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What Do You Think Cultural Appropriation Is?

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36 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Again your sarcasm levels mean it’s very difficult to discern where you are going with this question so I will guess at what you mean.

Nothing I've said to you has been sarcastic.

Quote

are some forms of cultural appropriation outrage appropriate. Yes sure. Is the real problem what braids people are wearing? No, not really. The real problem is imbalance of economic and social status racially, so deal with that, make people aware of that situation and maybe they will get on board and help. Making people feel antagonist towards you, thinking you are just bullying them is totally unhelpful

Okay, so now that we've established some people have a point, why do you keep attempting to dismiss their point by only bringing up the most extreme examples and equivocating?

Edited by TrueMetis

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57 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Sorry I don’t understand your question.

 

Agree. Identity politics has really gotten out of control and when you have white nationalists using it as shield you know there is an issue. Screaming at people over what clothes people wear only plays into their hands, it doesn’t help the very people you want to help 

It's always been there. It's just that one side decided to use it as an attack line. It shows a fundamental lack of understand of the term.

53 minutes ago, ljkeane said:

It's not generally non white immigration people are talking about when they criticise EU labour mobility laws.

I know, but there is a noticeable segment that does, and the key word in my post was "fear." The realities matter a lot less when you're afraid something might happen. 

Now granted, I've been watching from afar, but I get a fair share of news about the UK and I've yet to hear a commentator say that racism and/or xenophobia didn't play a role in Brexit. A phrase I hear them talk about is "London doesn't look like London anymore," which is a blatantly racist attack.  And yes you also hear people say they oppose immigration of white people too, but that does have a xenophobic flare, and it's not unique to the UK. I've heard right wing leaders in other countries say things like "France doesn't look like France anymore" and "Keep Germany German." These sentiments are not just confined to the UK, and the refugee wave has only exacerbated these feelings. 

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Nigel Farage would occasionally literally talk about Islamic immigration in the middle of his anti-EU rants so let's not pretend there was no anti-not-white-people component to the leave campaign coz there definitely was.

But also:

1 hour ago, Heartofice said:

but that doesn’t mean it was racist, especially as the large immigrant surge was almost entirely white Caucasian.

This is mealy-mouthed pedantry trying to deflect from the actual point. It's always a questionable-looking argument to go 'well it can't be racism coz they're white too', but if you really must just call it xenophobia and talk about that instead. 

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2 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Your talking to someone who lives in the UK. Your views on the topic are clearly pretty uninformed. Please let’s move on.

Also, this is a pretty laughable attitude given that you're presuming to lecture a bunch of Americans who have spent a lot of time thinking about and learning about our own country's racist history. Oh, you've been here a few times, so you know how it is for us? I've visited Britain a few times, so I guess we're on even footing.

You claim that the UK is the least racist place ever and cite London as a multicultural metropolis. Which it is! But even a dumb ignorant American like me knows that London ain't the whole UK, just like New York and Los Angeles, arguably even more diverse than London, aren't the whole US. So if you want to claim that the empire that subjugated and colonized half the known world and profited immensely off slave labor and colonial exploitation of dark people is totally not-racist, you need to bring more to the table than your own blinkered numptyhood.

Your entire attitude in this thread is a whole bunch of ignorant pontificating and inability to consider your own blind spots. You claim to be half Jamaican, but your attitude is mighty white.

Edited by DanteGabriel

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8 hours ago, TrueMetis said:

Okay, so now that we've established some people have a point, why do you keep attempting to dismiss their point by only bringing up the most extreme examples and equivocating?

Which examples do you deem to be extreme and which are totally valid? The news is almost filled daily with a new news item about someone culturally appropriating and being hounded off the internet about it. Which ones do you find extreme and which are not. 

Is it Kim Kardashian wearing braids? Katy Perry in a Geisha dress? White guy with dreadlocks? My culture is not your prom dress? A Halloween dress? Miley Cyrus 'twerking'?

I'm sure there are other less extreme news stories about it too, but these are the ones that get the most traction and seemingly cause the most anger and outrage.

But by question is still, who is it helping by beating people over the head with the cultural appropriation stick. Who does it help? Are your actions making things better or worse? Just tell me what you think.

 

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8 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

 

Now granted, I've been watching from afar, but I get a fair share of news about the UK and I've yet to hear a commentator say that racism and/or xenophobia didn't play a role in Brexit. A phrase I hear them talk about is "London doesn't look like London anymore," which is a blatantly racist attack.  And yes you also hear people say they oppose immigration of white people too, but that does have a xenophobic flare, and it's not unique to the UK. I've heard right wing leaders in other countries say things like "France doesn't look like France anymore" and "Keep Germany German." These sentiments are not just confined to the UK, and the refugee wave has only exacerbated these feelings. 

