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  1. #11

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    There are a lot of sports teams with Native American mascots and names that are a vestige of racism. Some teams have done away with these themes and some have defended them as "cultural history." I think that's bullsh*t.

    These examples in general are about ignorance, intellectual lethargy, and cultural insensitivity rather than cultural appropriation. If someone started a team named the Northtown Negroes or New Braunfels Gerries --f*cking heads would roll.

    A better example would be all of the words that people believe are English, but were borrowed. Pajamas, khaki, and jodhpurs are all Hindi.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  2. #12
    triple nerd score poppy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    Yes, I wanted to hear minorities' thoughts on this issue - particularly Cze's, since she knows quite a lot about this sociology stuff.

    The catch, though, is that it's hard to extrapolate from "This person of X minority finds Y offensive" to "This Y thing is offensive to all X people", since you put them into the position of Ambassador of Xtopia - thus holding one person accountable for their whole ethnicity/sexuality/whatever in the same way that, say, a person of X minority acting stereotypical is "an embarassment" to all Xers, which doesn't happen with straight white males (well, except for Pauly Shore, disgrace to white men everywhere). It's like that Wanda Sykes routine where she says she had to "act properly" in front of white people (look it up, it's awesome ) before Obama became the US President.
    That's very true, making one individual the representative of their race is a serious issue. For it to work in this case, those accused of cultural appropriation would have to be able to both avoid going on the defensive, and to be in favor of opening a dialogue rather than accepting one individual's comments as coming from an entire race. I think the motivation is different here than it is when we stereotype a race negatively based on one individual.
    "There's no need to be embarrassed about it, Mr. Spock. It happens to the birds and the bees!"

  3. #13
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    There are a lot of sports teams with Native American mascots and names that are a vestige of racism. Some teams have done away with these themes and some have defended them as "cultural history." I think that's bullsh*t.

    These examples in general are about ignorance, intellectual lethargy, and cultural insensitivity rather than cultural appropriation. If someone started a team named the Northtown Negroes or New Braunfels Gerries --f*cking heads would roll.
    That's a fine example, and one that is often brought up when discussing this stuff.



    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    A better example would be all of the words that people believe are English, but were borrowed. Pajamas, khaki, and jodhpurs are all Hindi.
    Am I to understand, given your comments, that you acknowledge the possibility of non-imperialistic cultural appropriation? If I use the word "pajamas" without knowledge of its etymology, is it disrespectful?

    Quote Originally Posted by poppy View Post
    That's very true, making one individual the representative of their race is a serious issue. For it to work in this case, those accused of cultural appropriation would have to be able to both avoid going on the defensive, and to be in favor of opening a dialogue rather than accepting one individual's comments as coming from an entire race. I think the motivation is different here than it is when we stereotype a race negatively based on one individual.
    Yeah... We have to make due without having possession of The Big Book Of What Is And What Isn't Appropriative. At least in that case one is theoretically open to learning and listening. It's complicated - ain't easy having a dialogue when one clearly has a superior position of power, if only sociologically.

    Here's something interesting. I read a few days ago an article which decried The Help - a book/movie which my mother liked but I didn't read - as perpetuating an "easy" cultural narrative (or something like that). When I read things like that, I begin to wonder (a) if there's a mainstream work that isn't "problematic", to use their phrase, and (b) how they'd change the works they critique so they would be less so.

    Me, I think we whites need to leave making movies about race to people of color, or at least academics with experience in the area. Maybe then we can stop making eyes roll.

    Aw, crap, I'm going off topic...
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  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    Am I to understand, given your comments, that you acknowledge the possibility of non-imperialistic cultural appropriation? If I use the word "pajamas" without knowledge of its etymology, is it disrespectful?
    Web definitions of cultural appropriation are neutral, but allow for a negative bent.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  5. #15

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    @Viridian Well riddle me this... in Mexico, jeans are referred to as los jeans --a blatant appropriation from English. Do you feel offended?
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  6. #16
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    Web definitions of cultural appropriation are neutral, but allow for a negative bent.
    That was one of my original questions - whether or not appropriation is always a negative/disrespectful/hegemonic process.

    Yours is an interesting answer - factually sound, but definitely not what I was expecting...

    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    Well riddle me this... in Mexico, jeans are referred to as los jeans --a blatant appropriation from English. Do you feel offended?
    Well, I'm not from an English-speaking country, so...

    To answer your question the best I can, I think it's a different situation, since not only is the American cultural industry (for lack of a better term) pretty ubiquitous and pervasive, but the USA itself is pretty hegemonic, so I think the field is far from level.

    It's like the "The Last Airbender vs. Thor" casting issue: is casting a black guy to play an originally white character as bad as casting a bunch of white guys to play originally Inuit/Asian/whatever characters? There are factors outside the issue in focus to consider, I think.

    At least, that's my perception...
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  8. #18

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    I think a lot of this is much ado about nothing. When you start making rules about what others can and can't find significant or meaningful, then you get in trouble. Everyone should do their own thing and not worry about what other people are doing. I know this is extremely unpopular, but I also don't think that the aggrieved culture should have the sole power to determine what is offensive.
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  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    That was one of my original questions - whether or not appropriation is always a negative/disrespectful/hegemonic process.

    Yours is an interesting answer - factually sound, but definitely not what I was expecting...



    Well, I'm not from an English-speaking country, so...

    To answer your question the best I can, I think it's a different situation, since not only is the American cultural industry (for lack of a better term) pretty ubiquitous and pervasive, but the USA itself is pretty hegemonic, so I think the field is far from level.

    It's like the "The Last Airbender vs. Thor" casting issue: is casting a black guy to play an originally white character as bad as casting a bunch of white guys to play originally Inuit/Asian/whatever characters? There are factors outside the issue in focus to consider, I think.

    At least, that's my perception...
    Where are you from?
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  10. #20
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    Where are you from?
    Brazil. However, being whiter than styrofoam, I do not consider myself Latino. As such, I have many privileges within my country, sociologically speaking.
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

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