Author Topic: some thoughts on cultural appropriation  (Read 9950 times)

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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #660 on: April 18, 2017, 12:13:20 PM »


This is how you end up with a bunch of wealthy white celibate men talking about what problems poor women of color face. If your source of information is entirely made up of people who largely don't experience the problem and people actively trying to dismiss or represent the problem, you're not going to have a productive discussion about it.

See also: why evangelical Christians can't have a productive discussion about what atheists believe.


Your examples deal with one group making decisions about another group's actions: I'm advocating for the opposite--that even as a privileged white guy, I should still discuss and can form coherent opinions about my own actions, even when they confront issues like privilege and CA.

My examples specifically referenced people trying to understand the problems of another group without talking to that other group.

Are you saying that no discussion of CA should take place without the inclusion in that discussion of a member of the possibly appropriated culture?
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Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #661 on: April 18, 2017, 12:19:24 PM »
If your goal is to shame white folk from straying too far from the social construct of whiteness, then yes, you are putting up cultural barriers. Call it what you will.


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That is not the goal. That has been explained in excruciating detail not to be the goal. Specific goals have been given that were not that.
This thread runneth over with specific examples of cultural appropriation being condemned. Which of them do not involve telling white folks to stay in their lane?

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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #662 on: April 18, 2017, 12:22:43 PM »


This is how you end up with a bunch of wealthy white celibate men talking about what problems poor women of color face. If your source of information is entirely made up of people who largely don't experience the problem and people actively trying to dismiss or represent the problem, you're not going to have a productive discussion about it.

See also: why evangelical Christians can't have a productive discussion about what atheists believe.


Your examples deal with one group making decisions about another group's actions: I'm advocating for the opposite--that even as a privileged white guy, I should still discuss and can form coherent opinions about my own actions, even when they confront issues like privilege and CA.

My examples specifically referenced people trying to understand the problems of another group without talking to that other group.

Are you saying that no discussion of CA should take place without the inclusion in that discussion of a member of the possibly appropriated culture?
I'm saying if you want to understand how a minority group feels about a specific example, seek out the opinions of that minority group.

The theory has been more than adequately covered.
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Online Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #663 on: April 18, 2017, 01:06:14 PM »
Redamare,
The fact that you percieve some sort of oppression olympics is confusing to me.
The people who discuss it here do so only in response to posts about it.
Any time I see reference to it outside of here, its just in relation to very specific instances and articles focusing on particular things.
Where are you seeing this other behaviour?

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, mostly. Honestly, where I live, political discussion is not sophisticated enough to even get near these topics. If you support marriage equality, you're as Liberal as a person can be, as far as most Dakotans care to categorize such things. Anything beyond that is just not on people's radar. When you bring it up, eyes start to roll.

But even if it's just on the Internet, that's bad enough, don't you think? Trump's movement was born on the Internet, and largely in response to these "Liberalism 2.0" style memes. If we hadn't given them the ammo, maybe we would be seeing populism break to the Left instead of to the Right.
Conversation I overheard in my office last week
"Im not racist, but if I was fighting with a blavk person I would use their race as an insult."
People thought that was fine.
I do not live in some liberal bubble where this stuff is all accepted.
If your perception from the internet is that there is such a tendancy as you allude, then I cant really argue with that. I dont know your search history.
I would say that I dont get that impression at all. I mentioned earlier how I thought I was starting to see such a pattern but it turned out to be my own bias.
Not to say you are wrong, I just dont take the existence of such a tendancy as any sort of given and if it were real, I would wonder what the harm of that really was when put along side minority groups finally finding their voices to express things that seem to have been bothering them for a while.

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #664 on: April 18, 2017, 01:07:41 PM »
I'm saying if you want to understand how a minority group feels about a specific example, seek out the opinions of that minority group.

The theory has been more than adequately covered.

I completely agree, and nothing I have said is antithetical to this idea.

Acknowledging that your above statement is 100% true, we should also consider every idea with appropriate skepticism:

If somebody says, "I don't do that thing because it's CA," then I say, "neat, please tell me more, I'd love to learn more about your feelings on the subject."

