Cultural Appropriation is Neither New nor Unique to America

ignorance

So…a moron who claims he is American (I believe him) asks me to prove that cultural appropriation is not new, not unique to America and indeed has been around for a long, long time.

I answered thusly;

Gulf Arabs look down upon Palestinians and pretty much every other Arab or Muslim Nation.

Hazaras in Afghanistan who are descended from Genghis Khan.

Druze in the Levant.

Syriacs, Coptics were some of the the original Christian members predating Constantinian Catholic Christianity. When Rome took Christianity and passed it on to Europe, these Levantine Christians were sought out and slaughtered as heretics by post-Roman European Christians.

And, yes, there are plenty of Christian examples of “cultural appropriation.” Black Gospels, themselves, are cultural appropriation as is European Christianity. The religion of Christ was stolen from the Levant and laid over Europe. The Europeans then went about the act of murdering the original Christians which laid the foundation of dissent which allowed Islam to rise so easily in those areas.

Thai Corporations which sell whitening products. This is an Asian phenomenon and it has nothing to do with Europe.

Bedouins in the Gulf Area and the appropriation and commercialization of their culture to tourists. The Gulf Nations such as the UAE then oppress these bedouin peoples.

Many, many cultures have adopted Gypsy styles of dress and dance. No one is quite certain from whence originated the Gypsies as they are a roving band of people who predate history. Everyone in Europe hates the Gypsies and looks down upon them. The whole Bohemian movement was started by Gypsies. Much of the clothes worn in high fashion can be traced back to the Gypsies. Yet, they are hated and vilified. Even Hitler tried to exterminate them.

I find this irksome. When someone asks me to provide them with obvious examples of historical fact about which one should have learned in high school. Aside from that, there is google.

America is such a myopic, ignorant land…which is why we have terms such as “white privilege” and “cultural appropriation.”

If Americans would educate themselves…my God what a Nation we could be.

Instead, we whine and argue over inconsequential bullshit.

One last as it is a HUGE one.

The Yuan Empire was created by Khublia Khan who, as you should know, was a Mongol. Much of what China has become is due to the Mongols, Jinghiss [Genghis] Khan and his grandson Khublai

The Chinese erased that history, gave Kublai a Chinese name, and claim descent from the Yuan Empire for themselves. The Chinese hate the Mongols. The Chinese try even now to claim Mongolia as part of China as they do with Tibet.

It’s a huge world out there. There is nothing new under the sun. The more one knows…the less of a whiny cunt one becomes as a result.

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Cultural Appropriation

weave appropriation

America is a multicultural nation. Those cultures are going to mix. When that happens, White folks are going to try different items/actions/things that folks of other “races” do/say/try. Everyone else is doing the same. When we each try the other “thing,” we are going to adapt it to what we, personally, like. This is natural.

And people are going to make money off of it.

Black women purchase their hair from Malaysia, Brazil, etc. They wear these hair pieces in American Black hairstyles. They have appropriated the hair of women from other “races” and used it to make their “Black American” hairstyles. Black women also style their hair in styles that are traditionally White. Black women “straighten” their hair using chemicals to mimic the hairstyles of White women. Is that not cultural appropriation?

I’m not all that down with the whole “privilege” game either. Especially when I’m being lectured on privilege by a rich,privileged, celebrity teenager. There are many types of privilege. Some White people benefit from being White. Not all White people benefit from being White. There are millions of poor White people in prison for drugs right alongside Black people. Affluence is privilege. Celebrity is privilege. Education is privilege. In some cases, yes, definitely, being White is “privileged.” There are not many universal truths.

White privilege in America is definitely NOT universal.

This seems like typical American victimology. Americans have, somehow, come to believe that their world is unique. They have come to believe that racism, bigotry, slavery, class privilege and a whole slew of other societal blights exist exclusively or uniquely in America. No, this is not true. Then there is this. Black people are not the only people in history to put their hair in braids or rows. Asian people have done it. Arabs have done it. White folks have done it. Africans did not invent the braid or the cornrow.

That Black hair has certain requirements of which I may or not be aware and that I want to wear my hair in a way that is similar to the way that Black people IN AMERICA have traditionally worn their hair does not make my doing so an affront to all Black people in America or Africa or anywhere for that matter. This sounds like more celebrity whining about issues that are so inconsequential as to be nearly incomprehensible.

Juxtaposing “cultural appropriation” with institutional bigotry within the United States Federal Government is insulting to every victim of the War on Drugs and the prison plantation system that has been the sin of both the Democratic and Republican Parties.

