Cultural Appropriation: Nasty but Necessary?

Debate and discussion on racism and related issues

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2117
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 671 times
Been thanked: 407 times

Cultural Appropriation: Nasty but Necessary?

Post #1

Post by Purple Knight »

Question for debate: Do you agree or disagree with the parable below as an accurate analogy for the cultural appropriation paradigm in modern western society?

Once upon a time there was a very bad child. This was not surprising, as she was never taught any better by her parents. She hit other children and even stabbed them. She bullied them and hurt them. When she turned 10, she was taught to hunt and kill other people. It was a common practice in her family, and indeed, for them it was the norm.

One day the girl started having misgivings about her behaviour. When she turned 11, she decided to turn her back on her family and learn to be a good person. She was not alone, and many children from her large family were doing the same. She stopped going to the family school and went to the public school instead, though there, there were many people who had been hurt by her and other members of her family.

The girl still played her old games and clung to her old toys. Even though many of them were designed to help a child develop killing skills, she didn't think it mattered since they were just toys. However, when the other children took offense to toys like the stabinator and Mister Fleshpeel, the girl happily discarded them as parts of her old life that were best forgotten, even though she really loved Mister Fleshpeel and he was more her imaginary friend than a doll.

The girl started playing with normal toys instead. She got a Barbie doll and a jump rope.

When the other children saw the girl playing with her Barbie doll and jump rope, they didn't like it. Her face was different than theirs and it upset them to see the face of one of the murder family using what were once symbols of innocence, happiness and peace.

The other children told the girl to get rid of the new toys. It was cultural appropriation, they said, and it was wrong for her to play with things invented by those her family had oppressed.

"But then I have nothing to play with," said the girl. She was trying to be good, but sometimes it felt like the other children were seeking to punish her for her old life, not help her be one of them.

The other children said she should stop stealing things from other cultures and use things from her own. They didn't quite seem to understand that she had got rid of those things precisely because her culture was, in itself, objectionable.

The girl grudgingly got rid of her jump rope and Barbie doll and just resigned herself not to have any toys. Most of the children were happy with that and stopped there, but a few were still very angry about everything the girl and her family had done, so when they saw she was really trying to change and would heed them, they made more demands. Do this, don't do that, no don't do that other thing after all. They corrected her at every turn because they knew that she knew that they were fitter to decide what was right, since they lived in a good culture all their lives.

Eventually the girl got sick of it and went back to her family, who loved her and told her that she didn't need to change, even when she did. They are evil, they want to hurt you, so that is why we hurt them first. After the girl's experience, the bald-faced lies of her parents made perfect sense. The girl forgot about trying to change and hunted people for sport again. When she died, she, like all her family, went to Hell, and all the good children went to Heaven because they really were entitled to punish her for her misdeeds, but that didn't make anyone's mortal life any better.


The fundamental premise of the tale is simply that cultural appropriation really is wrong, and it actually is the worst sort of stealing, but that it may nonetheless be advisable for the sake of harmony not to chastise anyone for it. (That is, if you really want harmony. If your goal is justice then obviously letting people do wrong is contrary to that.)

I don't expect there to be anyone on the forum who doesn't concede that cultural appropriation is wrong; I expect everyone to already accept that. Might it be necessary anyway?

nobspeople
Prodigy
Posts: 3191
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:32 am
Has thanked: 1510 times
Been thanked: 819 times

Re: Cultural Appropriation: Nasty but Necessary?

Post #2

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #1]

I don't think it wrong at all, as seen as a natural occurrence that I'm seeing.
When cultures mix, they tend to share things about their culture (music, food, stories, religions, etc). Some consider this 'bad cultural approbation'. I see it as nothing more than life.
Now if someone were to take something from a particular culture to use it against them, or in a negative way, I could see how that could be seen as bad. That said, bad or not, it happens.
Cultural appropriation, from what I've seen (which doesn't speak for all of it, I admit) is a bunch of people who complain about something from their culture (even though many times they don't know from where it originated) so they can become 'the victim'.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

User avatar
Mithrae
Prodigy
Posts: 4268
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:33 am
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 87 times
Been thanked: 169 times

Re: Cultural Appropriation: Nasty but Necessary?