If somebody says, "Don't do that thing because it's CA," then I say, "are you sure it's CA? Let's talk about it. What are the positives and negatives to doing the thing and not doing the thing?"

It's possible to be skeptical without being a dick.
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Offline Redamare

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #665 on: April 18, 2017, 01:17:17 PM »
Redamare,
The fact that you percieve some sort of oppression olympics is confusing to me.
The people who discuss it here do so only in response to posts about it.
Any time I see reference to it outside of here, its just in relation to very specific instances and articles focusing on particular things.
Where are you seeing this other behaviour?

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, mostly. Honestly, where I live, political discussion is not sophisticated enough to even get near these topics. If you support marriage equality, you're as Liberal as a person can be, as far as most Dakotans care to categorize such things. Anything beyond that is just not on people's radar. When you bring it up, eyes start to roll.

But even if it's just on the Internet, that's bad enough, don't you think? Trump's movement was born on the Internet, and largely in response to these "Liberalism 2.0" style memes. If we hadn't given them the ammo, maybe we would be seeing populism break to the Left instead of to the Right.
Conversation I overheard in my office last week
"Im not racist, but if I was fighting with a blavk person I would use their race as an insult."
People thought that was fine.
I do not live in some liberal bubble where this stuff is all accepted.
If your perception from the internet is that there is such a tendancy as you allude, then I cant really argue with that. I dont know your search history.
I would say that I dont get that impression at all. I mentioned earlier how I thought I was starting to see such a pattern but it turned out to be my own bias.
Not to say you are wrong, I just dont take the existence of such a tendancy as any sort of given and if it were real, I would wonder what the harm of that really was when put along side minority groups finally finding their voices to express things that seem to have been bothering them for a while.

I don't know that there exists any one "objective" internet. Especially these days, algorithms decide what Internet you will see.

To my point, it doesn't matter if the "real" Internet, whatever that is, is sympathetic to these ideas or not. The point is that enough of it is that now we have Trump.
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #666 on: April 18, 2017, 01:41:38 PM »
I'm saying if you want to understand how a minority group feels about a specific example, seek out the opinions of that minority group.

The theory has been more than adequately covered.

I completely agree, and nothing I have said is antithetical to this idea.

Acknowledging that your above statement is 100% true, we should also consider every idea with appropriate skepticism:

If somebody says, "I don't do that thing because it's CA," then I say, "neat, please tell me more, I'd love to learn more about your feelings on the subject."

If somebody says, "Don't do that thing because it's CA," then I say, "are you sure it's CA? Let's talk about it. What are the positives and negatives to doing the thing and not doing the thing?"

It's possible to be skeptical without being a dick.
But this thread hasn't been that. It started with outright denial, shifted into accusations of SJW-ism, and hunting for extreme examples to disprove the whole. Given that pattern, the refusal to engage in whataboutism (the presentation of a series of hypotheticals that don't address the specific issue) is not a refusal of skepticism, but rather a refusal to entertain whatever the polar opposite of skepticism is.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #667 on: April 18, 2017, 01:48:44 PM »
But this thread hasn't been that. It started with outright denial, shifted into accusations of SJW-ism, and hunting for extreme examples to disprove the whole. Given that pattern, the refusal to engage in whataboutism (the presentation of a series of hypotheticals that don't address the specific issue) is not a refusal of skepticism, but rather a refusal to entertain whatever the polar opposite of skepticism is.

I think you're reading a bunch of stuff into this thread that just isn't there. Mostly, people are trying to honestly engage, and I think everybody in this thread is "pro social justice" and probably pretty liberal and social aware in most ways.

The basic debate right now is whether or not it's ok to question concepts of CA (both in general and specifically). Some think not, others think so. But some of those that think not are trying to stifle this discussion itself, as if we shouldn't be questioning these things.

