November252013

afternoonsnoozebutton:

Did Katy Perry just do a "geisha" performance at the American Music Awards? Yes. Complete with “geisha” costume (with slits up to the butt), stunted pseudo-Asian dance/walking, cartoon Kabuki makeup on her backup dancers, lots of fans, people in “Oriental” costumes beating drums, rice paper screens, and blown-up versions of the cheap paper umbrellas you put in your drinks.

Is it racist as fuck? Yes.
Is it the worst thing ever? Also yes. 
Did the song have ANYTHING to do with Asian culture? No. 

Is she the first pop princess to pull this shit? Absolutely not (for further reference, see Rihanna/Coldplay’s “Princess of China” and Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. phase)

(via faineemae)

2PM

lagiaconde:

jaimie foxx wears a trayvon martin shirt to the BET awards.

the headlines:

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macklemore mentions trayvon martin during his acceptance speech at the AMA awards.

the headlines:

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the message: PoC are racist crybabies until a white knight notices the issue and plays champion.

(via faineemae)

January302013

faineemae:

I just laugh at white people who say that they get stared at and discriminated because of their tribal tattoos, ear gauges and their dreadlocs. You appropriating assholes choose to dress this way when PoC have these things in their cultures but they get called barbaric and savage for doing so.

September172012

 whatfreshhellisthis responded :Cultural appropriation exists because of centuries of:
Imperialism: more specifically, cultural imperialism which is essentially one cultural dominating another. (IE: white folks and everyone we’ve ever invaded ever. Including each other.)
Racism: justifies the appropriation by making various cultural/racial/ethic groups marginalised, oppressed and seen as inferior by the privileged group.
Exoticism: justifies commodification and objectification.
Orientalism
Colonisation
Entitlement: thinking that oppressed people’s culture, society, and spirituality are up for grabs.
Oppression
Power
Capitalism
Unawareness of privilege: based on misunderstanding of power dynamics, entitlement, exoticism and racism
Why is cultural appropriation harmful?:
Cultural appropriation reinforces oppression because it invalidates and commodifies marginalised groups.
Invalidates: the culture/society/the people
Homogenizes: lets look at the white girls wearing warbonnets and mukluks. War bonnets are worn traditionally only by various Native plains tribes and mukluks are boots made of usually seal skin warn/made traditionally by Alaskan/Arctic natives. This haphazard and disrespectful throwing together different pieces of two completely different Native cultures which is portraying an image of homogeneity and reinforces the stereotype that there is just one Native American culture and they are all the same, which reinforces oppression and racism.
Commodifies: putting a monetary value on something that should not be sold or purchased or marketed in any way, eg. spiritual practices.
Reinforces stereotypes: which reinforce oppression and racism-a tool of colonisation.
Distorts traditions into inaccurate and offensive caricatures
Romanticises cultures: often this is something that results in entire groups of people being seen as ‘something that used to exist’ as opposed to people with lives and cultures that exist and flourish today. You get this a lot with Native American and Canadian culture.
Eroticises/exoticizes people: this is incredibly dehumanising.

 whatfreshhellisthis responded :
Cultural appropriation exists because of centuries of:

  • Imperialism: more specifically, cultural imperialism which is essentially one cultural dominating another. (IE: white folks and everyone we’ve ever invaded ever. Including each other.)
  • Racism: justifies the appropriation by making various cultural/racial/ethic groups marginalised, oppressed and seen as inferior by the privileged group.
  • Exoticism: justifies commodification and objectification.
  • Orientalism
  • Colonisation
  • Entitlement: thinking that oppressed people’s culture, society, and spirituality are up for grabs.
  • Oppression
  • Power
  • Capitalism
  • Unawareness of privilege: based on misunderstanding of power dynamics, entitlement, exoticism and racism

Why is cultural appropriation harmful?:

Cultural appropriation reinforces oppression because it invalidates and commodifies marginalised groups.

