Cultural appropriation

I am French, i am mostly a white man past middle age, of middle class. but 3 of my 8 great grands parents were not born French and 2 of them were not born in Europe.

I want to understand something about cultural appropriation. I take the risk to stress some people and i present my excuses. Every one may but you don’t need to read what follows if you don’t want to risk stress.

For me cultural appropriation is to use traditions or goods of other cultures to mock them or to earn unmerited money. For instance when a pharmacy firm take rights on a native plant or when Disney makes of " Hakuna Matata " a brand. And that makes me angry.

About goods in museum, i would say that all depends of the way they came in and what would have happened if they had stayed in the country where they were made.

But if i have read rightly, in Canada students have asked and obtained the suppression of a yoga class because it was cultural appropriation. In fact, it seems to me that the yoga practiced in Western countries was created by Hindus between the 2 world wars because they wanted to make yoga known and incidentally earn money.

I have African friends who have given me " ethnic clothes". They wear happy to do that. I wear them because they are comfortable and because i like them. I don’t do that to mock them or to earn money.

I don’t see practicing yoga and wearing ethnic clothes as cultural appropriation but as sharing cultures of the whole word.

And for me, art is a mixing of influences transcending its origins. Picasso and others took inspiration in African art and created great works. But African artists took inspiration from western art and created. Should this journey condemned as cultural appropriation or glorified as cross-fertilization of ideas ?

https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/aima/hd_aima.htm#:~:text=The%20Stylistic%20Influences%20of%20African,a%20Fang%20reliquary%20ensemble%20(1979.206.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And for me, art is a mixing of influences transcending its origins. Picasso and others took inspiration in African art and created great works. But African artists took inspiration from western art and created. Should this journey condemned as cultural appropriation or glorified as cross-fertilization of ideas ?
Every culture has it's own definitive history and accomplishments, especially in the arts, fashions and etiquette. When the best aspects of every culture is borrowed and incorporated in a greater perspective, all cultures gain in status and all practioners gain in stature.

The problem lies only with ignorance, disrespect, and ridicule of other cultures.

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. It’ll foster good friendships.

But if i have read rightly, in Canada students have asked and obtained the suppression of a yoga class because it was cultural appropriation. In fact, it seems to me that the yoga practiced in Western countries was created by Hindus between the 2 world wars because they wanted to make yoga known and incidentally earn money.
Found an interesting article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/11/23/university-yoga-class-canceled-because-of-oppression-cultural-genocide/

If it’s the same event as you referred to, it was back in 2015.

I have a hard time understanding a lot of these “Appropriation” accusations as well.

 

Cultural Appropriation has been a thing for decades but with the recent “woke” mentality it’s taken on a new life. There is some truth to the accusations sometimes, though much of it seems more about drawing attention to the person who is doing the accusing. I guess we can blame social media for that.

Sometimes it seems to be about sheer hatred. Yoga is a good example as it’s widespread and generally appeals to liberal White crowd – who are easy to push around if you’re not one of them. The woke Indians in the West can take their anger out on them because they’re an easy target. A good rule of thumb is if somebody is seriously concerned about cultural appropriation they can usually be reasoned with, whereas the shrill accusers are about something else.

This cultural appropriation stuff really plays into the hands of conservatives. And honestly, I agree with the cons who think it’s ridiculous. But maybe someone can explain - how is teaching yoga for example (from the article above) disrespectful to India-n cultural? If anything it’s honoring it. Maybe I’m missing something though.

My sons are still awaiting for their 40 acres and a mule.

Oh yeah, and there is that thing where some of my ancestors stole land from my other ancestors and placed them on reservations.

That is different from cultural appropriation.

No, it’s not. Native Americans were suppose to appropriations for their losses. They never got. By the same token, ex-slaves and their families were suppose to receive 40 acres and a mule. That is called appropriations due to destruction of their cultures, lives etc. The U.S. government never did it, which takes us right back to the government not keeping promises.

