cultural appropriation

Let’s take a step back and acknowledge that Yoga is the prime example of cultural appropriation intersecting with capitalism to produce a stripped down and consumer-centric version of something that was – and is – originally held intimate to a specific group of people (Indians). Yoga’s defamation in the West has disseminated so extensively that it’s almost been successfully extracted from its roots and made into something completely different- something more stylish, up-and-coming, and for the wealthy who want healthy (or for those who try to replicate that). Yoga hasn’t just been taken from Indians by white people, it’s been taken by white people and then distributed, according to their terms, to everyone else. Such an unfortunate loss.

art hoe

i recently jus learned tht th whole art hoe aesthetic & movement was created by poc 4 poc & rly admire and rrespect the movement i think its rly gr8 tht there is a platform 4 poc 2 express themselves & their art !!!
i just dont kno if its right 4 me as a white person 2 tag my posts as ‘art hoe’ since itt doesnt involve me u kno? idk i heard tht one of the founders said they didnt mind white ppl using the term but idk i jus dnt wanna overtake something 4 poc…
ii have done sum research & read tht it is ‘for poc but not exclusively’ & stuff like that. ive also reaD that theres a fine line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation.
 idk if me using the term/ making myself part of the movement is  appropriation or appreciation. i wud like sum advice ppls if u can!!!! i love the aesthetic and the movement and everything it stands for but idk if i have a place in it

anonymous asked:

So just to be clear... "White-bread Americans" can worship the Netjer right? Like. Thought it was an open religion but that anon was pretty harsh...


I haven’t found anything so far that indicates that ancient Egyptian culture was closed, or that there would have been any issue with a foreigner participating in the religion or culture. As far as we can tell, the culture and its religion were open, and at times was imperialistic.

So yes, white people can practice Kemeticism. Anyone can practice Kemeticism. We just ask that you don’t be a dick and don’t white wash the gods. That’s really all we care about.

Anons on PU always gotta complain about something. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock into them.

That video I just reblogged, with the possession? It’s important, because that, children, is a living tradition.

There’s a lot of hand-wringing about closed traditions (Vodou is also a closed tradition) and which religions are closed traditions, but do you know what’s just as important, why these traditions deserve respect (I mean, besides the fact that religions deserve respect in general)?

Because they are living traditions, they are still being practiced by people today, they are part of a living, breathing culture.

Our traditions? They died. We’re reviving them, but they died. There’s the difference: Hinduism? Shinto? Not closed, per se (depends on who you ask) but living? Yes. This is why you tread carefully, because these traditions are alive, they still affect the cultures of their home countries in the same way that Christianity is an influence on the West..

That is not to say that Paganisms do not deserve respect, all traditions deserve at least a bit of respect, or, at least, are worthy of study, even if the lesson we take from them is “don’t do this ever” even the bullshit ones like Scientology, or that we are not creating cultures of our own (in the broadest sense of the term) but this is why you don’t get to whine about cultural appropriation, because there is a difference between taking from a revived or reconstructed tradition and taking from a living, breathing tradition and culture.

Seriously, fellow Pagans, especially fellow white Pagans, no more whinging. No bad stop.

aggressivelybicaptainamerica  asked:

So I was going through your blog and ran into your post on westernized Buddhist meditation and wanted your thoughts on the huge amount of text from actual Buddhists directed at non Buddhist audiences. For example, a really common therapy meditation I was given is actually designed by a monk named Thich Nhat Hanh. And I know you can walk into any spiritual store and find half a dozen similar books.

I’m not Buddhist myself so I’m nowhere near qualified to give a definitive answer. Also I apologize for any spelling mistakes. 

If it’s written by actual Buddhists, then it’s usually okay to use. I say “usually” because sometimes translations of texts can be unintentionally misleading (like translating words that don’t have English equivalents) and as long as you’re aware that, you know, reading stuff by monks doesn’t make you a Buddhist (although Buddhist laity exist) just like reading something by a Catholic monk doesn’t make you Catholic.

My main issue is whether or not the thing in question reinforces an oppressive power dynamic. I’ll give you an example: in high school I had a friend who wore a necklace with the Buddha’s head on it, I asked her about it, and she said “I wear this because the Buddha taught about peace” (or something like that). The problem is that well, yeah, the Buddha probably taught about peace and nonviolence and all that good stuff, his teachings formed the basis for an entire religion mostly practiced by people of colour, and taken and watered down to a few feel good buzzwords: the Buddha represents peace, Zen gardens also represent peace, mandalas represent….something….probably peace (actually, impermanence). In addition, as plenty of Buddhists have pointed out, it’s really disrespectful to have just the head of a statue (it not only suggests decapitation, but thieves would break into temples and destroy statues in order to steal stuff from them). It’s about respect, and the legacy of racism and colonialism that is the West’s interaction with the East in general. My issue is mostly with the way non-Buddhists interact with Buddhist stuff, not how Buddhists make parts of their tradition accessible to non-Buddhists.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that Buddhist communities are very diverse and there’s a difference between the opinions of Buddhists in countries where Buddhism is a dominant or prominent part of their culture, and Buddhist populations in North America, not only immigrants but directly impacted by the exploitation of their traditions in ways that people living on the other side of the world might not be. In university, one of the students was a monk, and he came in to talk about Buddhism, and he mentioned how the local Buddhist communities he worked with (one was Laotian, the other….Sri Lankan? I don’t remember) had different views on women as spiritual authorities. The Laotian community was much less accepting of the idea than the other, and that’s just two local communities, and I’m not sure if other demographics influenced their feelings. He was also….Theravadan, I believe, and so his talk was influenced by that particular flavour of Buddhism, I had a professor who identified as a Mahayana Buddhist, and a TA (a white guy from Tennessee) who started out with Mahayana Buddhists and then switched to Theravada. All of them had different perspectives on Buddhism, and different communities will have different ideas on who gets to use their stuff and when.

