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Author Topic: Some racism-related questions  (Read 773 times)

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Offline Mirrah

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Re: Some racism-related questions
« Reply #50 on: August 27, 2018, 03:43:08 AM »
Cultures do exchange ideas, fashions etc. It's natural...

This is pretty much what it boils down to.

One example would be discerning truth between their "Private" demeanor and feeling as opposed to their "Public" demeanor/feeling.

Are you referring to whether they are simply being indirect and polite? That's entirely possible, though at the same time, I think that if the cultural dress of others is given due respect, they may find it not nearly as objectionable.

But I do see that cultural osmosis to be somewhat natural over a given period of time. :-)

Especially when factoring the above line into the picture.

I think this was a storm in a teacup perpetuated mostly by college kids and a media that's obsessed with controversy. The feeling in Asia was overwhelmingly that this was a triumph of Chinese culture. I don't know anyone who don't thinks this sort of stuff (sharing cultural traditions) isn't a good thing. As for the original critic there's a reason why his entire tweet wasn't being replicated by his supporters. It was piffle, like his racist tweets about black people.

I'd like to point out here that I personally know people who would be quite bent out of shape if those outside of their race wore some traditional clothing of their peoples, for the sake of looking cool. I know I would have mixed feelings about the matter. Turning around and saying, "It's okay, it's cool if they're appreciating it somehow," can be merely speaking gracefully about it for some.

I don't think the poster was too far wrong when he pointed out that there may be a lack of respect there, which he found to be improper. Some things may be revered within a certain culture, and when perpetuated in ignorance and/or without that due respect, can come off as distasteful and potentially offensive to those it is native to. Those things hold a deeper meaning to them than simply looking pretty or cool. Understanding where fashion stops and cultural significance begins, and how guarded it is within that culture. There may be a line there that shouldn't be crossed, which can't be easily seen from the outside without some careful and patient looking.


What I'm trying to say here, is... when approaching a culture that is different from your own, I think it's a good idea to do some studying about it first. Many a faux pas can be avoided by doing that, whether it's a matter of clothing, social practices, boundaries, or anything else. Be kind. Be understanding. Be empathetic. Be respectful. Always.

Offline The Lovely Tsarina

Re: Some racism-related questions
« Reply #51 on: August 27, 2018, 06:19:20 AM »
When I was student, in US high school many years ago, I braid my hair once, in the long corn rows. I thought the style very pretty. But, black students, they get mad at me, for trying looking like them. And, many white students, they call me a insult, that starts with “w”, but is like the “n” word. I only know, a few black students look very hurt, and offended, I do this. So, I take them out, I don’t do this again, never it’s my wish for hurting people. I wish though, there was conversation of this, I still don’t know why I offend so much, even today.

Offline KatieBower

Re: Some racism-related questions
« Reply #52 on: August 27, 2018, 08:05:54 PM »
Quote
I'd like to point out here that I personally know people who would be quite bent out of shape if those outside of their race wore some traditional clothing of their peoples, for the sake of looking cool. I know I would have mixed feelings about the matter. Turning around and saying, "It's okay, it's cool if they're appreciating it somehow," can be merely speaking gracefully about it for some.

I don't think the poster was too far wrong when he pointed out that there may be a lack of respect there, which he found to be improper. Some things may be revered within a certain culture, and when perpetuated in ignorance and/or without that due respect, can come off as distasteful and potentially offensive to those it is native to. Those things hold a deeper meaning to them than simply looking pretty or cool. Understanding where fashion stops and cultural significance begins, and how guarded it is within that culture. There may be a line there that shouldn't be crossed, which can't be easily seen from the outside without some careful and patient looking.


What I'm trying to say here, is... when approaching a culture that is different from your own, I think it's a good idea to do some studying about it first. Many a faux pas can be avoided by doing that, whether it's a matter of clothing, social practices, boundaries, or anything else. Be kind. Be understanding. Be empathetic. Be respectful. Always.

You make some very fair points, and if we're talking about something like this:


Which was rightly criticised, and for good reasons, then I couldn't agree more. When I said sharing though sharing was what I meant. For example the Middle-Eastern girls I know think would prefer I buy traditional kajal powder than say a Mac pencil (they are in fact the reason I started using it in the first place) and there are Henna/Threading parlours within spitting distance of my house which I've been encouraged to visit. Those same girls would think it boorish if I started walking around in a hijab and that isn't something I would do precisely because the former are things that are being actively exported and their use promoted, being shared in other words, while the latter is part of a particular tradition which I'm not part of. However I know they'd disapprove of anyone, regardless of their faith or ethnicity, reducing that garment to the status of a fashion accessory, as opposed to a matter of taqwa. It's not about race.

