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bcsapper

Can I ask a question about Cultural Appropriation?

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What, exactly, is wrong with it?

We've all seen the Yoga nonsense. I daresay there isn't a poster on here who thinks the U of O acted correctly in that case, but what about other cases? Where does it turn from the ridiculous to the reasonable to be against it?

I was talking to my daughter about the U of O case and she mentioned how when she was growing up in Steveston, Richmond, she would sometimes wear chopsticks in her hair at school. We had a Japanese family member and friends, we ate a lot of sushi and we always had ornamental chopsticks around. She said that people were pilloried for the same thing at the University of Calgary in recent years. Told, in no uncertain terms, not to do it if they weren't Japanese. (Never by Japanese people, though.) This is just an example that came up in conversation. I'm not asking about this specifically.

Is it just about stealing from another culture for commercial reasons? I can see the objection to that, even if I didn't agree with it. I certainly wouldn't put Yoga in that category, though. If I want to open an Indian restaurant I should be able to, surely, and sink or swim on my merits as a chef alone?

Another argument that seems pretty obvious: I would have thought that adopting a mix of other cultures into one's personal life would be something that proponents of Multiculturalism would encourage. It seems to me, generally, that it's the same group of people ( I said generally!) who oppose cultural appropriation.

Edited by bcsapper

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Nothing is wrong with it. The SJWs are just idiot racists.

The idea that someone somehow owns a culture based on where their ancestors are from only makes sense if one believes in the immoral racist concept of birth-right. Everyone is an individual and no one is responsible for what happened before they were born, including the creation of the culture, so no one has no more right to one culture over another. We shouldn't look at cultures as being owned by a group of people, rather all cultures are human cultures, so all humans should be able to participate in any culture. To say that a black person can't use chopsticks but an east Asian person can is racist.

Also, there is no culture without cultural appropriation. All cultures are based on cultural appropriation. The alphabet we are using right now was culturally appropriated from the Romans and the English language uses words appropriated from Anglo-Saxon, Norse, French, Latin, Greek, Celtic, and many other languages.

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_appropriation

Cultural (mis)appropriation . . . refers to the adoption of these cultural elements in a colonial manner: elements are copied from a minority culture by members of the dominant culture, and these elements are used outside of their original cultural context – sometimes even against the expressed, stated wishes of representatives of the originating culture.[1][5][6][7][8][9] Often, in the process, the original meaning of these cultural elements is distorted; such uses can be viewed as disrespectful by members of the originating culture, or even as a form of desecration. Cultural elements, which may have deep meaning to the original culture, can be reduced to "exotic" fashion by those from the dominant culture.[1][5][10] When this is done, the imitator, "who does not experience that oppression is able to 'play,' temporarily, an 'exotic' other, without experiencing any of the daily discriminations faced by other cultures."[10]

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What, exactly, is wrong with it?

Absolutely nothing. Human society grows and matures through "appropriation" of ideas from others. It is just another way for the preening buffoons of the PC movement to inflate their egos.

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"Idiot racists" "preening buffoons"

Good job guys. Real intelligent discussion, poisoning the well and all that. Such lightweight tactics. Pathetic really.

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_appropriation

Cultural (mis)appropriation . . . refers to the adoption of these cultural elements in a colonial manner: elements are copied from a minority culture by members of the dominant culture, and these elements are used outside of their original cultural context – sometimes even against the expressed, stated wishes of representatives of the originating culture.[1][5][6][7][8][9] Often, in the process, the original meaning of these cultural elements is distorted; such uses can be viewed as disrespectful by members of the originating culture, or even as a form of desecration. Cultural elements, which may have deep meaning to the original culture, can be reduced to "exotic" fashion by those from the dominant culture.[1][5][10] When this is done, the imitator, "who does not experience that oppression is able to 'play,' temporarily, an 'exotic' other, without experiencing any of the daily discriminations faced by other cultures."[10]

So you've explained in greater detail what it is, but where does it become wrong? I assume you roll your eyes along with the rest of us at the Yoga case. Same with the chopsticks? What about me opening the restaurant? What about the idea that everything has been appropriated from somewhere and the only way forward is to keep doing that? How far back do you go before it's okay?