America does not NOT love, hate, like, dislike or in any other way treat with Black people as a whole because no sane person hates or loves a whole group of people based on any sane notion. People love or hate individuals. Individuals love other individuals. I know of no sane person who loves or hates any group of people. Many Americans do not know Black people. They know only what they’ve been shown. Some White Americans do know Black persons. They know the Black persons with whom they have worked, associated, had a beer. They know the Black person(s) whom they have dated. They know the child whom they raise with their Black spouse. However, the fact is that most White Americans do not know Black people because they do not live near, work with, or associate with Black people for a variety of factors such as proximity.

Most of America know only the Black persons and groups whom they see on TV. Who controls that message?  America does not control that image and message. Who controls that dialogue? The American Media controls that image and that dialogue and that image. The American Media is a small percentage of America. Less than .0001% of America, I would guess.  When your average American thinks of Black people, they conjure the images, messages and dialogue which they’ve been provided by Politicians, Hollywood, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc.

A more valid and truthful end to Amandla Stenberg’s video monologue would have been “what would America be like if the American Media loved Black People as much as they love Black culture.” That would have been a truth.

ignorance

Why I can’t stand Brown Golfers and assorted other Athletes who are “People of Color”

**********WARNING: SARCASM FOLLOWS! The author does not actually hold the following opinion*********

Google the term “Golf” and the first images the search engine offers are of Brown Men in tight, nerdy Golf attire playing at whiteness. How did this become acceptable?

The term “Golf” itself is a Scottish one. In Arabic, this kind of sports is still called Golf . As a matter of fact, the “sport” is called Golf in any language. The term has been appropriated into many languages just a the term “computer” has. Golf has its roots in the Scottish Highlands where it was invented by a group of what I can only assume were a bunch of bored, grouchy, slightly drunk Scottish fellows who were bored and not very athletic. Brown appropriation of this Western sport began much later probably in the early 20th Century in America but possibly earlier in India. Brown people who are continuing this tradition are continuing a century old tradition of cultural appropriation. One can see it every day in the NBA, the NFL and in Futbol (Soccer in the US). Brown people or “people of color” have essentially stolen cultural sports that were invented by White people and edged them out whether they are willing to view this practice this way or not.

Growing up in America, I saw men in my community play Basketball, Football and Golf at parks and in the school yard.  Men often played with other men, in private spaces, so that this sport was for each other. When they played at school with women in attendance, the dynamic shifted. Men played for men alone, there was a different kind of athleticism and competitiveness, perhaps more powerful, definitely more earnest, or maybe that’s how it felt to me, as a child and teenager, wary of women’s intentions. At schools the sport was competitive and masculine and daring, something aspiring professionals would come use to better their lives, their family, their social standing. In the early days, these sports were all White. Black folks had their own sports in their own community. Baseball was invented by White Americans for White Americans. Likewise with Football and Basketball. Brown people were separate from our communities.

One of the most awkward occurrences for me when I watch sports such as Football or Golf is portion of the game where the Black or Brown athlete is feted as the Best Ever in a Sport invented by White men. Amazingly, it is even more awkward these days when a White athlete is hailed as a legend or a “greatest ever” in a position such as Quarterback in Football. There is always the backlash of “if he was Black, they would give credit to the coach or receiversThis usually happens on weekends, and I’ve learned to avoid watching Sports when there are too many Brown faces around, but sometimes I forget. The last time I forgot, a Brown man came out in a football uniform — because that’s what that is, when a person who’s not White wears a jersey and tight white knee high pants with a helmet or Golf attire looking like a slightly nerdy White guy that is meant to say “golf nerd” or football professional and wears a helmet or custom sneakers of some kind and begins to play the sport. They’re usually terribly large and they don’t remind me of the lithe, athletic players of earlier years who used finesse instead of brute strength.
There are videos of these men bashing their way through the line or powering their way to the goal in basketball. It reminds me of all that is lost in these sports since the Brown man stole these sports and changed them to their suit their talents. It signaled the end of the sport as an intelligent art of strategy and mental exercise. The Brown man appropriated these Sports and the White man was left to ponder what might have been.

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OK….I’ll stop there. It’s ridiculous, is it not? And quite bigoted. Imagine though, if a White man had written such a thing as a serious opinion. That man would be vilified. He’d be ushered off into oblivion. If he owned an NBA team, he’d be forced to sell. If he played the sport, he’d be drummed out.

Yet, this woman, Randa Jarrar, actually wrote a similar bigoted article and Salon not only approved of it but called it an important feminist work. Apparently, any culture except Western or “White” can appropriate any aspect of a culture that they deem worthwhile and it is appropriate. It is only the Western World who is accused of appropriation by confused, bigoted  liberals who more than likely grew up in comfortable upper middle class homes. After all, the upper middle class liberal is the only human who has the time to waste on idiot ideals such as “cultural appropriation” and to complain about growing up so affluent as to be able to afford an education in one of the better cities and universities in America.

