Tags: appropriation


(no subject)

As a white person, I see other white people at my university doing impressions of how they think black people talk. I think I also do it sometimes. Like people will be like, "get outta that class, yo!" or "you crazy, girl." Sometimes it's more subtle like this, or one time it was really bad, and a white guy did a whole monologue during a performance as a stereotypical black person. What do people think of this? Have you ever had a conversation confronting someone about it?


Hi! I'm new here, and I'm very new to the process of examining my various priveleges. This is a great community for me to start learning, but I might make some mistakes- so call me out! but be considerate please? :)
I'm also an interested reader of feminist, though they haven't accepted my membership requests yet. I'm a member of kissmyass_cosmo, a community with sort of a self-explanitory name, though it's about way more than Cosmo.
Ok, anyway- I liked that post by karnythia here and in feminist. Somebody in feminist commented with a link to an essay by bell hooks, and I thought the essay was great (gotta read more of her!) I posted my reactions to that article on kissmyass_cosmo:


There are a lot of comments on that thread, but there's one I wanted to ask about over here: that white people wearing dreadlocks is "appropriation".

I'm going to reply to that commenter to ask what they mean by that, but I thought I'd also ask you all to help educate me.

So, after that long explanation :)- What is appropriation? (and what isn't?) How wrong is it? I'd really appreciate your thoughts, thanks!

cookie monster: 'me gotta be blue'

Yellow Fever

They got it bad, and that ain't good.

Born and raised in La Habra, California, Dan* didn't see many Asian Americans before college. Now 22, he attributes his Asiaphilia to UC Irvine, where he's a studio art major and an astounding 58 percent of students claim Asian descent.

But his Asian fetish actually originated in high school, in trig class, where he met a Vietnamese American girl named Ann. Although born in the United States, Ann was raised in Indonesia until about a year before Dan met her. She spoke English well, but not perfectly. They shared the standard high school dating experience: dinner-and-movie dates, study dates, boba dates, kung fu lessons, meditation with the girlfriend's Buddhist monk uncle. The relationship ended in a pretty standard way, too: Dan suggested sex, Ann resisted, things spiraled. There was an ultimatum and then a breakup, and then—classic—threats of suicide.

Later, Dan sought answers on Ann's blog, where she labeled him a "standard American boy" and called him out for pressuring her into sex. She ended the entry with a note of disgust: "Get over yourself."

Perhaps it was the pain of that rejection and the desire to overcome it, but Dan says Ann's rejection changed him. When he began dating again, he found himself looking for Asian girls. He went through a string of them—one-night stands, flings and friends-with-benefits. He frequented places like Club Bang in Hollywood, which attracts a number of Asian patrons—and Asiaphiles like Dan. Collapse )

Looking for a little advice.

First off, I'm not white but I frequently pass as white. My neighborhood is roughly 95% latino.

I've been living here a few months, and (today being the most recent example) have been subject more than once to taunting and shouts from groups of latino men lurking in a shopping plaza, a park, and most recently in a restaurant. Each time it's been a variation on trying to get my attention (Hey! Hey! Come here, white boy! Hey, come here!), with the men joking and mocking. Thus far I've offered a wave and kept walking, without further incident. But I've felt highly umcomfortable once or twice when it was dark outside and I had to pass close by the large men taunting me.

I was curious how folks deal with POC on white (EDIT:) [non-institutional] racism. What do you feel is appropriate in this sort of situation?

ETA: Please try to keep the "it's not my job to educate you" comments and vicious snark to yourselves, please. They're upsetting and if you feel that way, there's really no need to comment unless you're interested in affecting my esteem. This is becoming a serious problem and I would love suggestions on how to curb my rapidly developing negative lens towards latino men.


from vivianstcloud

i think this might just be an example of cultural appropriation, among other things.

A man who long held himself out to be Indian has admitted to fraud and identity theft charges in South Dakota.

Charles Roger Leo Adams Jr., who also went by the names Charlie Smoke and Leo Wolfslayer, admitted to falsifying documents in order to receive assistance from an Indian housing program. He admitted to falsely claiming to be Indian in order to receive free Indian Health Service care for himself and his family.