Post #3

Post by Mithrae »

Purple Knight wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:57 am Question for debate: Do you agree or disagree with the parable below as an accurate analogy for the cultural appropriation paradigm in modern western society?
Not even close - it looks more like a deliberate caricature.

Like Nobspeople, my initial thoughts on 'cultural appropriation' were that ideas, cuisines, fashions etc. have always been shared between cultures and that this is almost always a good thing. But I didn't want to comment in ignorance, so I spent a couple of minutes googling 'cultural appropriation' to see what the fuss was all about. Literally all of the top results clearly differentiate between at least three main ways in which cultural elements move about:
Cultural exchange between groups interacting on more or less equal footing (eg. between 21st century Japan and America)
Cultural assimilation (or acculturation, according to Wikipedia) in which a minority group adopts norms from a host society
Cultural appropriation in which a dominant cultural group exploits or co-opts the cultural elements of an oppressed/minority group
By using a lone girl standing out amidst her peers, the parable directly reverses those roles and accuses a minority group of appropriation (and furthermore adds some unrelated and largely fictitious nonsense about her being forbidden by her oppressors from having any traditions of her own).

It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that the author of the parable either A) hadn't even bothered to spend two minutes learning what 'cultural appropriation' means to those concerned about it before attempting to explain it to others or B) was deliberately trying to caricature and ridicule the concept by completely reversing the roles described in reality.

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2117
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 671 times
Been thanked: 407 times

Re: Cultural Appropriation: Nasty but Necessary?

Post #4

Post by Purple Knight »

Mithrae wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:01 pmCultural appropriation in which a dominant cultural group exploits or co-opts the cultural elements of an oppressed/minority group
By using a lone girl standing out amidst her peers, the parable directly reverses those roles and accuses a minority group of appropriation (and furthermore adds some unrelated and largely fictitious nonsense about her being forbidden by her oppressors from having any traditions of her own).

It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that the author of the parable either A) hadn't even bothered to spend two minutes learning what 'cultural appropriation' means to those concerned about it before attempting to explain it to others or B) was deliberately trying to caricature and ridicule the concept by completely reversing the roles described in reality.
She is a member of the dominant group. They kill people without repercussions. They have the power in that society. I'm sorry I didn't make that clearer. She could always have benefitted from that power (and did, at the end) but she instead chose to try to be good. She never had to.

A lot of white culture is pretty nasty, and Mister Fleshpeel was supposed to stand for things like flying a Nazi or Confederate flag. There is great big a chunk of the history of things white people have done that's pretty well blacked out to imitate. It's not wrong that people caught celebrating whiteness are shunned.

I'm sorry I focused on the girl's feelings as the incidents were happening and more (voluntary) rules were placed on her; that's most likely the problem.

I guess it was a ham-handed attempt at trying to show things from the other perspective when there is no other perspective. I shouldn't have made up a reason people turn back to racism and disregard what is right when there is no reason. It's absurd to suggest that a member of a dominant group could, in trying to abandon the power the dominance of her relatives provides, be in a similar situation to that of someone in the oppressed group. She could have always gone back, so her experiencing "suffering" should be laughed off with the mantra of, "Stop hitting yourself." It's not the same as someone who can't just choose not to suffer.

User avatar
Mithrae
Prodigy
Posts: 4268
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:33 am
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 87 times
Been thanked: 169 times

Re: Cultural Appropriation: Nasty but Necessary?

Post #5

Post by Mithrae »

Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:30 am
Mithrae wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 10:01 pmCultural appropriation in which a dominant cultural group exploits or co-opts the cultural elements of an oppressed/minority group
By using a lone girl standing out amidst her peers, the parable directly reverses those roles and accuses a minority group of appropriation (and furthermore adds some unrelated and largely fictitious nonsense about her being forbidden by her oppressors from having any traditions of her own).