 

There are a lot of 'commentators' on Brexit and very few of them really understand the issues involved. The immediate reaction post-Brexit was to blame it on ignorant racists. That narrative really hasn't gone away. It doesn't really get to the truth of the matter which is quite complex. Immigration certainly was a factor, but again, that doesn't automatically equal racism (I would have hoped in 2018 we would have figured that out by now) but there were also a lot of other factors involved.

7 hours ago, DanteGabriel said:

 

Your entire attitude in this thread is a whole bunch of ignorant pontificating and inability to consider your own blind spots. You claim to be half Jamaican, but your attitude is mighty white.

Thats a pretty horrifying thing to say. That I am certainly not Jamaican, and I am not white shows how little you know.

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11 hours ago, Heartofice said:

I have been to the US many times, and I was shocked by the difference in race relations and discussion of race there. The lack of mixing between races is incredibly noticeable there especially when you come from London. I’m very aware of the issues that the US faces and it’s history.

And yet, in the map you provided the link to, US as you describe it is in the same category of "racism" as the racial utopia you try to paint the UK to be.

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Kenyan Dante, heartofice claims to be half Kenyan. Though at this point I'm done as there clearly no desire to have an honest conversation from someone who keeps equivocating when their equivocation is pointed out to them. I still haven't decided whether this is malice or ignorance, so I'll split the difference and call it malicious ignorance.

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4 hours ago, Heartofice said:

But by question is still, who is it helping by beating people over the head with the cultural appropriation stick. Who does it help? Are your actions making things better or worse? Just tell me what you think.

Your posts contain a lot of conflated issues that might be useful to start delaminating a bit.   Is your main problem with cultural appropriation that you don’t believe such a thing exists?  Is the issue that you do not believe that CA causes harm?   You keep bringing up things like “beating people over the head” about CA.   Is your issue that it does actually exist, but that some reactions to it are far too extreme than you’re comfortable with?   Are you uncomfortable with those reactions because you see CA as nothing more than harmless cultural exchange, and that any critical backlash is unjust?   Are you calling for caution when  pointing out even genuine cases of CA because you believe you’ve witnessed disproportionate outrage, and find such disproportionate reactions wrong as a moral issue?    Is your objection rooted in practicality, such that swarming a cultural appropriator with outrage doesn’t change their Minds?   Do you feel the need to speak out against these oppressive outrage engines because you think disproportionate flogging is how the issue is handled the overwhelming majority of the time?

If I had to hazard a guess, I suspect a lot of skepticism about CA generally has to do with being told that it causes harm to groups of people, but most explanations— even published ones— stop short of actually explaining how and why this is the case.  I’m not an expert, but I figured I’d give it a shot.

I think a lot of the problem has to do with the fact that the things dominant cultures are “borrowing” are things that were— and still are— used by that dominant culture to oppress the culture they’re borrowing from.  For example, black people are discriminated against for wearing traditional hairstyles.  They are less likely to be hired or otherwise treated with respect and as equals when wearing natural hair or dreads or braids, and adopting the dominant white aesthetic was a tool of survival for a very long time (and still often is).   A white person who wears traditionally black styles does not encounter the same discrimination or harms that black people do, and are often seen as rebellious or cool or edgy for doing so.  In addition to how galling it must feel for a black person, to whom hair is imbued with identity and deep meaning, to watch it stripped of meaning and adopted as a superficial trend by white people, it’s also something that continues to actively keep them from the basic privileges afforded to white people when worn themselves. 

A similar issue emerges in terms of the dominant culture “discovering” some aspect of another culture and blithely profiteering off it.  That’s not to say a white chef shouldn’t be able to specialize in Mexican cuisine or anything.    The disconnect happens when the dominant culture takes and profits but never gives back in some way.  A white person will likely find it much easier to “market” some aspect of another culture due to number of factors, from structural advantages in terms of access and financing to issues like having greater social palatability by virtue of their whiteness.  Someone who profits off another culture, but then also uses that success and power to help others of that culture achieve success isn’t appropriating.

Edited by butterbumps!

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30 minutes ago, butterbumps! said:

snip.

Thanks Butterbumps for your post. I think I've been pretty clear up till this point, but really I've just been responding to what has been put in front of me.

I think there are a number of issues around the topic:

- CA clearly exists in some form
- CA has many historic factors to take into account and has been used in the past in quite unpleasant ways.
- Reactions to CA in the most publicised cases often appear to be huge over reactions and are unhelpful.
- There are genuine cases where CA has had real world consequences for communities.

I think my main difficulty with CA is the concept of culture and who owns it and who isn't allowed to own it. As someone who is of mixed heritage and who could easily be mistaken for white / indian / mixed race depending on who I am talking to, I find the binary nature of the discussion really oppressive. 

