Stop telling your white friends that they are black...

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Stop telling your white friends that they are black.

Just because they can dance, mimic our culture, and hang out with black people DOES NOT mean they are black. Being black is more than just our lit culture. They still get to go and get the jobs we will never get, see themselves represented in media, and receive all the perks of being white. So….


To My Fellow White People

You’re excited about Black Panther.  I’m excited about Black Panther.  We should all go and see Black Panther when it comes out and encourage everybody else to see Black Panther too.  Reblog posts about Black Panther.  Watch the trailer a hundred times.  Make playlists and fan art and fic and other such content.  Spread the love.

But please, please remember that you can like a thing without taking over.

Black Panther isn’t for you.  I’m not saying you can’t watch it or like it or make fan content for it.  I’m saying that this is a big budget blockbuster about a Black hero, from a Black director, with an almost entirely Black cast, and it’s set in a fictional African nation completely untouched by white colonialism and imperialism.  This is huge and groundbreaking and not ours, and while you’re enjoying it, please stay in your lanes.

Don’t speak over fans of color about what the movie means or how important it is or which headcanons are valid.  

Don’t reduce T’Challa in fan content to just Bucky’s babysitter or a friendly provider of vibranium for all the Avengers’ needs.  Wakanda is not just some pretty vacation spot for white superheroes.  T’Challa doesn’t even really like the Avengers much in any MCU content we’ve seen so far; he took Bucky in as reciprocity and he was in favor of limiting the Avengers’ power through the Sokovia Accords.  I’m not saying you can’t write fics that change his feelings in that regard.  I’m saying don’t make him solely a plot device or an emotional support for white heroes, the way Sam is so often written as just Steve’s counselor, or Rhodey as just the guy who supplies Tony with backup sometimes.

T’Challa is his own character with his own culture, interests, and motivations.  He doesn’t need to wake Bucky up to have a friend or sidekick or adviser.  He already has those things.  He doesn’t need to have some white love interest in order to learn about lowering his guard or having fun or whatever whatever, and he absolutely does not need fics in which white Americans or whatever show him a culture where same sex relationships are valued/allowed.  Don’t paint T’Challa’s culture as homophobic or backwards.  Don’t use him and his people as the backdrop for your Stucky pining fic.  He is not a prop.  He is not some feral creature that needs to be tamed by a white lover.  Don’t be gross.

Wakanda is technologically advanced and self-sufficient.  The Avengers don’t need to show up with their cool technology.  Wakanda has cool technology all by itself.  It’s not a hideout for each and every Avenger on the run from the law.  Don’t photoshop white heroes onto T’Challa’s throne.  Don’t make this all about white characters with an “exotic” backdrop.

Listen to people of color.  If they tell you to back off or say you’re doing something gross, listen.  Stay in your lane.  Don’t make it all about you.  And before you decide to play Fandom Police and drag someone else for making Black Panther fan content you find problematic, be sure to check and see that you’re not lecturing a person of color on what’s offensive to POC. 

albaharuland  asked:

Hi! I wanted to ask about fantasy world building based on a mix of cultures, even if those cultures are totally different. For example, a country that has an architecture based on egyptian and arab art, or one that is a mix between indian and russian architecture. I dont know if that would be appropiation or offensive, or how to avoid it or doing it in a respectful way. Also if there is a problem only using the art part and having a different made up traditions/lore (thanks for your time!)

On Combining Cultures Respectfully, Art, and Architecture

“Does it make sense within the world”

Avatar: the Last Airbender mixes Inuit and Japanese culture. Is this any form of sensical in the modern world? Sort of, with how there’s a language link between Siberia and the Canadian Arctic. Does it make sense within the confines of A:tLA? Absolutely yes.

I’m not against the concept of cultural blending. It just has to be sensical within the world itself. They might not be neighbours in the real world, but if you end up with a culture that’s “ocean-heavy Arctic on top of Asia”, then Inuit+ Japan makes tons of sense. But had it been even “continental Arctic”, then the Inuit influence would’ve barely made any sense at all, because they’re really not a continental people.

-Mod Lesya

Like mixed-race characters, blending real-world cultures in fantasy isn’t prima facie a problem, but you’d better make sure it makes sense within the world you’re constructing.  Lots of times authors fall prey to the “Rule of Cool” and just throw in things they think are neat without thinking about how they could have reasonably got there.

In the cases you mentioned, there are some historiocultural overlaps between Indian and Russian cultures (for instance, similar building materials, similar types of timbers in temperate parts of India and southern Russia, very deep cultural roots shared between Slavic and certain Indic cultures, etc.) that would give you a foundation to build on.  Other times shared cultural aspects have a common but non-native root—for instance the Russian onion dome and characteristic Indian Taj Mahal-style dome may have a shared origin in Islamic and Middle Eastern architecture.  Islamic culture is native to neither India nor Russia, but it touched and influenced both areas extensively.

Similar constraints hold for Egyptian and Arab art and architecture.  They used similar building materials but produced different results because the culture and artistic preferences were historically different, but we know that Arab culture strongly influenced Egyptian art and architecture in the Islamic period (think going from pyramids to Graeco-Roman amphitheaters to mosques and minarets, but all made out of limestone, mud brick, and very little wood).  Saladin Ahmed’s fantasy novel(s) feature an Islamic/Middle Eastern-influenced culture built on top of a dead Ancient Egypt-analogue [Nikhil’s note: I’m reading this right now and it’s awesome and you should too].