Is it just us? What about a Hindu in Mumbai say, wearing an Armani suit?

I admit, I come down on the side that wonders what all the fuss is about. I'm especially confused about the question of multiculturalism. It seems to me that CA would be one way of moving towards that goal.

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You don't understand how a group of colonizers taking a sacred item out of its context, such as parading about in indigenous head dress with face paint while downing a case of beer at a tailgate party, might be somewhat offensive to indigenous people for example?

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You don't understand how a group of colonizers taking a sacred item out of its context, such as parading about in indigenous head dress with face paint while downing a case of beer at a tailgate party, might be somewhat offensive to indigenous people for example?

There you go. Is that what it takes?

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You don't see how it might piss some people off when people from a privileged group get to profit from or play with parts of an oppressed group without ever having to understand or experience that oppression?

Seriously don't bother answering that because I know there are plenty of flat-earthers on this forum who deny that any group is disadvantaged or oppressed. If you're in that camp then you will never get it and it's not anyone's job to bring you up to speed on the lived experience of others.

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You don't see how it might piss some people off when people from a privileged group get to profit from or play with parts of an oppressed group without ever having to understand or experience that oppression?

If you can't get somebody to identify with the oppressed group, then try switching it.

Are they offended by flag burnings ? By Piss Christ ? By commemoration cakes that celebrate 911 ?

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Seriously don't bother answering that because I know there are plenty of flat-earthers on this forum who deny that any group is disadvantaged or oppressed. If you're in that camp then you will never get it and it's not anyone's job to bring you up to speed on the lived experience of others.

Of course, your opinion must be the truth because you believe it. There in no room in your "inclusive" little world for people who happen to have different interpretation of the data which you use to rationalize your beliefs.

Personally, I think that wealth differentials - not racism are the root cause of the various stats that show poor outcomes for certain minority groups. And that as long as wealth differentials exist there will always be some subset of the population with poor metrics.

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Are they offended by flag burnings ? By Piss Christ ? By commemoration cakes that celebrate 911 ?

All of those actions are done with the intent to enrage the people that care about the symbols. Attending a yoga class or wearing a head dress is not remotely comparable. Edited by TimG

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elements are copied from a minority culture by members of the dominant culture

No one is from a culture. We are all individuals.

Real intelligent discussion

The topic is about the nonsense concept of cultural appropriation. What do you expect?

"Oh great SJWs. I bow before your great enlightenment and for showing me the error of my ways of not finding everything offensive!"

who deny that any group is disadvantaged or oppressed.

Well there are lots of people that take the position that people are individuals are than individuals can be oppressed. But when we say that, collectivists such as yourself freak out.

Anyway, I think there is a more accurate term for cultural appropriation. Cultural appreciation.

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You don't understand how a group of colonizers taking a sacred item out of its context, such as parading about in indigenous head dress with face paint while downing a case of beer at a tailgate party, might be somewhat offensive to indigenous people for example?

I am deeply, deeply offended when I attend a rodeo in Alberta and see all the First Nations people wearing cowboy hats.

Do you feel another emotion would be more appropriate?

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You don't see how it might piss some people off when people from a privileged group get to profit from or play with parts of an oppressed group without ever having to understand or experience that oppression?

Seriously don't bother answering that because I know there are plenty of flat-earthers on this forum who deny that any group is disadvantaged or oppressed. If you're in that camp then you will never get it and it's not anyone's job to bring you up to speed on the lived experience of others.

I hope you don't mind me answering. Which questions in my OP mark me as a flat earther?

I can see your point about the tailgate party. ( I can't see it being banned, but I can see people being pissed off)

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I can see Redskins being offensive because it was a term coined by white people to describe aboriginals. I don't see a big deal with names like Blackhawks or Chiefs although some first nations might object to the logos they use. What about the Seahawks? Their logo is distinctly coastal Indian. When to Scandinavians start demanding the Minnesota Vikings change their name? Where does this stop being a valid issue and become just plain nonsense?

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Where does this stop being a valid issue and become just plain nonsense?

