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Racism and The Curious Case of Cultural Appropriation

Racial tension is at an all-time high thanks to certain bad apples who decided to kill unarmed individuals who just so happened to be black. Let’s be honest- the cops probably would have behaved otherwise had the accused in question been of the white persuasion. Ya know; because white people have such a lovely track record as per Joseph Stalin Adolf Hitler George W. Bush European settler/invaders on a general whole history.

hit

We live in a society where so much focus is placed on what we look like instead of who we are as a person.

purreh

Too Black, not white enough, too white, too fat, too skinny. It’s fucking exhausting. Everyone believes they know everything about everyone based on the generalizations instilled by the generations of ignorant people before us.

paula

I’ve never experienced racism aside from the time I was told to ”Calm down with my Latina attitude”.

I have felt the long, girthy dick of prejudice in this province for being an anglophone, several times, but we’ll leave that for another rant...

pauline

I am technically but do not consider myself white. My skin is not white. I can grow a mustache thicker than Ti-Guy bagging my groceries at Super C.  My grandfather looks like the black Dalai Lama when he maintains the garden for 3 hours on a sunny day. That mediterranean complexion, baby…

Monica!!!

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been approached and spoken to in a foreign foreign language (usually spanish)…

like this

 A little bit of Sicilian history,

if you may:  we were pretty much conquered by everyone and their mother. North Africa, the middle east, the Greek. Zeus pretty much lined us up and had his way apo piso Mount Olympus style, but then he gave us a chicken gyro so all is pretty much forgiven.

Senza mal'occhio!

Ironically, a lot of Europeans; including the latter are racist as fuck even though their great-great-great grandmother was probably black FYI. This is the main reason I tell people my mother is black anytime they look left, then right always just to make sure no one is around to hear it drop the ”N” bomb. 

The concept of racism boggles my mind because race is out of our control. People look different depending what part of the world they come from; evolution is a marvel

This should be common sense.Realistically speaking, no one is better than anyone else. We all have a heart. We all have a brain. We are mortal. We’re all going to die one day alone. No money, no designer clothes, no property. NOTHING. People who come from African, South American, Native American, Asian etc. decent are some of the most beautiful people on this earth with stunning features despite what sterotypes they have been issued in the past. Their natural STOP TELLING BEYONCÉ TO COMB HER DAUGHTER’S HAIR IT’S PERFECT THE WAY IT IS lovely features and traditions that were once frowned down upon are suddenly en vogue (literally). 

For that, we can all thank a little thing called ”Cultural Appropriation”.

approps

My good friend, Wikipedia describes the concept as:

the adoption of an oppressed people’s cultural elements by members of the dominant culture, or by members of any culture that has historically oppressed the peoples of the originating culture. 

I don’t know how it feels to be a distinct person of color. I can only imagine the hardship that blacks, latinos, Native Americans (to name a few) go through on a daily basis just because their skin and features differ those of the European ”majority” (I use the term majority loosely because the white man is slowly but surely being out numbered by beautifully mixed babies). So it would make sense that they would be pissed off when someone like Miley Cyrus twerks waltzes into the spotlight rocking that oral chastity belt because get away from me with those gold teeth– a grill and cornrolls cornrows. Trust me, even I’m bothered by it; more so when Madonna does it.

When it comes to cultural appropriation, I cannot help but ask the question: is there a difference between plagiarism, trends and mockery and simply embracing a culture or religion other than your own?

For example, I have a friend who is white as snow, with red hair and freckles (also Southern Italian decent but I took it upon myself to tell all the teachers in high school that she was the bastard child of Ronald McDonald) but ever since I can remember she has been OBSESSED with anything and everything Oriental. She collects calligraphy, vases, art work, you name it, she has it or she wants it. There is a picture at the top of her staircase on her baptism where she is cradled underneath a large chinese fan. I shit you not. This is a preference she adopted from her mother. Is she not allowed to own these items because she’s not Asian? Is she being disprespectful in owning these items?

A bunch of dumb asses wearing a Native American head dress at a music festival is not respectful. How do the two even correlate? Someone painting their face black on Halloween is not respecting one’s culture. Watch Spike Lee’s ”Bamboozled”, educate yourself and maybe you’ll think twice. Education plays a huge part in this arguement and clearly; people aren’t bothered to take the time to do so and the government isn’t really bothered to change school curriculum either. 

What about music? Yes, we all know that Iggy Azalea is a gimmick.

She can’t actually rap. She was lucky enough to be chosen by her record label because she’s pretty and white and ”hey, that hip hop and rap music is really hot right now”. Look at Elvis in the 50s. The music industry is notorious for taking what black people have created, erasing the name on the first page in order to put their own in it’s place. It’s injust, however, you have artists like Justin Timberlake who have grown up listening to jazz, blues and rock n’ roll greats of all races. He has never taken credit without thanking those who were never given credit before him. Is it possible for him to create a sincere R&B record paying tribute to the latter even though he’s white?

Fashion?

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Givenchy models walked the runway with baby curls and everyone was outraged. The arguement was that when a black woman or Latina fashions her hair this way, it’s ”Ghetto” but when a white girl on a runway or Gwen Stefani does it it’s ”couture”. To be honest, who really noticed the baby curls when the models had their faces covered in bullshit piercings and appliqués…Were they even wearing clothes? I didn’t notice.

Throughout history, fashion houses have been inspired and influenced by different cultures.

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For example, In the early part of the 20th century, Orientalism was all the rage. Paul Poiret’s designs were considered ”exotic” as he introduced women of the Western world to ”gowns inspired by the orient complete with oriental parasol and coolie lampshade inspired hat.” Poiret also studied the history of the Indian turban which he then integrated into his collections which in turn became a huge trend in the 1920’s, 

The thing about cultural appropriation is that it can tend to contradict itself.

A black woman will critisize a Latina for wearing a dashiki while wearing a geometric Aztek patterned crop top from Forever 21. A white woman can shit on you for wearing wooden shoes; meanwhile she’s got a head full of dreds. A woman of Arabic decent will become enraged when she sees a white or black woman wearing a hamsa hand charm while she’s wearing a pair of those ugly ass leggings with the crosses all over them,..So we’re going around in circles here and everyone thinks they’re right when all we’re doing, really, is nurturing hatred and segregation when we’re supposed to be moving away from all of this…

There is clearly a very thin line between cultural appropriation and innocently following a trend. Maybe we need to change the way we look at it. Trends come and go but your tradition is forever and is sacred to you as an individual. The dick in the ass in all of this is that there is someone who is making profit for an idea that is not originally theirs

It’s not fair. It’s not right, but it’s not making the situation any better when you go on social media and start fighting with some dickcheese half way accross the world about whether or not they’re allowed to own a pair of Huaraches. At that point, you’re not really solving anything and there is about a 100% chance they’ll still continue wearing them. There are so many ways you can confront the issue without masking yourself behind a passive-aggressive meme.

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Live and let live. You can’t control what people are going to do, wear or say. There will always be someone who is begging for you to give them a verbal ass spanking but if you go around looking for it, you’re going to be really disappointed. ASSHOLES COME IN ALL SHAPES, SIZES, RACES AND RELIGIONS. Maybe it has nothing to do with you at all? Maybe Kylie Jenner wants big lips because she wants fucking big lips? Who knows? Who cares? Clearly she doesn’t; actually she’s laughing her way to the bank right now with her oil-pulling endorsements…

source: http://www.fashion-era.com/orientalism_in_dress.htm#Craft Artists Inspired By The Orient

source 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draped_turban

main: http://www.memecrunch.com

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