It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that the author of the parable either A) hadn't even bothered to spend two minutes learning what 'cultural appropriation' means to those concerned about it before attempting to explain it to others or B) was deliberately trying to caricature and ridicule the concept by completely reversing the roles described in reality.
She is a member of the dominant group. They kill people without repercussions. They have the power in that society. I'm sorry I didn't make that clearer. She could always have benefitted from that power (and did, at the end) but she instead chose to try to be good. She never had to.
It was your parable? Maybe a second attempt will be more successful ;) A little girl apart from her family and surrounded by hostile peers does not represent a dominant group by any stretch of the imagination.
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:30 am A lot of white culture is pretty nasty, and Mister Fleshpeel was supposed to stand for things like flying a Nazi or Confederate flag. There is great big a chunk of the history of things white people have done that's pretty well blacked out to imitate. It's not wrong that people caught celebrating whiteness are shunned.
Do you actually think that Nazi and Confederate flags are big and important chunks of the history of things white people have done? :? Stonehenge and Celtic/druidic culture, Greek civilization and mythology, Roman civilization, Christianity, Viking exploits and mythology, stories of King Arthur or Robin Hood, the Magna Carta, Marco Polo, Magellan, Gutenberg, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Hobbes, Locke, the US Declaration of Independence, pirates of the Caribbean... but if you can't fly a Nazi flag you're being denied your traditional culture?
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:30 am I'm sorry I focused on the girl's feelings as the incidents were happening and more (voluntary) rules were placed on her; that's most likely the problem.

I guess it was a ham-handed attempt at trying to show things from the other perspective when there is no other perspective. I shouldn't have made up a reason people turn back to racism and disregard what is right when there is no reason. It's absurd to suggest that a member of a dominant group could, in trying to abandon the power the dominance of her relatives provides, be in a similar situation to that of someone in the oppressed group. She could have always gone back, so her experiencing "suffering" should be laughed off with the mantra of, "Stop hitting yourself." It's not the same as someone who can't just choose not to suffer.
Like your parable, your comments don't come across as particularly sincere. Would you really laugh at the predicament of that girl, if there were a reality resembling the fiction? Or are you still using your caricature in an effort to paint critics of 'cultural appropriation' as being callous?

While we're on that general point, could you explain and justify your comment in the OP that "cultural appropriation... actually is the worst sort of stealing"? Why do you think that cultural appropriation is worse than swindling a poor family of their meagre savings, for example, or taking the territory of an indigenous tribe? Yet again, the nagging suspicion crops up that perhaps your hyperbole is simply intended to misrepresent and ridicule those concerned about cultural appropriation.

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2117
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 671 times
Been thanked: 407 times

Re: Cultural Appropriation: Nasty but Necessary?

Post #6

Post by Purple Knight »

Mithrae wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:14 amIt was your parable? Maybe a second attempt will be more successful ;) A little girl apart from her family and surrounded by hostile peers does not represent a dominant group by any stretch of the imagination.
She's still a member of the dominant group. It was my understanding that this was what mattered, not her immediate situation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_appropriation
Cultural appropriation is the adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity. This can be hurtful and economically damaging when members of a dominant culture appropriate from disadvantaged minority cultures.
(emphasis added)
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:30 amDo you actually think that Nazi and Confederate flags are big and important chunks of the history of things white people have done?
That wasn't the question at hand. The question was about celebrating a historically evil culture. No, you can't. Reference:

http://www.forthesakeofarguments.com/bl ... eing-white
To celebrate blackness is thus to appropriate a label meant for harm and to make it into something good. It is to celebrate the way in which a people have taken their oppression and turned it into beautiful art, music, and literature. There is nothing about that effort that makes it racist or exclusionary.