Asking for specific examples (including hypotheticals) is a terrific way to explore ideas, and as I've said, refusal to participate usually means that the person doubts their ideas will stand up to scrutiny. So instead, this has turned into a "you shouldn't scrutinize these ideas" debate, rather than a discussion of CA itself.
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Online Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #668 on: April 18, 2017, 02:11:19 PM »
Redamare,
The fact that you percieve some sort of oppression olympics is confusing to me.
The people who discuss it here do so only in response to posts about it.
Any time I see reference to it outside of here, its just in relation to very specific instances and articles focusing on particular things.
Where are you seeing this other behaviour?

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, mostly. Honestly, where I live, political discussion is not sophisticated enough to even get near these topics. If you support marriage equality, you're as Liberal as a person can be, as far as most Dakotans care to categorize such things. Anything beyond that is just not on people's radar. When you bring it up, eyes start to roll.

But even if it's just on the Internet, that's bad enough, don't you think? Trump's movement was born on the Internet, and largely in response to these "Liberalism 2.0" style memes. If we hadn't given them the ammo, maybe we would be seeing populism break to the Left instead of to the Right.
Conversation I overheard in my office last week
"Im not racist, but if I was fighting with a blavk person I would use their race as an insult."
People thought that was fine.
I do not live in some liberal bubble where this stuff is all accepted.
If your perception from the internet is that there is such a tendancy as you allude, then I cant really argue with that. I dont know your search history.
I would say that I dont get that impression at all. I mentioned earlier how I thought I was starting to see such a pattern but it turned out to be my own bias.
Not to say you are wrong, I just dont take the existence of such a tendancy as any sort of given and if it were real, I would wonder what the harm of that really was when put along side minority groups finally finding their voices to express things that seem to have been bothering them for a while.

I don't know that there exists any one "objective" internet. Especially these days, algorithms decide what Internet you will see.

To my point, it doesn't matter if the "real" Internet, whatever that is, is sympathetic to these ideas or not. The point is that enough of it is that now we have Trump.
My point is that one of the things you point to as a downside to entertaining the concept of CA is not at all established as a real thing. It may or may not be a result of how you use the internet.
The way I use the internet may be hiding its existence from me.
But I cant see it as a negative unless I know its a real thing and then I can assess whether or not we are likely to get Trumpy results from its existence.

Drunken Idaho,
For my part, I stated explicitly why I didnt want to engage in hypothetical after hypothetical.
If you want to think you have some mind reading ability to deduce why people choose to engage with some argument styles and not others then have at it.
But despite being the only person to entertain the hypothetical at all, I got accused of intellectual dishonesty so the whining about lack of engagment on that approach very much sounds to me like calling someone chicken until they agree to a drag race.

Edit/correction- I misspoke. Im not the only person to have engaged hypotheticals.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 06:46:46 PM by Harry Black »

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #669 on: April 18, 2017, 02:21:55 PM »
Drunken Idaho,
For my part, I stated explicitly why I didnt want to engage in hypothetical after hypothetical.
If you want to think you have some mind reading ability to deduce why people choose to engage with some argument styles and not others then have at it.
But despite being the only person to entertain the hypothetical at all, I got accused of intellectual dishonesty so the whining about lack of engagment on that approach very much sounds to me like calling someone chicken until they agree to a drag race.

I've whined about lack of engagement because I don't like it when people who are participating in a discussion suddenly refuse to engage, citing reasons like, "I don't like answering hypotheticals." Yes, I think it's intellectually dishonest to do this.

But alas, we've all been sucked into a side debate about who's being the debatiest.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #670 on: April 18, 2017, 02:27:08 PM »
Getting back to a question from earlier that I didn't see addressed: does anybody have any specific examples of CA that they think people should just not do? We probably all agree that there are ways to be a dick/not a dick about almost everything--but are there any examples of CA that are de facto dickish?

I don't think there are, but I'd like to hear from somebody who feels differently.

The endgame here: I don't think CA itself is something to be avoided, but rather a factor to consider in whether or not you're being a dick about something.
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #671 on: April 18, 2017, 02:36:27 PM »


But this thread hasn't been that. It started with outright denial, shifted into accusations of SJW-ism, and hunting for extreme examples to disprove the whole. Given that pattern, the refusal to engage in whataboutism (the presentation of a series of hypotheticals that don't address the specific issue) is not a refusal of skepticism, but rather a refusal to entertain whatever the polar opposite of skepticism is.