I used the example of hiphop culture previously because essentially nobody I knew had any real right to claim that culture, but some people might be considered more accepted than others based purely on their subjective appearance. 

Also maybe its because I'm from the UK and we don't have much of the same history, but I don't consider the 'dominant' culture to be purely 'white culture'. I consider it to be western capitalist and you see it now almost globally, and it takes from all cultures in which money can be made. Thats not to say its not predominantly aimed at white people currently, clearly there are still issues there. I also think it is changing. I think almost all cultures are being monetised and replaced by one big global homogeny. 

But yes, the issue for me is that its very difficult to discern who actually owns a culture, and I am very uncomfortable with putting groups of people into neat little boxes.. black people over here.. white people over here. If you are mixed, if you don't fit in those boxes, where do you sit? Maybe its because I know so many people from different cultures and we don't put ourselves in boxes. We are British and Western.. we just look a bit different to each other. 

Your example of a dominant culture never giving back to the people its taking from is interesting, but then my question is who are they paying it back to? The answer isn't very simple. If for instance as a chef I make millions from a Mexican recipe ( a bad example but lets just go with it), how do I give that success back to the mexican community? Do I pay Mexico? Do I make some worthy PR gesture to latino communities. Do only Mexican people own the right to mexican food, and is it ALL Mexican people? What about Spanish people? Other Latin american countries. 

I get the point though, you have for instance your Eminem and Elvis examples of someone getting success by virtue of being white and other black artists being ignored. 

I'm essentially calling for caution because I cannot see what positive outcome can come about by concentrating on what I view as side issues to the real problem. If certain communities lack opportunity, are being sidelined or oppressed, then lets talk about that and how we can fix the problems. Much of the talk of CA does however focus on trivialities and distractions, and the only result is to push moderate people further away and make them less sympathetic. 
 

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22 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I'm essentially calling for caution because I cannot see what positive outcome can come about by concentrating on what I view as side issues to the real problem. 

Fuck tone policing. 

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6 hours ago, Heartofice said:

 

Thats a pretty horrifying thing to say. That I am certainly not Jamaican, and I am not white shows how little you know.

I apologize sincerely for misremembering. That doesn't change any of the rest of my critique, which I notice you chose not to respond to.

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7 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

I apologize sincerely for misremembering. That doesn't change any of the rest of my critique, which I notice you chose not to respond to.

I’m not sure why I should respond to a post which was was as rude as that. That I should think a certain way because of my race is exactly the sort of problem I’m trying to get away from here. A number of quite nice people have relied to me in a reasonable fashion and I appreciate that. It’s given me some optimism about this place. 

In answer to your question; no Britain is not without racism, I never claimed it was. But in comparison to most everywhere else its very good , this from the country that was one of the leaders in abolishing slavery btw.

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15 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

this from the country that was one of the leaders in abolishing slavery btw.

As charming as your anecdotal experience and irrelevant "well actually" history is ...

Touting anywhere as the "least racist" is bragging about being the shiniest turd. A society ought to be actively anti-racist.

https://www-m.cnn.com/2018/04/19/opinions/racism-as-british-as-a-cup-of-tea-opinion-intl/index.html?

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/may/11/uk-has-seen-brexit-related-growth-in-racism-says-un-representative

https://www.tuc.org.uk/blogs/shining-spotlight-structural-racism-britain-today

https://www.internations.org/great-britain-expats/guide/29460-safety-security/discrimination-and-racism-in-the-uk-16163

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It's interesting how HeartofIce is actively ignoring all the British people saying Brexit had a huge racist part to it to tell the other people commenting they can't understand because they're not British.

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3 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

It's interesting how HeartofIce is actively ignoring all the British people saying Brexit had a huge racist part to it to tell the other people commenting they can't understand because they're not British. 

Don't forget that while other people aren't British and are therefore uniformed and can't have an informed opinion about racism and the UK, he's been to the US "many time" and therefore is "very aware" of racial issue in the US. This despite his bullshit "evidence" putting the level of racism in the US and UK as being the same. Apparently something is only valid if it supports his point of view.

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Look people, how can Heartofice solve the world's racism if we keep asking for clarification, or putting forth inconvenient questions like "What about the Windrush generation?" Just by asking the question, we're going against the unquestionable wisdom of a cherrypicked quote from Wise Black Man Morgan Freeman.

We should also check in and see if racism can be solved by taking Bill Cosby's advice about pulling your pants up.

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Man, I remember when I first joined the board. There were some threads with people talking about dragons and woofs and stuff, but of course I went straight to gen chat and made a beeline for the nearest controversial thread to buddy up with the biggest racist arsegoblin I could find. Good times!

(Only kidding - My first post was in the sockpuppet thread.)

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