Celebrating whiteness is different because its history is different.
So no, you can't celebrate the parts of a historically evil culture that happen not to be evil because that act is still celebrating evil by celebrating whiteness. I see nothing wrong with this but it's not unfounded; these are the rules. I can give you more references if necessary.
Mithrae wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:14 amLike your parable, your comments don't come across as particularly sincere. Would you really laugh at the predicament of that girl, if there were a reality resembling the fiction?
Yes, if that's the moral thing to do. I'm not insincere and it hurts me profoundly to defend evil, and I know it's going to get me banned, but if I thought Hitler was the subject of intellectual bullying, I'd defend him too. I don't deserve the hatred because I don't believe it is moral to make compromises with evil. I support BLM. I support justice at all costs. I also defend people I disagree with and in this case this is going to get me kicked off the forum.

Half of me knows it's wrong to see things from the perspective of evil and make up a whole story about how evil can hurt too, but it's my nature to do that.
Mithrae wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:14 amWhile we're on that general point, could you explain and justify your comment in the OP that "cultural appropriation... actually is the worst sort of stealing"? Why do you think that cultural appropriation is worse than swindling a poor family of their meagre savings, for example, or taking the territory of an indigenous tribe?
It's not worse than taking the territory of an indigenous tribe, but yes, it's worse than swindling a poor family out of their life savings because, although both are horrible, one affects just one family and the other has lasting effects on an entire race of people.

User avatar
Mithrae
Prodigy
Posts: 4268
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:33 am
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 87 times
Been thanked: 169 times

Re: Cultural Appropriation: Nasty but Necessary?

Post #7

Post by Mithrae »

Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:54 pm
Mithrae wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:14 amIt was your parable? Maybe a second attempt will be more successful ;) A little girl apart from her family and surrounded by hostile peers does not represent a dominant group by any stretch of the imagination.
She's still a member of the dominant group. It was my understanding that this was what mattered, not her immediate situation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_appropriation
Cultural appropriation is the adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity. This can be hurtful and economically damaging when members of a dominant culture appropriate from disadvantaged minority cultures.
(emphasis added)
So when you wrote that
"she decided to turn her back on her family and learn to be a good person. . . . She stopped going to the family school and went to the public school instead.... the girl happily discarded them as parts of her old life that were best forgotten..."
What you really meant to write was that she was still associated with her family and its culture?

Again, a little girl apart from her family and surrounded by hostile peers does not represent a dominant group by any stretch of the imagination. Strained attempts to find some kind of semantic technicality compatible with your caricature won't change that fact.
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:54 pm
Mithrae wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:14 am Do you actually think that Nazi and Confederate flags are big and important chunks of the history of things white people have done?
That wasn't the question at hand. The question was about celebrating a historically evil culture. No, you can't. Reference:
http://www.forthesakeofarguments.com/bl ... eing-white
To celebrate blackness is thus to appropriate a label meant for harm and to make it into something good. It is to celebrate the way in which a people have taken their oppression and turned it into beautiful art, music, and literature. There is nothing about that effort that makes it racist or exclusionary. Celebrating whiteness is different because its history is different.
So no, you can't celebrate the parts of a historically evil culture that happen not to be evil because that act is still celebrating evil by celebrating whiteness. I see nothing wrong with this but it's not unfounded; these are the rules. I can give you more references if necessary.
It might be worth reading the references you're already providing first :? This one coherently and directly contradicts the claims you are trying to make:
  • Thus, if you were Italian-American in 1920, with strong pride in that heritage, the reason to identify as ‘white’ was not because of your deep affection for a beloved white culture, with its cherished language, music, food, and traditions; your loyalties and affections in those areas were distinctively Italian. To become ‘white’ was not to join a positive and rich cultural tradition, but to stay safely above the race line.