How difficult it must be to grow up in America and be so embattled that one can afford the time to sit about and think up nonsense such as “cultural appropriation” and lament the wretchedness of White women learning a dance that Arabs themselves appropriated, in part, from Persia, the Eastern Mediterranean (Greeks, Roma Gypsies and Turks)  and from Hindustan (India) when the Muslim Arabs conquered the subcontinent. Belly dance did not originate with the Arabs alone that much is historically proven. It most certainly did not originate in the make believe land of Palestine which was only created out of thin air when the Arabs failed in their genocidal efforts to “drive the Jews into the sea” in 1967.

Cultures have melted, melded, blended and merged since the first “clash of cultures.” The Arabs were influenced by every cutlure/nation which they conquered. The Arabs in turn influenced those cultures. Likewise, the Arabs have been under 100 years of Western colonialism and conquest. They influenced us their colonizers even as they were influenced in return. This has been the way of the world for millenia. Anyone who studies history knows that the Greeks complained of the undue Persian influence upon Alexander. Kubhalai Khan was criticized for becoming too Chinese. The Arab world was greatly influenced by the Turks, the Kurds and the tribes of Central Asia who drove south in bloody conquest.

The one thing that is certain about Ms. Jarrar is that she does not understand the world, history or Liberty.

Randa Jarrar, Palestinian-American Opinionist and Professional Bloviator of Inanity

Randa Jarrar, Palestinian-American Opinionist and Professional Bloviator of Inanities

Bellydance Unveiled: A Brief History
by Aleenah

Introduction

The origin of bellydance is an actively debated subject among dance enthusiasts. Some of the most popular theories include the following:

1.   It descended from a religious dance that was performed during fertility rituals by temple priestesses. As early as 1000 B.C., temple engravings depicting dancers have been found in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece.

2.   It arose out of the dance that was associated with childbirth. It prepared girls for labor and was part of the delivery ritual.

3.   It descended from ancient Egyptian social dances.

4.   It originated in India over 5000 years ago, and had spread through out the Middle East with the migrations of the Gypsy tribes also called Roma in Europe, Ghawazee in Egypt, andNawar in India. The Gypsies eventually reached Europe where one of the most famous Gypsy dance styles was born – Flamenco. Many moves in modern Flamenco are still very similar to bellydance.

Perhaps the richness of Middle Eastern dance tradition and its universal appeal can be attributed to the blending of many various sources, cultures, and dance styles.

Technically, Cleopatra VII was a White Woman as she was 100% Greek. I wonder if Ms. Jarrar would have been offended to see the good Pharoah get her funky belly dance on.

Misty Copeland — Ballerina

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Ballet is, culturally speaking, a European dance. That a black person (really…she’s multi-racial — African-America, German and Italian) would become a ballerina is only striking in that she chose a culturally non-aligned field of interest and that only so if she was of pure African escent.  It is not interesting or remarkable that a black person would excel at ballet simply because of her race. It is more interesting that she mastered this skill and was talented enough to do so having started at a late age.  What seems to have been discounted is her German and Italian heritage.  Apparently, if one is “Black” or “African America,” no other part of one’s heritage is of consequence.  That seems odd to me.  Why would I acknowledge one part of me and not the others.  I don’t believe that Ms. Copeland is guilty of this.  However, it seems that the rest of the world has forgotten that Ms. Copeland is a complete human being and not just broken or scattered and discarded pieces.

Am I to become excited when the first White person becomes a master at some African dance or cultural interest/skill? Perhaps, we should go back and seek out the first White person to master the banjo, the first White person to master the canoe, the first White person to master Arabic belly dance, the first White person to master Chinese calligraphy. Hell, the list could go on and on. We could move on to the Asian peoples and Arabic peoples and find the first of those persons to master non-culturally aligned talents and skills.

I congratulate her on her talent and skill and the blood, sweat and tears that she obviously spent in mastering her craft as well as her general “BADASSERY.”

I refuse to congratulate her based on the color of her skin. Personally, I believe that this belittles her accomplishment.

QUICK: Someone name the first White person to master some skill or activity that Black people invented? Oh…that’s right. No one cares.

Actually, many people complain when White people co-opt or borrow some non-White cultural dance, music or other cultural talent, skill or development. (21 April 2015 Edit: Now they’re calling this #CulturalAppropriation. However, it seems to be cultural appropriation if a White person does something that Black people did such as a hairstyle or hip hop dancing/music.)

So a Black woman excels at Ballet. Awesome! But should I really congratulate her because she was Black or because she dances beautifully and her talent takes the breath away.  Can’t I simply appreciate that she is a beautifully skilled human being?

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#IdiotAmerica