Good answer! :)
Native Americans have spiritual animals and worship them much like Christians do for Jesus Christ. A feather is the crucifix as a reminder of that spirit. So yes Natives do wear feathers, even if it is one in a top hat that Chief Oshkosh wore.
It's not about how often you wear those garments, it's about what they mean to their culture and their importance. Something can be important and a big part of someone's culture even if it's rarely worn or used. Not to mention that when you put it into context of, say, the total genocide of a minority... I'd say that adding to that hurt by taking parts of their culture, dressing up in them and essentially mocking them is putting salt into their wounds and is very insensitive.
With the total genocide of a minority, then there would be no one left to be offended. I feel that wearing parts of a culture's clothing or jewelry is a sign of endearment, but for a one day event is offensive. Especially, if the costume makes a "stereotype" of how "all people of this culture appear this way."
@lumos I hear you on the genocide point but I still don't think it has to be viewed as offensive. For instance I'm a big friend of native Americans. I'd be the last person to talk badly about them and I certainly respect their culture. However, if I was into carneval (which I'm not), I can picture myself dressing up like the person in the photo. Some native Americans might see this and think I have nothing but contempt and condescension for them... but quite the opposite is true. I think I'd choose this costume because I think it looks so cool and because it represents something cool.As for the frequency of wearing a costume... I think it does matter at least in the context of the American melting pot. This may sound offensive but in my opinion, most people who claim to be foreigners or brag about their foreign roots are actually very normal, average Americans. East Asians are a good example for this. While there are some first-generation immigrants who haven't yet (cont.)
assimilated, most of them are American through and through. They call their children Esther and Jimmy, the girls have all the typical American girl talking features (the way the voice sounds etc.), many of them don't even speak their parents' native tongue. So, in those cases I always find it a bit silly when people say "I'm Japanese" or "I'm Chinese". I also find it a bit silly when white Americans say "I'm Italian" or "I'm Irish-Russian-German". No, you're not. You're American. So, within the specific context of American society, I think it's a bit strange to get offended by people who wear these traditional garments of other nations. Now, in the case of native Americans it's a bit more complicated but even there... most native Americans are just normal guys and gals living in big cities, working as teachers and janitors and engineers. There's nothing really "nativey" left except some genetic material. Of course the ones in the reserves still exist but they're the minority.
I mean, I wish we lived in a time where people could dress up like this out of curiosity and love for a certain culture, but a lot of the time I just don't see many people carrying these costumes with any sort of respect. In fact, most of the time I've seen someone dress up as a Native American, they behave very shitty and do shitty stereotypical/racist things. Same goes for someone dressing up in a kimono or other stereotypical east-Asian looking garments, like they'll squint their eyes and go "ching chong". Like I have yet to see just one person dress up like that and not end up doing some sort of racist mockery of the thing they're wearing. Maybe your experience is different but I have literally never seen anyone carry those costumes with an ounce of respect. Especially when drunk.
Also it seems like a lot of Americans have trouble with identity. On the one hand, you have people like you saying "no, you're not Japanese/Chinese etc, you act, dress, talk and behave like an American, therefore you are an American". But on the other hand, these same people who are told that they're American, sometimes feel like outcasts. One of my favorite vloggers, whose family is from China, said that she has been bullied relentlessly for her looks. As a kid she would bring delicious Chinese food with her to school as lunch, but she got bullied for that too and told that it was disgusting. So in a way I don't blame people like her for assimilating and ending up talking, behaving and dressing like "an American", when oftentimes they're ruthlessly bullied for their heritage.
I think I get your point when you say that even native people only wear them a few times, mostly in special occasions, which would then make it okay for other people to at least get some use out of it and let them be known?Yet, at the same time, those very special traditional outfits that are rarely worn even by native people, are now being worn for Halloween!I guess everything has its ups and downs.
Wow lumos, you seem to be surrounded by douchebags, or is it this common in america?
@lumos Yeah, I agree with you on the bullying part. That is really sad and unfortunate. America's strong assimilation culture isn't just bad but it certainly has its downsides too. It's different from here in Europe where most countries follow a principle of integration, where foreigners somewhat adapt but also keep their own culture in an active way. That too has advantages and disadvantages.
@dipta I mean... I hope I don't sound like a complete ass now but I feel like people put too much meaning onto these traditional garments. Like... you love your culture, I get that. And the clothes in a way represent that culture, I get that too. But it's also just... clothes.It's a bit like with national flags. I don't understand why people obsess over their national flag or their national anthem. In the end, it's a piece of cloth or a tune you might not even like that much (musically speaking). So, in my opinion, people get too offended to quickly about this stuff. If I use a country's flag as pattern for my bedsheets, it doesn't automatically mean I disrespect or hate that country/culture. It can also mean I just like the colors/pattern.Now, of course it becomes more tricky when historical genocide is involved, as Lumos has correctly pointed out. In that case, I understand anyone who can't be relaxed about it. I don't know... it's a difficult subject.