    We can still see the emptiness of the category ‘white’ today. It is not a treasured cultural identity with specific content. No one goes out for white food.[2] No one says they’re really getting into white music.[4]Nobody made a movie called “My Big, Fat, White Wedding.”[3]

    To have German, Irish, or Italian pride is to celebrate histories and cultures replete with traditions we can all easily bring to mind. It is perfectly acceptable for white people to have Oktoberfests, St. Patrick’s Day parades, and Italian festivals. We can also celebrate Polish American Heritage Month (in October) or wear an “If You Ain’t Dutch, You Ain’t Much” shirt. We can celebrate Appalachian, Amish, or Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. There is nothing inherently racist about white people celebrating our cultures and histories. We, in fact, do it all the time without facing any criticism whatsoever.
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:54 pm
Mithrae wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:14 am
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:30 am She could have always gone back, so her experiencing "suffering" should be laughed off with the mantra of, "Stop hitting yourself." It's not the same as someone who can't just choose not to suffer.
Like your parable, your comments don't come across as particularly sincere. Would you really laugh at the predicament of that girl, if there were a reality resembling the fiction?
Yes, if that's the moral thing to do.
If? Rather than giving a straight answer by either defending, retracting or clarifying your statements, it seems that you are inviting others to protest that it's not the moral the thing to do... and by the implication of your caricature, that criticizing 'cultural appropriation' by people in the same situation as that poor little girl is similarly inappropriate.
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:54 pm I'm not insincere and it hurts me profoundly to defend evil, and I know it's going to get me banned, but if I thought Hitler was the subject of intellectual bullying, I'd defend him too. I don't deserve the hatred because I don't believe it is moral to make compromises with evil. I support BLM. I support justice at all costs. I also defend people I disagree with and in this case this is going to get me kicked off the forum.
Which forum rules have you broken? I'm not aware of any. You've never even been placed on probation. Just more hyperbole and caricature, it seems.
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:54 pm Half of me knows it's wrong to see things from the perspective of evil and make up a whole story about how evil can hurt too, but it's my nature to do that.
What "evil" are we discussing here? Elvis' inspiration from and direct covers of black music? Kylie Jenner's dreadlocks? Exactly what examples of cultural appropriation do you consider "evil"? As far as I'm aware appropriation can sometimes be offensive or even indirectly exploitative, and contribute to stereotyping and misrepresentation of marginalized groups. In a world of genocides, slavery, murders and rapes it's difficult to see how cultural appropriation even in general terms could be described as "evil" with a straight face, and in most particular cases it's probably just insensitive at worst. Meanwhile trying to see things from the perspective of others is always a good thing, and one of the main purposes for the existence of forums such as this. Unless your world is divided into absolute good and pure evil, this seems like yet more hyperbole or caricature.
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:54 pm
Mithrae wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:14 amWhile we're on that general point, could you explain and justify your comment in the OP that "cultural appropriation... actually is the worst sort of stealing"? Why do you think that cultural appropriation is worse than swindling a poor family of their meagre savings, for example, or taking the territory of an indigenous tribe?
It's not worse than taking the territory of an indigenous tribe, but yes, it's worse than swindling a poor family out of their life savings because, although both are horrible, one affects just one family and the other has lasting effects on an entire race of people.
Which examples of cultural appropriation do you have in mind that have lasting effects on an entire race of people?

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2117
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 671 times
Been thanked: 407 times

Re: Cultural Appropriation: Nasty but Necessary?

Post #8

Post by Purple Knight »

Mithrae wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:56 pmSo when you wrote that
"she decided to turn her back on her family and learn to be a good person. . . . She stopped going to the family school and went to the public school instead.... the girl happily discarded them as parts of her old life that were best forgotten..."
What you really meant to write was that she was still associated with her family and its culture?
She was a member of the dominant group. That's not semantics. That's what the Wikipedia article says. It says nothing about the situation of individuals. It mentions the larger picture of groups only. If you have an example of it being by the individual and not the group, go ahead.

