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Mon Feb 4, 2019, 02:25 PM

How do you feel about "cultural appropriation?"

Long story short, the more I think about this term, the more it seems it's being used by many as a a way of saying, "we're different." IOW, we're in different groups and you can't use my stuff because it disrespects my group. It seems like a way of dividing people.

So, can cultural appropriation extend to, say, having Chinese or Indian food if you're not either? Many years ago we attended a Seder, and the host, who knew I was Catholic, asked me if I'd be offended by wearing a yarmulke. I said absolutely not; actually, I was honored that he would invite me to wear one.

Has this whole concept gone too far? I find it especially interesting in the U.S., which was traditionally seen as a melting pot.

16 replies, 1306 views

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply How do you feel about "cultural appropriation?" (Original post)
grumpyduck Feb 2019 OP
demmiblue Feb 2019 #1
2naSalit Feb 2019 #2
Freelancer Feb 2019 #10
Bucky Feb 2019 #3
zipplewrath Feb 2019 #4
Adrahil Feb 2019 #5
WhiskeyGrinder Feb 2019 #6
Locutusofborg Feb 2019 #7
Loki Liesmith Feb 2019 #8
Journeyman Feb 2019 #9
mart48 Feb 2019 #11
Locutusofborg Feb 2019 #12
Hortensis Feb 2019 #15
LanternWaste Feb 2019 #13
Goodheart Feb 2019 #14
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Feb 2019 #16

Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 02:32 PM

1. FFS

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 02:32 PM

2. What matters is respect.

If you cannot honor the source of that which you make use or use something of significance to a culture other than your own to mock or repurpose without asking permission or at least showing respect then, yes it's offensive.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 03:14 PM

10. So, by those rules...

So, let me get this straight. By that reasoning, if Wynton Marsalis uses a trumpet to play jazz without thanking the white Europeans who invented the instrument, that's okay, but if he uses it to play polka music, and rolls his eyes mockingly while doing it, then that use of the trumpet is cultural appropriation?

I have another idea. Let W.M. do whatever the f#@k he wants with it.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 02:36 PM

3. It's an easy thing to get wrong. It's not cultural diffusion.

examples range from the frivolous (people complaining about the corn rows hair style as the "Bo Derek look") to the genuinely racist (Col Parker looking for a "white nigger" to make a mint off of and using Elvis Pressley to make his fortune while never remunerating or acknowledging the black artists they got the material from).

It's a difficult topic to nail down. But the rules of thumb I use are (1) is it demeaning or dismissive of cultural origins? and (2) is it tied to exploitation or oppression of other cultural groups?

American artists who draw from the fullness of American culture will inevitably draw influences from artists of diverse backgrounds. Honoring the source material and being non-exclusionary is how this cultural sharing can happen without being exploitive. A professor I know uses the Vanilla Ice - Eminem comparison.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 02:38 PM

4. Poorly understood

I think the concept is poorly understood and often applied incorrectly.

Quite honestly one has to also understand and acknowledge that it has been going on for thousands of years.

In the current environment, I think it is a legitimate gripe that the adoption of certain practices for in essence "inappropriate" purposes is what is being referenced. Basically, if you are adopting a practice as it is intended to be, that's acceptable. If you are basically mimicking a practice, especially out of context, you're probably in trouble.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 02:40 PM

5. Cultural Appropriation is about claiming ownership.

 



You can participate in, or even borrow from a culture without appropriating it.

The problem comes when one claims some cultural artifact and interprets it as if they originated it.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 02:41 PM

6. "You can't use my stuff because it disrespects my group. It seems like a way of dividing people."

If this is your understanding of what cultural appropriation is, I encourage you to read more about it.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 02:50 PM

7. I prefer the concept of "acculturation"

To "cultural appropriation," which is often used as an accusation: "you're stealing my stuff!"
When people of various cultures inhabit the same geographic space, they will impact and change each other through the processes of their interactions.
Being asked and agreeing to wear a yarmulke is different from coming to a Seder already wearing a yarmulke without having been asked.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 03:07 PM

8. I do not give one goddam about it.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 03:11 PM

9. Steal everything you can . . .

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 03:23 PM

11. From what I've seen so far it's total B.S.

 

But I'm willing to change my mind if someone can explain to me how it makes sense.

Specifically, I'd need an explanation of why it's wrong to appropriate X's culture when it's OK that X wears blue jeans, has an iPhone in his/her pocket, uses PCs and the internet, watches Hollywood movies and T.V. shows, etc., etc.

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Response to mart48 (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 04:20 PM

12. Why would you assume

That members of only one culture created any of those things?

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Response to mart48 (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 04:47 PM

15. Golden rule's good enough for me. A basic set of manners covers it too.

If I find something I'm doing is offensive to some group, I stop. Of course, a fair proportion have to actually care, but I don't get to decide if they should be offended, they do.

Of course, if the offense is just taken by the overly sensitive sorts who always rush to be upset, they'll have to lump it. But even then I'd try not to upset them if we met. Bless their prickly, unbalanced little hearts.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 04:25 PM

13. I believe historical acculturation happens regardless of what we think about it.

That said, I don't see anyone of note or substance arguing it should stop, or reduce its velocity.

Everything else in your post can be addressed by simply opening our eyes and ears as individuals as ask "am I myself being respectful?"

Granted, those too-clever-for-their-own-good can easily deconstruct the question "am I being respectful" to such a degree as to rationalize any behavior in themselves, but that's simply because they're not asking themselves the question with sincerity, but rather with a defensive agenda.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 04:30 PM

14. I think most reverent imitation is done from a sense of admiration and respect

I reject the notion that Paul Simon, for example, was being insensitive and disrespectful for writing and performing Graceland or Rhythm of the Saints. I say lay off, and be proud that someone else wants to participate in something you created.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 05:25 PM

16. Cultures have borrowed from each other since the begining of time

I find the term cultural appropriation a bit annoying

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