  • Invalidates: the culture/society/the people
  • Homogenizes: lets look at the white girls wearing warbonnets and mukluks. War bonnets are worn traditionally only by various Native plains tribes and mukluks are boots made of usually seal skin warn/made traditionally by Alaskan/Arctic natives. This haphazard and disrespectful throwing together different pieces of two completely different Native cultures which is portraying an image of homogeneity and reinforces the stereotype that there is just one Native American culture and they are all the same, which reinforces oppression and racism.
  • Commodifies: putting a monetary value on something that should not be sold or purchased or marketed in any way, eg. spiritual practices.
  • Reinforces stereotypes: which reinforce oppression and racism-a tool of colonisation.
  • Distorts traditions into inaccurate and offensive caricatures
  • Romanticises cultures: often this is something that results in entire groups of people being seen as ‘something that used to exist’ as opposed to people with lives and cultures that exist and flourish today. You get this a lot with Native American and Canadian culture.
  • Eroticises/exoticizes people: this is incredibly dehumanising.
June102012
whoiusedtobe:

I was shopping today and I found Kente print skirts at American Apparel. I’m on the fence when it comes to traditional prints being sold commercially. 
On the one hand, exposing the world to these beautiful colours and textures can certainly lead to greater engagement and learning about the cultures which produce them. Whenever I wear the prints that I brought back from Ghana, I always do my best to talk about where they came from and what they mean with my friends. I’m also very careful about wearing them casually; I think I’ve worn my clothing from Ghana twice since I returned eight months ago. 
On the other hand, the hipster girl who buys this skirt and wears it all summer probably doesn’t know that each of those squares has a different meaning (let alone what the meanings are). She also probably won’t know that the print she’s wearing is distinct from other kente prints because it was produced by a different tribe. She will be taking part in the commodification of a complex and rich culture about which she knows nothing. That’s the basis of cultural appropriation. Make no mistake: it’s a form of exploitation.
I don’t even know if I can comment on the designing of this skirt. I’m going to assume that it was created by an American (AA is all about sourcing stuff in the states, right?). If that assumption is correct, then this skirt is doubly exploitative, because it represents the use of someone else’s culture to produce money for North Americans. How screwed up is that?
This is why I can’t get too excited about seeing beautiful prints from African cultures in the mall in downtown Ottawa. Just because they’re pretty doesn’t mean you should forget about the people(s) who created and produced them. 

whoiusedtobe:

I was shopping today and I found Kente print skirts at American Apparel. I’m on the fence when it comes to traditional prints being sold commercially. 

On the one hand, exposing the world to these beautiful colours and textures can certainly lead to greater engagement and learning about the cultures which produce them. Whenever I wear the prints that I brought back from Ghana, I always do my best to talk about where they came from and what they mean with my friends. I’m also very careful about wearing them casually; I think I’ve worn my clothing from Ghana twice since I returned eight months ago. 

On the other hand, the hipster girl who buys this skirt and wears it all summer probably doesn’t know that each of those squares has a different meaning (let alone what the meanings are). She also probably won’t know that the print she’s wearing is distinct from other kente prints because it was produced by a different tribe. She will be taking part in the commodification of a complex and rich culture about which she knows nothing. That’s the basis of cultural appropriation. Make no mistake: it’s a form of exploitation.

I don’t even know if I can comment on the designing of this skirt. I’m going to assume that it was created by an American (AA is all about sourcing stuff in the states, right?). If that assumption is correct, then this skirt is doubly exploitative, because it represents the use of someone else’s culture to produce money for North Americans. How screwed up is that?

This is why I can’t get too excited about seeing beautiful prints from African cultures in the mall in downtown Ottawa. Just because they’re pretty doesn’t mean you should forget about the people(s) who created and produced them. 

May132012

10 Day Poetry Challenge — Day 7

Take a walk until you find a tree you identify with, then write a poem using the tree as a metaphor for yourself or your life.

All this squirrel chatter about identifying with trees
Reminds me of white hipster wannabe-spiritual bullshit.
Can you decide between the Druid rowan or oak?
Or shall we be “Hindi” today and find a banyan grove to get “enlightened” in?
Please.
Have you ever cleared the ground of deadfall?
Have you cleared — that is, torn from the earth — the “undesirable” weeds?
Have you softened the earth?
Used the force of your hands, your arms, your body — with trowel, with plough
Re-directed the waters to saturate and weaken hardened grounds?
And then, carefully,
Have you placed seeds into the soil — and then waited?
Do you really understand what waiting means, when you’ve never waited for something to grow?
And do you understand how completely unnecessary you are yet?
The willow tree you look at like a mirror
Didn’t need you to clear the grounds,
Plant it, water it, watch it.
It unfurled tiny leaves of silver green before your mother even considered she might have children someday.
It is a tree.
And you are self-centric.

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