In the real world, the argument goes, even if you're poor as dirt, as a white person, you are still privileged and you can't detach yourself from that. I agree with it.

https://medschool.duke.edu/sites/medsch ... person.pdf
To have German, Irish, or Italian pride is to celebrate histories and cultures replete with traditions we can all easily bring to mind. It is perfectly acceptable for white people to have Oktoberfests, St. Patrick’s Day parades, and Italian festivals. We can also celebrate Polish American Heritage Month (in October) or wear an “If You Ain’t Dutch, You Ain’t Much” shirt. We can celebrate Appalachian, Amish, or Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. There is nothing inherently racist about white people celebrating our cultures and histories. We, in fact, do it all the time without facing any criticism whatsoever.
None of that makes it okay to celebrate whiteness, which the article also makes clear. My claim (badly as I made it) was that it's not permissible to celebrate whiteness... or any other culture that's generally evil. Or any part of that culture. Arguably Irish things are not a part of being "white" which is the only thing the article can possibly mean.
Mithrae wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:56 pmIf? Rather than giving a straight answer by either defending, retracting or clarifying your statements, it seems that you are inviting others to protest that it's not the moral the thing to do... and by the implication of your caricature, that criticizing 'cultural appropriation' by people in the same situation as that poor little girl is similarly inappropriate.
It seems you're just going to malign my motives rather than look at the fact that I said, yes, if it's the moral thing to do, and if needed to clarify, yes, I do think that's moral. I could of course be wrong.

I also think it's sad. I don't want anybody to be laughed at for being in pain. But justice comes first, and if it's right, then it's right. If there's a place for ridicule it's against the evil. If cultural appropriation isn't evil I couldn't tell you what is. I'm going by Wikipedia. Whether any specific real-world thing meets that definition is where you're going to be wading in muck.

User avatar
Mithrae
Prodigy
Posts: 4268
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:33 am
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 87 times
Been thanked: 169 times

Re: Cultural Appropriation: Nasty but Necessary?

Post #9

Post by Mithrae »

Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:05 pm
Mithrae wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:56 pmSo when you wrote that
"she decided to turn her back on her family and learn to be a good person. . . . She stopped going to the family school and went to the public school instead.... the girl happily discarded them as parts of her old life that were best forgotten..."
What you really meant to write was that she was still associated with her family and its culture?
She was a member of the dominant group. That's not semantics. That's what the Wikipedia article says.
For the third time, a little girl apart from her family and surrounded by hostile peers does not represent dominance by any stretch of the imagination. Trying to argue that, technically, your caricature genetically remained a 'member' of a dominant group is playing semantics.

And - yet again - you are misrepresenting your source: Wikipedia refers to members of a dominant culture or identity. You've changed it to dominant group presumably because in your caricature the girl was explicitly leaving that identity and culture behind her. Wikipedia says nothing about those genetically belonging to the ethnicity most associated with a dominant culture, nor about those who have the option of joining or re-joining a dominant culture should they choose. Even on the semantic level, the rationalization of your caricature is obviously grasping at straws.

But that's really beside the point: The point is that someone who understood that 'cultural appropriation' refers to actions of a dominant culture would not use a little girl apart from her family and surrounded by hostile peers to illustrate the point. If they did understand but used that 'parable' anyway, it would obviously be just an absurd caricature.
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:05 pm In the real world, the argument goes, even if you're poor as dirt, as a white person, you are still privileged and you can't detach yourself from that. I agree with it.

