Racism Doesn’t Work Both Ways and Neither Does Cultural Appropriation

katy-perry-appropriationSometimes people ask me really moronic questions. One that I get all the time is, “But, but, on your blog, aren’t you racist against white people though? Because you say some really bad things about us.” Short answer: no. I can’t be racist because I’m not…well…white. And, I also can’t – as a recent troll implied –1“appropriate white ‘culture’.” Why? Well, because when a racial group decides their normative choices are “respectable” thus setting their lifestyle as the best way for everyone else to live, they don’t get to play “backsies” when others emulate them. Cultural appropriation is wholly different from taking on presumably respectable behaviors to garner material or social benefits. It isn’t a game of backsides and it is most definitely used to demean, undermine, and disadvantage minority groups in society.

There is no such thing as reverse racism. Comedian and friend of the blog, Aamer Rahman, handled that in his viral comedy routine some time ago.  In summary, because minority groups don’t have inter-generational privilege we can wield against whites (thereby limiting their possible wealth, educational, employment, and/or environmental outcomes), we really have no way of being racist against them. Racism requires power. Without it negative racial feelings might be discriminatory but they certainly aren’t racist. Any racial animus held by minority groups toward whites cannot be set apart on its own as an initial offense because we have already experienced centuries of targeted racial oppression from whites. So, the point of reverse racism is moot.

Katy-perry-grillNow, cultural appropriation is the act of taking the very physical, mental, or social features of a minority group which are used to belittle, mischaracterize, and otherwise isolate them and embody those features for personal social entertainment or monetary gain. When Katy Perry – a white girl from Santa Barbara – dons bejeweled grill pieces, long fake nails, and gelled down ‘baby hairs’ to promote her new video for the song ‘How We Do,’ she isn’t appreciating ‘black culture’. She can’t be because she only features stark stereotypes of black women in her imagery. In the new video, while satirizing black women, she answers a phone call from her friend “Jessica Thot” or “Jessica That Ho Over There.” The term”THOT” is extremely demeaning to black women and has been used by street harassers seeking to devalue black women’s bodies. Surely Perry knows that.

Similarly, when Miley Cyrus danced around with hypersexualized black women, put on a ‘Blaccent,’ and promoted illegal drug use as a means of having fun, she wasn’t showing how cool it is to be black. She was showing how limited her view of black humanity is. Both artists – though Iggy Azalea, Justin Bieber, Macklemore, and a host of others could be slotted in to make this point – play on the worst stereotypes of black people to make a mockery of actual human beings. By wearing us as promotional costumes or draping us across their shoulders like feathered boas, they fetishize black bodies and make us into novelties for white consumption.

Minority groups can mock white people. They can mimic dominant culture. They can even completely assimilate into “respectable behavior” if they so choose. There are levels of social benefits and costs to doing so. But, minority groups will never be able to appropriate ‘white culture’ in a way that is harmful or damaging to whites in the aggregate. White complexity is never denied nor questioned while minority group identities are countered with dangerous and even deadly caricatures.

redlands-east-valley-high-black-faceFor example, making fun of President George W. Bush won’t undermine the accomplishments of every white male president this country has ever had. Why? Because we have 42 others to compare to. But, in the case of slain black teens, the overwhelming social narrative mischaracterizes them as “thugs,” and “gangbangers.” An entire Southern California high school cheer squad was recently pictured posing as gang members with pregnant bellies, sagging pants, and turf signs for “team building activities.” This notion about the black identity has been at least partly responsible for the onslaught of shooting deaths in black communities by police authorities. To deny that fact is to gloss over how powerful this imagery truly is.

On the whole, there seems to be a deep misunderstanding regarding how dangerous appropriation is. What whites in black face (which you don’t have to wear to appropriate black culture) call harmless fun, black folks call a further stripping of our humanity. Cultural appropriation empowers racial animus against minority groups. It emboldens law enforcement looking for the ‘suspect.’ And, it mentally indexes the black identity as violent, ominous, and inherently dangerous.

Cultural appropriation doesn’t work both ways which should make it that much easier to do away with altogether (ahem, white people).

http://watercoolerconvos.com/2014/08/13/racism-doesnt-work-both-ways-and-neither-does-cultural-appropriation/

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8 thoughts on “Racism Doesn’t Work Both Ways and Neither Does Cultural Appropriation

