Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Reader Comments On Cultural Appropriation

This spot-on, intelligent comment was written in response to our post "A Victory In The Struggle Against Cultural Imperialism." We've forwarded it to the front page because the writer sums up in a few paragraphs what has taken us almost an entire blog to articulate.
I'm Jewish and I don't want him either. Direct descendent of Aaron, my ass. Aaron lived in 1200 BC, something tells me that genealogy.com doesn't go back that far. Hah.

I think that because white culture is seen as being empty (having no race of ethnicity), white people get hungry for personal cultural significance - especially when "ethnic minorities" seem to have it - and develop a sort of desperation to find some "ancient, tribal roots". (This can happen before, after, or in conjunction with attempts to ingratiate ourselves into, or appropriate, Native cultures.)

In other words, we're jealous. Which can be a legitimate feeling, if a bit misconceived, but it often gets expressed in totally illegitimate ways.

You can tell us to just come up with our own rituals or use the shit of our own identities, but either it's too authentic (i.e., mainstream, like Christianity or Judaism or generic European, and therefore less special) or not authentic enough (i.e., doesn't already exist in another culture).

If you tell us appropriation is wrong, we don't care - we're sure that Native ceremony is just about "what feels right" and isn't grounded in any actual procedures or history. That anyone could do it. Which is funny because it betrays a basic disrespect for the practice; that we don't have to worry about fucking up or ruining the ceremony because it wasn't anything seriously spiritual anyway, it's just "what you make of it".

There's this attitude that as long as we say "please", Native peoples should share. And if they won't, it's just because they're paranoid or "reverse racists" or misunderstood us or thought we were like those "other white people" who are assholes (not us!) and so it's probably cool to go ahead and do that sweat lodge ceremony anyway.

I really don't know what to do about attitudes like this. When someone feels entitled to something, how do you make them understand that they're not?

*sighs*

11/15/2008 1:19 PM
Our answer to your great question - "When someone feels entitled to something, how do you make them understand that they're not?" - is -"By any means necessary" for as long as it takes to either stop them completely, or at least limit their predation.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous xander88 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/23/2008 1:39 PM  
Blogger Nemeses said...

Advocate rape - get deleted.

11/23/2008 9:01 PM  
Anonymous xander88 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/23/2008 9:40 PM  
Blogger Nemeses said...

Yes, rapist. You're kicked to the curb like the trash you are.

11/24/2008 5:29 PM  
Anonymous xander88 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/24/2008 8:23 PM  
Blogger Nemeses said...

Yep, fool. By any means necessary.

Including, now, comment moderation.

You will never post your sexist spew here again, Hater.

11/25/2008 5:12 PM  

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