Author Topic: some thoughts on cultural appropriation  (Read 92087 times)

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Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #480 on: April 13, 2017, 05:19:00 PM »
Imagine a white woman named (hypothetically) Nikki, who is told by her (hypothetical) black friends where to go to get some braids done on her frizzy red hair. Must she refrain from doing so on pain of being disrespectful and crappy? Asking for a hypothetical friend.

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This scenario is suuuper unlikely, but yes, she should. Her black friends don't speak for the entire black community and she should be aware that going around with her hair in braids is going to be hurtful.

That said, why is the pain of being called disrespctful or crappy such a big deal? Isn't it worse to think that you might actually be hurting someone? Why can't a person err on the side of not being hurtful? Why are people in this thread working so hard to reserve the right for white folks to continue (mis)appropriating culture without being called out on it?

Was about to tell D4M10N that this was a stupid question verging on a straw man.  Then you responded with...  Are you serious?  Like legitimately?  I can't tell if we're being trolled.
I'm just the victim of my cognitive privilege

Offline 6EQUJ5

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #481 on: April 13, 2017, 05:21:44 PM »
Imagine a white woman named (hypothetically) Nikki, who is told by her (hypothetical) black friends where to go to get some braids done on her frizzy red hair. Must she refrain from doing so on pain of being disrespectful and crappy? Asking for a hypothetical friend.

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This scenario is suuuper unlikely, but yes, she should. Her black friends don't speak for the entire black community and she should be aware that going around with her hair in braids is going to be hurtful.

That said, why is the pain of being called disrespctful or crappy such a big deal? Isn't it worse to think that you might actually be hurting someone? Why can't a person err on the side of not being hurtful? Why are people in this thread working so hard to reserve the right for white folks to continue (mis)appropriating culture without being called out on it?

Was about to tell D4M10N that this was a stupid question verging on a straw man.  Then you responded with...  Are you serious?  Like legitimately?  I can't tell if we're being trolled.

No, I'm not trolling anyone.
I've got to go.  Have you got a clock?  I'm meant to be helping save the Universe.

Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #482 on: April 13, 2017, 05:38:25 PM »
Alright.  Then I need to think.  We're coming from such different places here that I'm not sure of where to even establish a common language.
I'm just the victim of my cognitive privilege

Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #483 on: April 13, 2017, 06:07:58 PM »
Just don't take things that aren't your culture and parade them around without giving credit in contexts where people of that culture can't do those things because they are oppressed for it.

So no hoop earrings.  I repeat, NO hoop earrings.  You must always remember this.  Unless you are Greek. Or Egyptian.  Or Syrian.  Or Iraqi.  But for the rest of you non-Latinas, NO HOOP EARRINGS. 

Online D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #484 on: April 13, 2017, 06:10:47 PM »
Her black friends don't speak for the entire black community and she should be aware that going around with her hair in braids is going to be hurtful.

I assume that no one speaks for the entire black community, not even that nice lady from the MTV educational video.

Speaking of people who don't speak for their entire community, here is an alternative view:



I would hope that, as skeptics, we can at least agree that it is an empirical question for the social sciences to suss out which view is actually more prevalent in any given community.

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Online Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #485 on: April 13, 2017, 06:20:48 PM »
If you think its about how many people would raise their hands when you ask if it bothers them, Im afraid you are still missing the point.
To pre-empt you follow up:
The point is that a number of people have vocally made their feelings very clear.
You can ignore them and say their feelings dont matter to you if you so wish. But be clear that this is what you are doing and some people may judge you accordingly.
Some.
Probably not even most.

Online D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #486 on: April 13, 2017, 06:28:52 PM »
You haven't bothered to ask whether it brings other people joy, Harry. You are looking at just one small portion of the relevant moral calculus here.

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« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 06:45:00 PM by D4M10N »

Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #487 on: April 13, 2017, 06:38:28 PM »
And shouldn't there be a determination as to the reasonableness of the objection?  Some people are irrational.  It comes with our humanity. 

Online Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #488 on: April 13, 2017, 06:44:37 PM »
And shouldn't there be a determination as to the reasonableness of the objection?  Some people are irrational.  It comes with our humanity.
That really depends on how important the thing in question is to you.
Do your dreads bring you so much joy that its hands down worth it to you to upset other people?
Go for it.
In doing so though you are communicating what you value and people may judge you on that or they may agree with you.

Online D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #489 on: April 13, 2017, 06:46:21 PM »
And shouldn't there be a determination as to the reasonableness of the objection?  Some people are irrational.  It comes with our humanity.
That really depends on how important the thing in question is to you.
Do your dreads bring you so much joy that its hands down worth it to you to upset other people?
Go for it.
In doing so though you are communicating what you value and people may judge you on that or they may agree with you.
Braids might also bring joy (and cash) to the people who helped create them, possibly even PoC. Bigger picture here.

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Online Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #490 on: April 13, 2017, 06:54:48 PM »
And shouldn't there be a determination as to the reasonableness of the objection?  Some people are irrational.  It comes with our humanity.
That really depends on how important the thing in question is to you.
Do your dreads bring you so much joy that its hands down worth it to you to upset other people?
Go for it.
In doing so though you are communicating what you value and people may judge you on that or they may agree with you.
Braids might also bring joy (and cash) to the people who helped create them, possibly even PoC. Bigger picture here.

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As I said. If its worth it to you.

But if you are looking for me to say that its not a reasonable thing for some people to feel raw about and that you arent upsetting people by doing certain things then no, I cant tell you that.
Your appeal to some bigger picture involving money for hairdressers is so weak I dont know where to start with it tbh.
Yeah. Im sure they will be delighted to take your money. You get to take the positives with the negatives. The negatives will still be there.
You seem very thick skinned though so Im sure you will be fine with the terrible persecution.

Online D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #491 on: April 13, 2017, 07:06:52 PM »
I asked whether sharing culture in this way might make some people happy.  You reply by making it about me, personally. I'm basically hairless above the eyebrows, so there isn't really an issue there.

Once again, you are focusing solely on those with raw feelings, and not bothering to ask whether other sorts of people even exist. Almost as if you've prejudged this issue, knowing what conclusion you hope to reach.


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Online Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #492 on: April 13, 2017, 07:18:00 PM »
Actually I have not. I was very much against the idea of cultural appropriation not so long ago.
Im using you as a stand in. Replace yourself with any random person if it helps you to read what Im saying.

I answered your question but you seem to have missed it.
Yes. Its possible a person could take great joy from hooped earrings or something like that. It seems unlikely that their joy could be comparable to the feelings that having your culture appropriated can throw up.

I personally dont believe in taking the action that causes the most amount of joy. Its a philosophy that at its far end, tramples upon the rights and happiness of those too small in number to matter.
I dont believe in moral math.
You may. Good on you.

Online D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #493 on: April 13, 2017, 07:25:21 PM »
Whenever I see someone enjoying my culture, I'm happy for them. Wish it was much more common, actually. But maybe you're right. Maybe it causes significant numbers of pther people significant emotional distress. This is, once again, an empirical question.

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Online Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #494 on: April 13, 2017, 07:39:17 PM »
It depends on what you would deem as significant.
I would not be comfortable drawing a line on the other side of which I would tell someone their pain doesnt matter.

Again, you cant really do so without expressing personal values.

 

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