@BlueCoyote I read your response of "where foreigners somewhat adapt but also keep their own culture in an active way" and thought how true that is with the Muslim population in France and most of Europe. I think if you are French living in France, especially Calais, then you are a minority.
@characterJoe I don't have any numbers on this but I highly doubt the statistics would bear it out. At any rate, I think both systems have their ups and down, like I said. I personally don't believe it is the fault of integration that we have parallel societies of muslims in Europe. The truth is: parallel societies have always existed, both in Europe and elsewhere (muslim and non-muslim). For example many of our extremely wealthy immigrants (expats etc.) are just as unwilling to integrate as some of the poor refugees. And I think there we are at the root of the problem: bad integration. This topic is obviously a minefield but suffice to say I think integration is not a one-way street. I believe the responsibility lies with both parties. The newcomers have to make an effort to adapt, the locals have to make an effort to be welcoming towards them. Only when both parties do their job can integration be successful. And France is one of those examples where both parties have (cont.)
not exactly been doing their job well.
@ BlueCoyote. One of my coworkers is French. He has not lived in France since the 1980's, but even back then he was bullied by Muslim kids. France tries so much to be a nice country, like Belgium, and it back fires on them. Some of the Muslims that immigrate for political asylum are demanding new Mercedes and for Europe to support them. There are YouTube videos of how bad Calais is now. My French Coworker also said there is a Holiday in France where vehicle insurance will not prevent your vehicle in France from getting burned. When I lived in Germany, the Turkish Muslims paid into the German Economy, but would not receive any benefits when they retired. Some of the Turkish Muslims I met were nice people and could integrate well. The Iraqi and Syrian Muslims of today think society should mould around them, instead of trying to assimilate and integrate in to the country they move.
@characterJoe It's not that easy. It always takes two to tango. France as a country has also done quite a lot of bad stuff to its immigrants. Migrants from the Magreb were ostracized in France for decades. In Paris, muslims have been forced into the Banlieus for decades now where the government doesn't care about them and lets them live in a ghetto-like environment without any life perspective.I'm from Switzerland and haven't made any bad experiences with our Iraqi or Syrian immigrants. Their integration in my country works fine. So, I don't think you can make sweeping generalizations about people from certain countries.
@ BlueCoyote. I was in Interlaken once for sight seeing. Switzerland works for immigration because the news and the media never have tradegies involving "Cargo Van driving through the Market Square killing hundreds." The only bad news Switzerland has is natural disasters, mud slides, and avalanches. Is that true with firearms in Switzerland that most citizens are allowed to carry? I know France is not so nice. I am waiting on the day that France will give Belgium the part it stole back in the Midevil Period. When I see Muslim violence in Europe, then the countries involved are usually France, Germany, and Belgium. England used to be in that list, but they broke away from the European Union. The Chunnel that goes from France to England was an easy passage for Muslim Terrorists. I would not be insulted if people dressed up as Muslim Jihadists for Halloween. I wonder if anyone ever thought of dressing up as Mohamed the Prophet for Halloween.
Even I did put on a costume intentionally mocking a culture, no one can stop me. There is no crime to charge me with. No law barring me from doing so. I can wear what I like when I like for whatever reasons I like within the confines of the law.
@Kiran04, my point is that people have no reason to be offended if the wearer didn't intend to mock someone. If people are mocking others, then it's not weird to be angry. That don't mean it have to be an enforced law. Cheating on your partner for instance aren't illegal or punishable by law, but it's still considered mean. Same thing with mocking people. It's not illegal, but it's mean.
@Kiran04 The law is not everything though. At your age, you should be able to come to that realization yourself. There's also something called common human decency. Now, many cultural costumes are not offensive in my view but for instance Prince Harry once dressed up as a Nazi SS-officer (at a party where everyone else was dressed up as witch or dragon etc.). That's not illegal and nobody could charge him with anyone. However, that doesn't mean he wasn't being a complete knucklehead and it also doesn't mean his attire wasn't extremely disrespectful.I think many right-wingers don't quite get this point: just because you are legally permitted to act like an asshole doesn't mean it's cool to act like one.