I think you're reading a bunch of stuff into this thread that just isn't there. Mostly, people are trying to honestly engage, and I think everybody in this thread is "pro social justice" and probably pretty liberal and social aware in most ways.

The basic debate right now is whether or not it's ok to question concepts of CA (both in general and specifically). Some think not, others think so. But some of those that think not are trying to stifle this discussion itself, as if we shouldn't be questioning these things.

Asking for specific examples (including hypotheticals) is a terrific way to explore ideas, and as I've said, refusal to participate usually means that the person doubts their ideas will stand up to scrutiny. So instead, this has turned into a "you shouldn't scrutinize these ideas" debate, rather than a discussion of CA itself.

Damion is not trying to engage, Red has taken the position that anything other than focusing on the problems of the working class is a waste of time, NEK and Clunn have toddled off but neither was engaging in a remotely skeptical way before they did and have since taken the theme of 'Checkmate, atheists!' to another thread. There was even a demand that examples of cultural appropriation be specifically  a catalogued in order of harm. I question your ability to discern what has and hasn't been happening in this thread, and twice have quoted specific examples of things in this thread contradicting your claim that it wasn't happening. Short of coming to your house and holding printed out paper in front of your face with your eyes propped open I cannot be any more certain that you've seen it, so either you're ignoring it or you think that denials and bad-faith arguments are evidence of trying to honestly engage.

Hypotheticals don't serve to explore ideas if their entire purpose is to dismiss those ideas. I cannot fathom what you think needs to be further explored. The underlying idea has been identified, the difference between exchange and appropriation has been identified, specific examples were discussed. What else is there, other than the unending 'Well what about this specific scenario?' do you think needs to be further explored?
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #672 on: April 18, 2017, 02:39:59 PM »
I cannot fathom what you think needs to be further explored. The underlying idea has been identified, the difference between exchange and appropriation has been identified, specific examples were discussed. What else is there, other than the unending 'Well what about this specific scenario?' do you think needs to be further explored?

See: above post.  :)

If we all agree that there are no examples of CA which should be avoided by virtue of being CA (rather, dickish actions should be avoided, and CA is a factor that should be considered), then we should all hug and sing a song together.

I *think* that we don't all agree on that point, and so I'm trying to explore it further.
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #673 on: April 18, 2017, 02:47:50 PM »
I cannot fathom what you think needs to be further explored. The underlying idea has been identified, the difference between exchange and appropriation has been identified, specific examples were discussed. What else is there, other than the unending 'Well what about this specific scenario?' do you think needs to be further explored?

See: above post.  :)

If we all agree that there are no examples of CA which should be avoided by virtue of being CA (rather, dickish actions should be avoided, and CA is a factor that should be considered), then we should all hug and sing a song together.

I *think* that we don't all agree on that point, and so I'm trying to explore it further.
What did you think cultural appropriation means?
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Online Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #674 on: April 18, 2017, 03:13:07 PM »
Drunken Idaho,
For my part, I stated explicitly why I didnt want to engage in hypothetical after hypothetical.
If you want to think you have some mind reading ability to deduce why people choose to engage with some argument styles and not others then have at it.
But despite being the only person to entertain the hypothetical at all, I got accused of intellectual dishonesty so the whining about lack of engagment on that approach very much sounds to me like calling someone chicken until they agree to a drag race.

I've whined about lack of engagement because I don't like it when people who are participating in a discussion suddenly refuse to engage, citing reasons like, "I don't like answering hypotheticals." Yes, I think it's intellectually dishonest to do this.

But alas, we've all been sucked into a side debate about who's being the debatiest.
I actually laid out in detail why I did not want to do hypothetical after hypothetical.
And none of the reasons were 'I dont like answering hypotheticals'
The fact that conclusions were drawn from my answer to the initial hypothetical which were nowhere in my answer made me further reluctant to follow that line.