Cultural appropriation (CA) - legit or taboo?

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nobspeople
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Cultural appropriation (CA) - legit or taboo?

Post #1

Post by nobspeople »

I've never been, nor will ever be, a Justin Bieber fan or defender. But I came across this article in my feed today.

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tot ... 19370.html

Don't all cultures take things from other cultures over time? Food, fashion, traditions, words, religions...the list is almost endless.

Indeed, JB is, in my opinion, a [word not allowed on this site] and likely is using this for attention (again, my opinion). And this is just one example of CA.

But is CA wrong? Should people be 'outraged' or should the relax and worry about things more important in today's world?

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Re: Cultural appropriation (CA) - legit or taboo?

Post #11

Post by Athetotheist »

In the case of European settlers of the Americas bringing Africans here as slaves and their descendents taking the cultural features of the captives, I can understand the air of colonialism which lingers. But what about when the descendents of invaders acclimate to the culture their ancestors invaded? Is that "appropriation", or is it something else?

Is there perhaps a lesson we in the "dominant culture" can learn from the white guys featured here?


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Re: Cultural appropriation (CA) - legit or taboo?

Post #12

Post by Dimmesdale »

nobspeople wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:11 am I've never been, nor will ever be, a Justin Bieber fan or defender. But I came across this article in my feed today.

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/tot ... 19370.html

Don't all cultures take things from other cultures over time? Food, fashion, traditions, words, religions...the list is almost endless.

Indeed, JB is, in my opinion, a [word not allowed on this site] and likely is using this for attention (again, my opinion). And this is just one example of CA.

But is CA wrong? Should people be 'outraged' or should the relax and worry about things more important in today's world?
I am not personally a fan of melting pot culture. People look at it as innocuous, and so did I. In fact, I thought I could get away with adopting whatever I wanted from whoever I wanted in the cultural scene as a youth. I was naive. Differences matter. Not least for your own true self's sake. And integrity.

If you take a salad, and eat it as is, you can enjoy it. You can enjoy all the elements that are separate: the texture of the crisp lettuce, the succulent tomatoes, the tangy dressing etc. But what happens to it if you put all the ingredients in a blender and mix them up? Are you going to drink that? More importantly, will you enjoy it?

Multiculturalism is the death of culture. At least, a multiculturalism that has no respect for differences, for context and authenticity. This is not to say we cannot learn from each other and synthesize our values. That can be done, but up to a point. If you keep mixing, and blending, and become uprooted from any sort of tradition that sets itself apart and distinct, you are left with nothing. No values; just transitory sensations which fade into the oblivion and death of culture.

A haircut may be nothing and a haircut may be something. It is up to us to make that call. But we should ask ourselves: is this US? Are we being authentic? Are we following our conscience and our true strength? I can't dictate the decisions of others, but I will always try to guide them in an authentic way.
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein

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Re: Cultural appropriation (CA) - legit or taboo?

Post #13

Post by Purple Knight »

Tcg wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 2:50 amSo this is simply someone wearing a hairstyle they like the looks of:

But this is a travesty of some sort?
Yes. Neither one, in itself, taken alone, is some horrible act. But one is a continuation of a pattern of abuse and the other is not.

I can't horseplay with the same person I physically abuse every day. If I'm an abuser, there are things that can continue that abuse without being innately evil acts in any other context. I've known genuinely horribly abusive people - people who can break another human being and delight in doing to their victim what in broad daylight is always called "no big deal" by everyone who sees it.

You could easily say, well, that's not really fair to whites who didn't intentionally commit any abuse themselves. And that's true, it's not fair. Perhaps if you want your descendants to live in a completely fair world, you shouldn't commit atrocities against other races.

You could also say that perhaps there are people who aren't genuine in the offence they take. Perhaps they're looking to capitalise or take advantage. I agree that there probably are such people. I won't comment on the ratio because I have no basis to make any sort of educated guess but I feel "there are some" is reasonable, especially since some few such as Jussie Smollett have been so desperate to capitalise that they actually orchestrated the hateful incident.

You may disagree because this is a pure value judgment, but I believe they deserve the recompense even if they think they don't. In their own minds, they may be not offended or hurt at all. They may simply be happy because of some gain they can make in either money or social status. But really, if there is a true wrong, does it matter if the victim doesn't care? As a society we tend to say no. We don't tend to bend to the excuse that the victim wanted to be murdered. One or two might not have cared all that much, perhaps some murder victim was legitimately suicidal and failed repeatedly to work up the courage to actually do it. It doesn't matter: Murder is murder. A wrong is a wrong regardless of whether the victim thinks it is, however, again I admit this is a value judgment, though I am trying to go with the one that's consistent and has fewer negative consequences for society as a whole.

So yes, even if I can read this person's mind, and in the hypothetical case that she's overjoyed that she can spitefully exert social power over a peer by cutting his hair, and even if she thinks cultural appropriation is just an excuse, I want her to do it, and I want her to sue this fellow and win, because I disagree with her that it is just an excuse.


Tcg wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 2:50 amShould jockeys take offence of his appropriation of their culture?
Yes, in the universe where jockeys are a culture and that fellow or his ancestors systemically oppressed the jockey ancestors.

I'm going to be fair and say that in that universe, I might not be defending the jockeys. It might seem silly to me. I can only say that I'm glad I live in this universe because I'm confident that this me has it right, if that makes any sense.

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