Of course there are maybe some Indian/Middle Easterners (probably nth generation college kids living in the West for the most part if you'll pardon the generalisation) who would get pissy at the thought of a white girl sporting kajal or mehndi, but does this minority have any right to invalidate the positive and inclusive attitudes of a majority who want to share their culture? I mean there are also Australians who dislike the thought of Henna/Threading studios (or God forbid, a Mosque) being in "their" country period. But their parochial attitude will not stop the rest of us from being content with or even celebrating these things. Maybe both groups are self-reinforcing still it's an ugly dichotomy and I'm glad it's one most people seem to want no part in.

Random aside but I live in a part of Sydney which that idiot Lauren Southern claims is under Sharia Law >< and it depresses the hell out of me that there are actual Australians who agree with her. Thankfully people had the good sense not to make a huge event out of her recent shit-stirring antics. Of course the "true believers" will claim it's just the liberal media suppressing the truth but I believe that's the best way to deal with these people.

Quote
I don't think the poster was too far wrong when he pointed out that there may be a lack of respect there, which he found to be improper.

I do want to respond to this specifically. If this (urging some introspection and sensitivity) was what he had done I'd have no complaint. But instead he attacked her with a bunch of hyperbolic claims about how a dress that's been part of international fashion culture for decades is apparently some inviolate and exclusive element of Chinese culture (an idea that was widely repudiated by people in China specifically) and that subjecting it to "American consumerism," (I suppose he thinks Chinese people don't sell things) can somehow be equated with colonialism. It was a bunk argument and it's why the only line any of his supporters (who were few in contrast to his detractors) ever repeated was "my culture is not your goddamn prom dress," which, while pithy, is also a non-sequitur. It might have applied if she'd been dressed like this:


But the dress she was wearing only appeared in a recognisably modern form (still quite unlike the style she wore, which owes much to designs from Hong Kong where the style was preserved during the cultural revolution) in the republican period, so not even a hundred years ago. To act as if it was conceived in a cultural vacuum strikes me as extremely silly. Finally in that style it literally is a formal evening gown. I mean that's literally what its for. So the idea that wearing it to a prom is misusing it somehow is gibberish.

And let's be straight here, this person was himself a racist (he was exposed for making racist comments like "how are niggers so damn loud?") and a liar (he claimed they were photoshopped, which they weren't, though I think he's come clean since) and a hypocrite (there are lots of examples of him engaging in cultural appropriation regarding traditionally Hawaiian, Japanese, or African-American things) so while I'm all for the message:

Quote
Be kind. Be understanding. Be empathetic. Be respectful. Always.

This guy is not an exemplar of this ethos. He was looking to shit-stir, and it's a shame the media, on both sides, was willing to run with it.

Though I'd like to add something else to the cultural appropriation discourse. Something I find deeply disturbing. That these allegations tend to involve creating a false-equivalence between culture and race. Remember I said my middle-Eastern friends would find it boorish if I wore a hijab? That's only because they know I don't observe taqwa. Yet I know white girls who do, and who do wear them because they've married into Muslim families. They've adopted that culture in other words and were very welcome to do so and that they don't match some stereotype of what a Muslim woman should look like shouldn't invalidate that but often does and it can be a source of real angst for them. An even more troublesome example are people I've known who appear white but who consider themselves (and who are legally and culturally considered) part of the Aboriginal community. The amount of grief they get for not conforming to people's stereotypes is so crazy that some won't embrace their culture in any public capacity as a result.

So while I agree we should be sensitive to other cultures I believe treating people as if their external appearance was the totality of their identity is a genuinely horrific thing to do (I'm not suggesting it's being done here though) and has very broad and ugly ramifications. I commend Mirrah's advice to be kind., understanding and respectful.

Offline RedRose

Re: Some racism-related questions
« Reply #53 on: August 28, 2018, 11:32:21 AM »
Indeed, you can't always figure out someone's ethnicity just from skin. Remember the scandal about the blond Roma kid removed from his parents because the authorities thought he was kidnapped?

My great great grandparents had several children ranging from blond haired blue eyed to very, very dark. Genetics.

In my country some brands still produce ads that could shock out of Europe http://www.banania.fr/