue when it comes up, in the context in which it exists. Using sugar skulls to decorate one month in a planner, for example, is something you were right to defend imo. I might be interesting to find out what the other person thinks "cultural appropriate" means. Because from here, it looks like what you were getting an earful of was in reality reinforcing race-divisions and that works against the goal of diversity.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2018, 04:47:47 PM »
From some of the comments, it appears that cultural exchange and cultural appropriation are being linked as opposed to being seen as distinct  and often mutually exclusive. Remember, cultural appropriation is the adoption of elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture. It is distinguished from an equal cultural exchange due to an imbalance of power, often as a byproduct of colonialism and oppression. When a culture takes from a minority culture and uses elements outside of their original cultural context, losing or distorting original meaning of these cultural elements in the process; it can be viewed as disrespectful, or even as a form of desecration, by members of the originating culture.

Cultural appropriation is felt by many in minority cultures as an extension of colonialism where the culture is infiltrated and has parts of it somewhat studied in order to be taken to mainstream culture to be profited off of not by the culture that developed it, but instead by someone many would describe as a plagarizing culture vulture.   

People generally love to share their culture with others. By the same token, many hate it when parts of their culture are imitated and emulated in a way that does not show the heart and meaning behind what is seen on the surface. Without that type of exposition, cultural mimicking amounts to little more than mockery to the members of the culture that see their mannerisms, etc. being displayed by those outside of the culture with have no connection to the heart of it.

Anthony Bourdain did a great job of shining a light on other cultures is his series Parts Unknown. His approach is one that was highly inoffensive. I believe that type of approach would generally be received well because it tells the story from the prospective of the originators and gives credit before taking over.

Offline Timo

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2018, 10:16:17 PM »
Indeed. I'm from LA. There's all sorts of cool cultural exchange or cultural appreciation going on. I think this is easiest to think of in terms of food. We've got Korean taco trucks and Indian burrito places and what not. That shit is dope.

I think the difference is this. Half my family is Puerto Rican. If someone were to make some half assed mofongo and then try to act like they invented mofongo and they were trying to present what they were doing as authentic, I'd have a problem. If their version of mofongo took off and they made money off of our culture, I'd have an even bigger problem. If they're just taking a crack at it and putting their spin on it, that's a whole different thing. I stopped eating meat a while back and so I'm hopeful I'll come across a good vegetarian version. And I'd bet it's going to be an Indian chef that pulls it off.

I guess to go back to what Truth OT was saying and to keep with my example, cultural appropriation is white folks acting like the things we brought in for lunch smelled weird but then trying to sell it back to other white folks as some authentic representation of that thing they were making fun of.
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Cultural Appropriation
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2018, 09:03:16 AM »
I have wondered if the solution to the Fermi paradox is that we are in a cultural appropriation zoo, where alien tourists inhabit our bodies in simulations and go on our best drug trips. After having one of our best orgasms, listening to Bach, having a good curry, then then head on to civilization 34836 and discuss whether all philosophers have an S in them.
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be bleedn obvious.