@curiousnorway Being offended is not an excuse to force someone to stop or continuing doing any kind of behavior. Like it or not, we are all allowed to treat one another like shit and we are all allowed to completely and utterly disregard the feelings of others. Feelings should never be able to determine the state of any kind of freedom. If they did, we wouldn't have any freedoms at all. Someone somewhere is offended by something, and put enough of those together and you ban everything. Why we ever started prioritizes feelings over logic is fucking beyond me.
@BlueCoyote And at my age I have also come to the conclusion that offense is always taken, never given. You can choose not to be offended and if you're enough of a baby to let your emotions dictate your actions, then no one has any obligation to placate you in any capacity. Like it or not, we all have the right to treat one another like shit.
@Kiran04, but do you support some laws or are you pro-anarchy?
What does that have to do with anything? There is no law against making fun of someone's culture or emulating someone's culture. So in regards to this argument, what I think of laws is irrelevant. They don't come into play either way.
@Kiran04 You know what's funny about that? It's guys like you who get super offended by certain stuff that certain liberal groups say. If you think you can insult a holocaust survivor and it's none of your problem because "hey, he's just being a pussy", then any person on the left can call you a disgusting racist and you don't get to be offended. Or if you're offended about that, you're a pathetic pussy.And here we get to the heart of your ideology: you think it's okay to offend others and that's their own problem but whenever you get offended, you have all the right in the world to be insulted and shoot back. That's the textbook definition of hypocrisy.On the other hand, we could also just be nice to each other and treat each other with respect but I guess that's too much to ask for.
@BlueCoyote So? No one is saying they can't say what they say and again, there's no law preventing them from saying it so you still have no argument. They say stuff I don't like. I do thing they don't like. Whoopty doo. No one is breaking any laws so it doesn't matter. I can still mock or emulate whatever cultures I see fit, whenever I see fit, for whatever reason I see fit.
Scroll Down to Read Other Opinions
Your example is a bit hyperbolic, but in thinking about this it did occur to me that at least for Americans, cultural appropriation is one of the things we do best. Welcome to the Melting Pot; we'll take what we like about your culture and do away with the rest. I don't really see anything wrong with this.
@HungLikeAHorsefly Yes, it is an extreme example used to illustrate the absurdity of something which is extremely absurd.
Well, in that case, all foreigners must ditch their kecks right now...
You're white wouldn't expect you to understand
@cuteness89 Comments such as that do not bridge any gaps!
White man created the gap
@cuteness89 And you perpetuate it, so you are part of the problem.
@cuteness89 So you are in denial! And. let me guess, you will deny that you are in denial!
No, I like to wear pants 😅
Hey, is learning a new language Cultural Appropriation? Some dude told me that, but I don’t understand how wanting to communicate with people of a particular culture isn’t cultural appreciation.
@AthenaCykes only if that language is not an official one like learning slang of a specific culturebut language isn't really based on culture. as an example america speaks English. america has dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of unique cultures. so like national languages are really a cultural thing. but specific cultures may have unique language patterns, dialects, slang and word usage
I see what you mean, but learning the slang comes with the territory of learning the language. Lol. The dialect of the person teaching you will often be the dialect you will use if you become fluent. For example, if you’re learning Spanish and have a Mexican professor/tutor, you will speak with a Mexican dialect when you become fluent in Spanish. This is still officially the Spanish language. Now if you learned Spanglish from your Spanish-speaking friends, that isn’t the same as learning an official language. Is the latter what you were referring to as what’s not considered as cultural appreciation?
@AthenaCykes correct. i mean more if you adopt cultural uses of language after already learning language.
It cannot be appropriation unless it's taken on and integrated as your own identity. That's what appropriation means. As with so many PC terms nowadays, people wholly misuse and misunderstand the terms they try to toss around.
@RockStarBob appropriation says nothing about identity. appropriate - take (something) for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission.
99% of cultural appropriation is probably of no issue. we borrow and take from cultures all the time and there is no problem. we eat pizza in america. that by definition is cultural appropriation. we eat sushi, do yoga, hell drink beer... anything that comes from a culture outside the US and is done in the US is technically cultural appropriation. most of it is of no issue. people simply have opted to try and suggest something doesn't exist to avoid dealing with it when it does (and rarely) occur in an offensive manner. sort of like when people say racism doesn't exist.
@Madhatters why do we need permission? Another way of looking at this issue is to call it integration or assimilation. We are ultimately the products of our individual experiences.
@RockStarBob i suppose you could use those terms as well but the reality is there is nothing inaccurate with the term appropriation either. you take it without permission because you don't go to japan and say hey we know this is a part of your culture but can we use it... and again there is nothing wrong with that.