As soon as people with no connection to the culture in question presume to speak on their behalf and claim offense (aside: sounds like appropriation of voice to me). There was a PC protest of a museum exhibit of Kimonos in the US which faced a counter protest by Japanese Americans who had no issue with it. Edited by TimG

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So you've explained in greater detail what it is, but where does it become wrong? I assume you roll your eyes along with the rest of us at the Yoga case. Same with the chopsticks? What about me opening the restaurant? What about the idea that everything has been appropriated from somewhere and the only way forward is to keep doing that? How far back do you go before it's okay?

Is it just us? What about a Hindu in Mumbai say, wearing an Armani suit?

I admit, I come down on the side that wonders what all the fuss is about. I'm especially confused about the question of multiculturalism. It seems to me that CA would be one way of moving towards that goal.

Is wearing an Armani suit a specific symbol of a specific culture? If so, what culture?

IMO cultural appropriation becomes problematic when people use specific symbols with specific meanings to specific cultures in ways that are divorced from that meaning. Wearing a ceremonial headdress at a rave because it looks cool is a prime example. There's is the issue of the historical context; again, with the headdress example, it's like, what, first you take the land, now you take the cultural symbols?

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"piss christ"? come on. it is deliberate desecration with the intent to enrage.

So when they hung that in the gallery they were expecting those filing by to express rage ?

Similarly, burning a flag or showing something inappropriate is done to enrage others and not to simply make a statement ? Who owns your feelings ?

Now, flipping it back to cultural appropriation... and argue from the other side.

Who should be offended and why and when ?

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Is wearing an Armani suit a specific symbol of a specific culture? If so, what culture?

IMO cultural appropriation becomes problematic when people use specific symbols with specific meanings to specific cultures in ways that are divorced from that meaning. Wearing a ceremonial headdress at a rave because it looks cool is a prime example. There's is the issue of the historical context; again, with the headdress example, it's like, what, first you take the land, now you take the cultural symbols?

I don't know, Italian haute couture? If it's a bad example, please excuse it. What are your views on the examples in the OP? If it's not insulting, as in cybercoma's tailgate example, where is the harm?

Who gets to say? The members of the culture themselves, or others, who feel it is wrong? What right have they, if the latter is the case, to speak for another culture?

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I don't know, Italian haute couture? If it's a bad example, please excuse it. What are your views on the examples in the OP? If it's not insulting, as in cybercoma's tailgate example, where is the harm?

Who gets to say? The members of the culture themselves, or others, who feel it is wrong? What right have they, if the latter is the case, to speak for another culture?

You might assume that they have either heard it from those who are offended, or that they might actually have some sense in their heads.

There are people who want to ban such things a flag burning, which is an intentional political statement of provocation and free expression. Wouldn't you think these same people would be careful about casually offending others when they were asked not to ?

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So when they hung that in the gallery they were expecting those filing by to express rage ?

No. They were expecting people to come see it because it enraged people other than ones who came to see it.

Similarly, burning a flag or showing something inappropriate is done to enrage others and not to simply make a statement ? Who owns your feelings ?

Why is burning a flag a "statement"? Answer: because a flag is symbol and you are burning it to express you disgust with what symbol represents. If burning a flag did not offend anyone there would be no point. The point is to offend.

Who should be offended and why and when ?

Cultural cross-pollination should be welcomed in almost all cases. There are a few anecdotal cases such as the native headdress issue but these anecdotes are exceptions rather than a representation of a rule. Edited by TimG

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No. They were expecting people to come see it because it enraged people other than ones who came to see it.

That's a bit of a contortion. I think you're putting motivations on other people that aren't certain.

Why is burning a flag a "statement"? Answer: because a flag is symbol and you are burning it to express you disgust with what symbol represents. If burning a flag did not offend anyone there would be no point. The point is to offend.

Ok. So is it ok to do that if the intention is to offend ? Is that better than using a sacred symbol for a sports team ? It seems to me that it's worse to offend people casually than as a protest movement.

There are a few anecdotal cases such as the native headdress issue but these anecdotes are exceptions rather than a representation of a rule.

How is the headdress issue exceptional ?

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