  1. “There is no such thing as reverse racism. Comedian and friend of the blog, Aamer Rahman, handled that in his viral comedy routine some time ago. In summary, because minority groups don’t have inter-generational privilege we can wield against whites (thereby limiting their possible wealth, educational, employment, and/or environmental outcomes), we really have no way of being racist against them. Racism requires power. Without it negative racial feelings might be discriminatory but they certainly aren’t racist. Any racial animus held by minority groups toward whites cannot be set apart on its own as an initial offense because we have already experienced centuries of targeted racial oppression from whites. So, the point of reverse racism is moot.”
    BOOM!!! That says it all right there! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Unfortunately these facts only reaches those of us who already see through the nonsense for what it is. I believe that many, if not most, white people will never get it because that means they have to admit all of their wrongdoings and ignorance and take fault. What would they be without us?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is an excellent article. White people know exactly what they are doing. And I’m tired of their cop out of pretending to be ignorant of their behavior. Let’s just stop pretending and call them out. That’s what I do…and will continue to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Let them do because we everybody know their reason, when for years have shouted “Nig….!” to our ancestors is was just jealous! These jealousy is ancient, because we know the first human being were blacks, and this reality is still doing hurt them so much!
    Jealous because Melanated people don’t crack! They are free to take possession of our culture, because at the end of a day, a bad copy is always a bad copy, because they can’t duplicate the original essence! The same with melanin can’t be duplicate!
    Black women should stay away not only from white women but also by white men! Because these sub-human crack men are shouting sincere love for black women but this is just another trap to steal melanin!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Generally speaking, most white people are racist towards black folks and are constantly belittling us due to expressions of hate. At bottom, white people emulate us for no other reason than jealousy, but done so in caricature or mockery manner. This long held fixation or obsession with us is in fact a psychological disorder that requires clinical treatment on a mass scale, … if treatable at all.

    The Bible clearly tells us that “one people would be stronger than the other”, that’s us (Genesis 25:23). The Bible also says: “You are the salt of the earth”, that’s us also (Matthew 5:13). Because we clearly not only give the world flavor, style, a swag here and there, a slight limp to the way we walk and a twist to our American linguistic in terms of speech. People add salt to their food for one reason, … to add a jolt of flavor! The Bible also says that “we are above all people on the earth”, that us as well (Deuteronomy 7:6).

    When black folks began rapping the whole world was amazed and also attempted to rap. The same thing happened with break dancing as well. When black folks began doing “The Charleston” dance, whites copied that as well and attributed it to the white race. When the black race was within the midst of slavery, we were inventing things unimaginable to the white man. The slave master copied thousands of patents and presented the invention as intellectual property. Now, just think for a moment what the black man could’ve invented had he not been forcibly held in bondage.

    When brother Malcolm X and Martin Luther King spoke, the entire world listened. When brothers began wearing their fitted baseball caps to the rear, multitudes of people followed suit. When blacks ruled Europe from around 750 A.D. to around 1492 C.E. (when murderous Christopher Columbus and whites came back into power), the black queens had somewhat large buttocks. Guess what, white women followed suit by wearing a bell dress to give the illusion of or to emulate what came physically natural to the black woman.

    Not all black folks wear jewelry in their mouth but a mere subculture of within engage in this behavior. Even then, our subculture still have enough influence to flavor and season mainstream white artists such as Eminem, Miley Cruz, Katy Perry and Iggy Azalea even if it was appropriated in a mockery manner.

    I have yet to speak to a black man that states emphatically: I want to emulate a southern drawl like Bill Clinton or either one of those George Bushes. LOL! There is nothing appealing about the manner in which they speak is probably the answer. Only a retard would copy someone or a group of people that you claim to be above or better than.

    In summary, if white folks really believed that black people as a whole was a degenerative, non-comformist group of people, why in the hell are they still engaging in cultural theft. The answer lies somewhere between jealousy and wanting to be us, … perhaps both or all of the above!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. im a senior in school but i remember these wigger white and asian kids ( you know the types that would always mouth the n word even though they are not black the ones that would try to rap and the ones that smoked weed and listened to black music so thought they were black) well i one day saw them picking on a rather shy quiet nerdy black kid ( he wasn’t anything like the stereotype of young black boys) they were picking on him on the bus and i just thought it was rather stupid they are picking on someone that they deep down want to be. i have noticed aswell whites and other non blacks will accept you more if you act the stereotype of a black person ( so that is failing classes , being violent, putting in no effort to look good , listening to gangster music being fat) or if you act like a coon ( having only white or non black friends , being rude about your fellow black people, making jokes about africa , if your boy then definitely making fun of black women and girls , making sure to always be the ugly black friend side kick or sticking up for the white kid/asian kid when hes getting bullied even though he wouldn’t dare do it for you) however if you act normal and are smart and goodlooking and are going somewhere in life they will try to destroy that for you they will also act surprised and annoyed that the person they were taught is below them and could never be better then them is actually achieving something. these white people and asians (not just chinese the indians and arabs too) trying to dress and act black only do so because they want to seem better then black people so by stealing a rather successful part of our culture it puts us back at the bottom.

    Liked by 1 person

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