This cultural appropriation stuff really plays into the hands of conservatives. And honestly, I agree with the cons who think it’s ridiculous. But maybe someone can explain – how is teaching yoga for example (from the article above) disrespectful to India-n cultural? If anything it’s honoring it. Maybe I’m missing something though.
I guess there’s a question of unfairly benefitting from some practice of an oppressed group. In the case of yoga, Indian Americans don’t really qualify as an oppressed group, but they can get away with calling themselves that at the moment. And yoga is very popular with a big number of White Americans.

 

@thatoneguy. Indian Americans don’t really qualify as an oppressed group.
Don't suppose you've ever spent time in an Indian Reservation? - Nope casino's don't count.

Sometimes I really wish I had a transporter, would love to plant you in the middle of Navajo Nation, see how long you like it. Or south side of Chicago. :wink:

Ya wouldn’t think it, I wouldn’t have, but that was before I got to know a few and before driving around and getting to experience what it looks like from the inside, looking out, and it’s shockingly depressing and hopeless and sad.

Yes, there are some lucky savvy tribes, but way more really sadly screwed up ones.

Hmmm, speaking of cultural appropriation, it goes in all directions.

I had a gay friend who once pointed out that men in America would still be wearing coveralls if not for the gay culture - and I think he has a point.

How about music, I can imagine the sterile dreck music America would be listening to if not for appropriating Black music.

And so on. It happens

Indian Americans don’t really qualify as an oppressed group.

I think @thatoneguy was talking about Indian Americans (as in Indians from India) and not Native Americans, @citizenschallengev3 , but if not…

Yes, Native Americans do qualify as an oppressed group. I don’t know anyone who could get the idea that they are not. Some of the worst oppression IMO is the missing and murdered women and girls. The list goes on and on concerning oppression of Native Americans, but that is the worst.

https://mmiwusa.org/

@thatoneguy,

Perhaps you may not equate genocide with oppression, but native American Indians were given smallpox infected blankets .

In 1851, Francis Parkman was the first historian to document Lord Amherst's “shameful plan” to exterminate Indians by giving them smallpox-infected blankets taken from the corpses of British soldiers at Fort Pitt in 1763 (Parkman 1991:646–651).Nov 18, 2004
https://www.history.com/news/colonists-native-americans-smallpox-blankets

Moreover, there are several accounts of military action that wiped out entire villages, including elders and women and children.

and the result of eventual treaties struck for peaceful resolution:

How Many American Indian Treaties Were Broken? - HISTORY

Nov 10, 2020 — Though removal was supposed to be voluntary, in practice Jackson used threats of withheld payments and legal and military action to conclude nearly 70 removal treaties over the course of his presidency, opening up some 25 million acres of land in the South to white settlement, and slavery.
https://www.history.com/news/native-american-broken-treaties
I don’t know anyone who could get the idea that they are not. -- Mriana
I really love the way @thatoneguy lives up to his name. It gives me hope that he not just some guy on the internet, rather it's a group of people, maybe in a fraternity or sorority somewhere, and they read our posts and use their knowledge of history and current events to come up with something that is so perfectly disjointed from reality but balanced with some facts gleaned from a right-wing think tank somewhere, that any sensible and reasonable person is compelled to respond.

My bad. Thanks for catching that Mriana.

Although I think it might be sadly insightful to hear from Indian-Americans themselves, as to how fairly they are treated, considering the general all around Immigrant Hate-On that Republican’s have brainwashed their followers with.

 

 

Yes, but I like to give the benefit of the doubt and think his use of Indian American means those from India and Natives to the U.S. If he didn’t mean those from India, then he really knows nothing about Native Americans.

@citizenschallengev3 It would be interesting to hear from that group too, because they are also people of colour and I can only imagine what happens to them based on my own family’s experiences as a family of colour or inter-racial family, if we must.

 

@mriana ... If he didn’t mean those from India, then he really knows nothing about Native Americans.
As opposed to the other things he spouts off on? But can never defend with rational arguments and a few facts - plus when I take the time to offer rational arguments and facts, he goes deaf and dumb* on the topic. Go figure.

*(in this case it’s a descriptive and not meant as a pejorative)

Yoga+Indian Americans = native Americans? ?

We’ve got some high IQ people around here.

@thatoneguy No Indian Americans do not equal Native Americans. That’s two different groups of people.