Adams was recently deported from Canada for not providing documents on his status. He claimed that he was entitled to stay there because he claimed he was Mohawk and Lakota.

He ended up going to the Pine Ridge Reservation, where a tribal judge later determined he was falsifying his identity. He was turned over to face state and federal charges.


First post.

So what does everyone think about non-Arab/Middle Eastern folks who belly dance? I am wondering specifically about "fusion" forms that incorporate movements from banghra, flamenco, raqs sharqui, hip-hop, etc., etc. and "American tribal" style which borrows stylistic elements from every which way. I know that belly dance came into fashion when some white dude imported an entire African village to Chicago for the World's Fair, and that beginning is just sickening.

Where does one draw the line between appreciation and appropriation in dance? Is stylized or classical dance ok and folkloric dance off-limits? I really enjoy belly dance and I make an effort to learn about the cultures and history of the dance forms we're borrowing from, but I run into other dancers who treat it like most (non-Indian) people treat yoga and turn it into a "personal practice" and leave out all of the cultural issues. I don't want to be one of those white women getting mendhi and wearing saris for no reason, but turbans and bindis are standard performance gear for the style I study.

Sorry if this sounds like HAY PPLS OF COLOR PLEASE TEACH ME HOW NOT TO BE RACIST KTHX, but I have only met a few dancers of color and the dancers who actually come from the culture whose dance they are performing tend to be teachers, and it's hard to talk to them about these issues without feeling like I'm interrogating them.

Thoughts? Resources for reading more about how/ if to approach learning dance and other rituals and art forms from other cultures?
cookie monster: 'me gotta be blue'

A little more on appropriation

Found this on my friends list:

This fascinating, brilliant 20-minute video narrates the history of the "Amen Break," a six-second drum sample from the b-side of a chart-topping single from 1969. This sample was used extensively in early hiphop and sample-based music, and became the basis for drum-and-bass and jungle music -- a six-second clip that spawned several entire subcultures. Nate Harrison's 2004 video is a meditation on the ownership of culture, the nature of art and creativity, and the history of a remarkable music clip.

20 min documentary explaining the world's most important 6-sec drum loop
Karen O

Ain't No Harajuku Girl


Gwen Stefani neuters Japanese street fashion to create spring's must-have accessory: Giggling geisha!

By MiHi Ahn


There's some -- ahem -- "interesting" discussion of the issue in distressedasian, where I first saw the link to the article posted.

There have been a lot of "get over it" type responses to people complaining about appropriation and objectification, and I can't let it go when someone accuses me of whining. But I do think objectification is the thin edge of the wedge when it comes to antagonistic race relations, and that it can have very real consequences for how people get treated in their daily lives.

But for all the talk of the consequences of publicising certain attitudes, there's not a lot of concrete evidence about those consequences. It'd be a brave hyphenated-Asian woman who spoke out about how her friendships and romances were affected by stereotypes of subservient Asian women, but at the same time, I don't blame anyone for not wanting to make waves.

Still, I'd like to hear more about the politics of peoples' private lives.

[Cross-posted to sex_and_race]
Orange: Amp


The difference between (genuine) postmodern practice and cultural appropriation, or even plagiarism, is that the latter parasitically feed on the meaning and significance of the borrowed material; in fact they have no meaning and significance of their own apart from the borrowing. Conversely, the former re-contextualizes the borrowed material in ways in which it reveals a startlingly new meaning and significance in its re-articulated state. Cultural appropriation and plagiarism are morally questionable on the grounds that they pretend to make a statement and furthermore claim authorship for the said statement, while in fact the entire statement can easily exist within quotation marks. In theory at least, postmodern art is making an original statement. This statement is not dependent on the borrowed material. It uses this material to create a situation whereby the viewer or the listener can follow the new artistic statement and compare it with—or juxtapose it against—the original meaning of the borrowed material in a multithreaded, non-linear manner hitherto unknown and/or impossible. (Hatzis 1998)