But regardless of the cultural influence, the material culture stays similar in place—in some Indo-Russian hybrid you might be looking at imported marble and precious stones for those buildings whose patrons could afford it, provided they have access to those materials either through production or trade, but for poorer constructions you’re looking at local building materials—so maybe thatch and half-timber framing and wattle-and-daub in Indo-Russia, or stone and mud brick in a desert environment like Arabegypt.  Art and architecture are functions of culture, and culture as a primitive exercise arises from the local environment, since it’s only once you get to the level of at least an organized economic community that outside trade starts to be a significant factor, which would facilitate creating art and architecture that would be exotic to the local environment.

-Mod Nikhil

Why I don't dress like a Chola

(some ramblings but I’m trying to process this and explain my perspective)

So I was in middle school in the 90s….
The time that people are now emulating
And I admire the chola aesthetic….
but going to those 90s hood inspired events reminded me why I don’t and will never dress like a chola…

I saw all these girls dressed in the 90s chola style and all of the sudden I was transported back to my brace face self in middle school

I was a nerd. And by that I mean, I was like reading dr. Doolittle books by myself in the library sometimes

And it was the cholitas that would tell me I wasn’t Mexican because I did not dress like them. It was the cholitas that were mean to me for being a nerd. But on the other hand, I defended them when white students would say they were “chuntis” and “beaners” and I just felt like such a confused in between person…. that 90s aesthetic that is so cool right now reminds me of the time that our identities were ridged… a time that wearing hoops and dark lipstick was seen as the ONLY way to be Mexicana/chicana….. and if you weren’t that, you weren’t Mexicana, you were a “white girl”. It didn’t matter that I watched “Preciosa” and “Soñadoras” novelas or that I wore Beaded jewelry or that I spent summers in Mexico with my family…. I was a nerd and so that made me a “white girl”.

The thing is, there’s no one way to be a chicana. And as I’ve said before I’m down for all types of chicanas for chicanxs, for xicanas, for xicanx skaters, punks, rockabillies… city chicanas, small town xicanas, artist chicanas, athlete chicanas, queer xicanxs, multiracial xicanas and of course nerd xicanas.

And so I’ll never dress like a chola most importantly because I’m not one.


Black gay men school ‘Out’ magazine on the real origins of mainstream gay trends

Gay media is still so white, so straight, and so unwilling to acknowledge where mainstream gay culture comes from — people of color. An Out article by cultural critic Michael Musto drew outrage from many gay black men on Twitter by asserting that straight people steal from gay culture. And as Twitter was quick to point out, Out had a straight white singer cover its LGBTQ Pride Month issue







Support the businesses of actual members of the culture in respectful ways in which you are expressly given permission to do so.


Columnist Jesse Wente reacts to the appropriation prize controversy

An op-ed piece in “Write”, a quarterly published by the Writers’ Union of Canada, has ignited a firestorm of controversy over cultural appropriation. Metro Morning columnist Jesse Wente shares his thoughts with Matt Galloway.

i get that some languages have an aesthetic look - like Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese… the characters are arguably more visually interesting than the Latin alphabet used in English, but it’s disrespectful to just treat the language like a personal aesthetic outside of its linguistic or cultural context, i.e. getting a tattoo of it (esp if you only have the shallowest grasp of what the tattoo means) 

there are ways to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of languages that aren’t part of your culture without being disrespectful. for example, there are Japanese and Chinese calligraphy classes where you can learn from someone who actually knows the language to write and paint the characters in an artistic way, while actually knowing what they mean in an environment that is designed for that purpose.

you can purchase decor, books or other merchandise made by people in the culture that include the language, especially if it is meant to be seen aesthetically. for example, i recently saw a book of paintings featuring hebrew calligraphy by jewish artists. purchasing such a book would be a respectful way to honor the aesthetic beauty of hebrew. getting a tattoo on your arm of a random hebrew phrase is not.


Mara Ladines explains why its important to support deaf business owners and avoid buying products by hearing people that commodify sign language and deaf culture for profit


… isn’t real.

The kind of people we usually call Social Justice Warriors (though this has quickly become a self-invalidating platitude / meme) are the kind of people who want to make up problems that don’t exist, so they can pretend to fight them to look like heroes to the public and glorify their egos.

Rather than solve a social issue, SJWs want to prolong it, because they can’t benefit from campaigning against an issue that’s already been solved.

SJWs have two basic strategies to keep the show going:

  1. Did you depict a specific social group? APPROPRIATION
  2. Did you not depict a specific social group? ERASURE

No matter what you do, SJWs have an excuse to drag you under the bus for it. Either you’re a racist who makes minstrel caricatures of minorities, or you’re a racist who wants to pretend they don’t exist at all.

So what you need to do is the same thing Nintendo did: ignore all of that insincere bullshit, do what you want, and act in good faith. You are the only person who knows whether or not your depiction of something was made in good or bad faith, and if some lunatic wants to accuse you of bigotry, you’re the only one who knows whether they’re wrong.

Real Mexico loves Mexican Mario. They look at this and they see a major, globally-recognized icon smiling and having fun in their culture. How can that possibly be anything but an honor? What sick fuck can possibly get angry that someone else is enjoying their culture?

The fake “Latinx” culture can.

They want to stage a scene and exploit their ethnic identity for drama, and it is only these people - many of whom have never actually lived in a Hispanic nation or been fully immersed in Latin culture - who hate Mario & Nintendo because of this.

They hate it because they are themselves grossly xenophobic, latch onto their non-white persona solely to strongly assert themselves against the evil bad gringos, and they want to “own” their culture and refuse to share it with the whiteys (like Mario, as Italian is usually considered white.)

But you do not own your culture. You do not own any culture. All culture is a free resource to all of humanity.

Culture is defined by sharing & evolving traditions.

And if you are not willing to share your culture…

then you don’t love it very much.