I disagree slightly, but on principle of how the word appropriation is commonly thrown about nowadays. It's definitely meant and used as a pejorative rather than a neutral connotation. Now the only way that is possible is to actually claim another's culture as one's own. And that is absolutely rare, indeed. Sometimes, we even misidentify the culture of origin, as is the case with dreadlocks, which originated in India, not Jamaica or anywhere in the Caribbean. But when have you ever heard an accusation of cultural appropriation leveled at anyone who's either Caribbean or even black?
@RockStarBob it doesn't matter if a word gets misused it doesn't change whether or not it is accurate. people spend far too much time defining terms based no their own subjective opinions rather than the objective nature of them. if people have problem with people misusing the term they should make the point of showing it's misuse to put the power back in the word and not with the user.
Then by your reasoning, we can ostensibly take back the neutrality of words like "nigger" (which was only a mispronunciation of the Spanish word for black), or retarded (which was not negative at all but quite literal in meaning)? Does that not sound ludicrous?No sir, we cannot wilfully and arbitrarily change words... This is evident in words nowadays such as nice, or the two I mentioned above...
@RockStarBob not in the slightest. cultural appropriation was not a word created from nothing to debase, dehumanize and make people seem inferior. cultural appropriation is not a mispronunciation it's a word people use incorrectly at times due to misunderstanding of the word or being offended they perhaps shouldn't. the n-word was specifically adopted in English as a racial epithet
No sir, again, you are mistaken. The "n-word" did not start as a racial epithet - did you fall to read my response? The term was simply another approximation of a foreign word, of which English is replete. The n-word wasn't originally meant to dehumanize or debase - though those were the generally feelings and consensus of the times, that black skinned folks were inherently inferior to their white brethren. The n-word is originally no different than the word tea as it is an anglicization of the French word thé, or as so very many English words have been taken into the language via altered out skewed pronunciations from Latin. (How did we get here?) However, the term "cultural appropriation" ABSOLUTELY has its genesis in negative connotations. That is its raison d'être. It was unequivocally created out of nothingness to do a job that it's utilized for now. And it's ultimately meaningless. I'm glad that we at least agree on that. 😉👌🏻
@RockStarBob the n-word was specifically adopted as a racial epithet after yes referring to dark skinned people in the 1500s. cultural appropriation is and never was a slur. it was and is not used to debase, dehumanize or suggest people are inferior or another superior to. i can't for the life of me see a similarity between the word n** and cultural appropriation.
Again sir, you appear to be misinformed about how/why the word came into being and usage. While it's true that the word did become a means of racial slurring, it was already the common thinking amongst most whites that blacks were racially inferior. The racial divide already existed, and the word was simply the common anglicization of the Spanish word. It really only took on a life of its own, however, in the USA starting in the mid 19th century as a racial epithet. Prior to that, it was simply a synonym for many other now neutral or unpleasant words.As for cultural appropriation as a negative term, when is it ever applied as a positive or neutral in today's usage?
@RockStarBob i don't really know that it matters when and whether it is used in a positive way is relevant is it? examples i've provided, pizza, sushi, yoga, meditation, and on and on are all culture appropriations that are widely pervasive in america, people simply don't call it appropriation we just accept their existence.
Yes sir, that's the very point I've been trying to make - they are all forms of cultural appropriations (except pizza - you're mistaken on that one. Italy actually re-appropriated the American reinvention, by Italian immigrants, of what is commonly known as pizza nowadays); however, no one would think to use the term, as it's entirely a negative.
@RockStarBob it isn't negative just because people typically use it to point out what they think is negative. more and more people speak negatively of immigrants and immigration. does that mean at some point immigration is inherently negative?
Fairly all the uses of the term "cultural appropriation" are purely negative.
@RockStarBob i don't think you can state that as fact. i've used it multiple times here in a non-negative way. just because you may hear it used more often than not to point out something negative doesn't mean it's not used in other situations.
and not to get into a tit for tat but modern pizza was first found in naples.
Fair enough - though you may use it as such, you are by far and away in the vast minority.My family is Napolitani, and modem pizza isn't at all like traditional pizza. That modern form was born in NYC in Little Italy. The traditional form is a type of bread dough, already baked, and then the various toppings are added. This plus the NYC version evolved into the thin, brick oven style that has become familiar in parts of the world - the Neapolitan pizza.
@RockStarBob i don't really want to argue about pizza but i disagree. oh well. i agree for sure that pizza has evolved though
@Kiran04 I personally don't take offense to that, but I know plenty who would.
Being offended does not mean anything to me, nor should it to anyone. If I found you breathing offensive, would you be obligated to stop? People get offended by everything these days, so my willingness to accommodate them has dropped drastically.
@Kiran04 Just my opinion.
I agree too! People are too sensitive nowadays