https://medschool.duke.edu/sites/medsch ... person.pdf
No, the argument in that article is not that poor white people "are privileged," but that among the "multiple systems of oppression at work" skin colour/race will not be one of them and hence is one source of 'privilege' relative to others with the same disadvantages plus minority status. In fact I'd already said something very similar to you a few days ago:
  • Ironically, often it's those concerned about inequalities affecting historically-oppressed minorities who also advocate potential solutions to many of the 'reverse racism' complaints, arguing that indeed most folk of all ethnicities live within an unjust socio-economic system skewed in favour of an elite few: Saying that it's skewed a little less heavily against folk with a few superficial commonalities with the historical elites (eg. maleness, whiteness) needn't be the same thing as refusing to address those complaints, themselves, however incorrect the reverse racism analysis/attribution may be.
I'm not a big fan of the term 'privilege' precisely because it is so easily misrepresented or misunderstood outside academic circles when we otherwise mostly talk of privileged people as those with rich parents. In this context 'advantage' or even the more cumbersome but precise 'lack of disadvantage' would seem less confusing. It's okay to not immediately grasp those nuances, but claiming to champion those ideas while so consistently and persistently caricaturing and/or misrepresenting them seems likely to cast your position in a bad light whatever it may be. None of the manifestations of racial 'privilege' outlined in that article are evident in your fiction of the lonely little girl, so appealing to that concept obviously doesn't make the OP any less of a caricature... it's just more dubious semantic games trying to rationalize that caricature.
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:05 pm
Mithrae wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:56 pmIf? Rather than giving a straight answer by either defending, retracting or clarifying your statements, it seems that you are inviting others to protest that it's not the moral the thing to do... and by the implication of your caricature, that criticizing 'cultural appropriation' by people in the same situation as that poor little girl is similarly inappropriate.
It seems you're just going to malign my motives rather than look at the fact that I said, yes, if it's the moral thing to do, and if needed to clarify, yes, I do think that's moral. I could of course be wrong.

I also think it's sad. I don't want anybody to be laughed at for being in pain. But justice comes first, and if it's right, then it's right. If there's a place for ridicule it's against the evil. If cultural appropriation isn't evil I couldn't tell you what is. I'm going by Wikipedia. Whether any specific real-world thing meets that definition is where you're going to be wading in muck.
Given how readily you are maligning anyone who doesn't share your professed ideals - "no reasonable person disagrees," "worst form of stealing," "evil... evil... evil..." and so on - I wouldn't be too surprised at a little pushback if I were you. I'd ask you to justify the implication above that cultural appropriation is pretty much on par with the most evil imaginable things, but really, what's the point?

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2117
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 671 times
Been thanked: 407 times

Re: Cultural Appropriation: Nasty but Necessary?

Post #10

Post by Purple Knight »

Mithrae wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:15 pmFor the third time, a little girl apart from her family and surrounded by hostile peers does not represent dominance by any stretch of the imagination. Trying to argue that, technically, your caricature genetically remained a 'member' of a dominant group is playing semantics.
If there aren't white people in an individual situation of disadvantage (especially self-imposed disadvantage because they're trying to get away from that privilege and detach themselves from that power and dominance) who are still accused of privilege and appropriation because they are still members of a dominant group, then that's why it's an inaccurate parable and that's the end of it.
Mithrae wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:15 pmGiven how readily you are maligning anyone who doesn't share your professed ideals - "no reasonable person disagrees," "worst form of stealing," "evil... evil... evil..." and so on - I wouldn't be too surprised at a little pushback if I were you. I'd ask you to justify the implication above that cultural appropriation is pretty much on par with the most evil imaginable things, but really, what's the point?
If calling racists and cultural appropriators evil is wrong then I retract it. I already said I could be wrong, but I thought we were working under that shared assumption. I'm trying to show you that I agree with you and that defending them is only for argument's sake, but I don't think you can accept that. I was trying to avoid the nastiness you poured out on me from the beginning because I don't think I deserve it, because I don't believe those things. With my actions, the money I give, I'm probably more supportive of social justice than most people are. I'm just not good at being subtle about being nasty to people. Maybe if I had rephrased "evil" to something that still meant evil but didn't sound as bad, I could have avoided being burned at the stake for beliefs I don't even have.

It's hurtful to hear my beliefs only described as "professed" because I would fight for them, and I would die for them. If I could give my life for just one of the trillions of racial injustices against POCs to be undone, I would. I've even seriously considered killing myself because, just by existing, I do more every day, and "but, I didn't mean to" is kind of a hollow excuse. Every day, my first and last thought is, "How can I do more against racial injustices?" and my wife has said she's probably leaving me because of it. She asked me who I cared about more, her or black people, and I answered immediately, black people.

Post Reply