I think what I’m trying to say is that I’m not trying to take anyone’s coping mechanisms or therapy away, but it is important to consider how we (as Westerners) think about and use these these things, as well as the history of exploitation of Buddhism by white Westerners, because there is a history there, you know? And that history is important.


Native Americans are not happy with J.K. Rowling’s new story

Two days ago, author J.K. Rowling released a new story, Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, on her blog Pottermore. Controversy soon followed, as Rowling immediately faced backlash over the alleged misrepresentation of Native culture in a story that draws from real Colonial Massachusetts history.

15 things JK Rowling could include to treat Native people and culture respectfully:

1.       Don’t make the centerpiece of the story about a boarding school. If you’re white you probably don’t know this but, boarding schools were used to genocide Natives for centuries.

2.       Bother to do some research on the cultures you’re trying to write about. Natives are not simple. They are complex and deep. In some ways much more so than the European colonizers.

3.       Natives had the most advanced and sophisticated government structures in the world at the time. International war laws, reverse hierarchical federalized democracies, independent economic entities, the clan systems, the most expansive road and trade networks in the world, the list goes on just do some reading.

4.       Don’t diminish or dismiss the natives as backward or simple in the fiction either. JKR decided that natives don’t use wands for magic and stuff because they don’t do specific or focused magic, that’s racist nonsense.

5.       Natives would do some wild shit like Onondaga fire magic or Aztec surgical stuff. There were Mixtec oracles and mystics who cut the flesh from their face and replaced it with gems, that shit is metal.

6.       The wand thing could be replaced with turquoise gem totems, or obsidian magic knives or some shit like that. Taking the tools away from them is dehumanizing imagery.

7.       Don’t mess around with pipes or anything like that. You’re white JKR, you’re white.

8.       If you have a character run away into the woods in Massachusetts, she is gonna run right into Native cities. Don’t pretend that America is this open uninhabited nature reserve. That wasn’t true and it is racist.

9.       Don’t pretend that American societies are going to be as backward and prejudiced as other places. Most American languages didn’t have gendered pronouns. American cultures did not have the institutional patriarchal bullshit or homophobia. We would probably be pretty accepting of people that could do magic.

10.   There should be magical clans… that sounds dope.

11.   There should be magical schools already and there could be a really cool plot about protecting them from the Spanish and the English.

12.   They should not be schools as much as campus communities, workshops instead of classes. The predecessors to the Cherokee would create communities and give them a purpose, which was a practice common throughout North America. There would be a half-dozen schools the size of massive cities centered around dope pyramids like Cahokia.

13.   Magic using medicine men would come to villages to teach the citizens that couldn’t leave or something like that.

14.   Instead of skinwalkers which are too specific and appropriationy, try something like the Witiko, which is about cannibalism and evil deeds freezing your heart or something (fluctuates according to region). Could very easily be related to evil magic users.

15.   The basic thing I think is to do some research and maybe ask some natives before you try shit like this.

To be clear for some white people who think I’m being sensitive or something. First off, fuck you, the second thing is JK Rowling is trying to make a shit ton of money with this. And she will so she should at least not contribute to the immolation and genocide of Native peoples at the same time.

Please don’t let your hero worship of JKR (or your love of Harry Potter) make you an opponent to Native people trying to voice why Ilvermorny is problematic. Please, I’m begging you, just try to keep an open mind, be respectful, and listen to what Native readers are saying. If you’ve formed your opinions on Ilvermorny based entirely on things that white people have written, you are missing a critical perspective.

Here is a curated list of Native writings on Ilvermorny. I know Harry Potter means a lot to us, and I know it sucks to recognize that JKR may have really fucked up here, but you owe it to Native readers to at least hear their words before you brush them off.

It’s so embarrassing to see black girls who straighten their hair, lmao like wtf, you aren’t white, honey! White girls own straight hair!!

See how fucking stupid that sounds? See how fucking stupid YOU sound when you say that it’s wrong for white guys/girls to have dreadlocks? See how much of a racist asshole you are? This whole “cultural appropriation” trend is BULLSHIT. ANYONE can wear/do/dress HOWEVER they want. It’s called being an inclusive, diverse, and accepting society. But that’s right, I forgot - SJWs are NOT striving towards acceptance, because they are dense fuckwads who apparently don’t understand what equality means.


A lot of people on twitter are mad because they didn’t click the link and read it.
It’s gold.

I realized that the only people who truly get offended by Cultural Appropriation are Americans. Ask a Jamaican if you can wear dreadlocks and they’ll most likely say they don’t care. Go to Japan wearing a Kimono and no one will be offended. Please remember that these people have voices too and can speak for themselves. You the SJW may be well meaning, but you getting offended for these people is incredibly patronizing to them because you are speaking for them. They don’t need that, they can speak for themselves. Remember that.

The one reason you shouldn't support new HP

Now if you don’t care, okay. Go ahead and support it. But the new Harry Potter is literally the pinnacle of white appropriation.

But, you say, but Alicyn! It’s not! She’s honoring Native Americans!

No she isn’t. And let’s go over why.
-She isn’t using any creatures real name, she’s using English or made up names.
- She isn’t using any creatures real origin story.
- She is attributing each houses discovery to a white man. (I wanna kind remind ppl the Spanish and French were also in America.)
- Some of these creatures have sacred colors or names associated with them and they do not correlate to the colors JK Rowling chose.
- In fact, no Native American was consulted or asked and when they found out, the community was very barefaced about their outrage.

So Alicyn what can I do?

-Don’t go see that movie that she’s making.
-Don’t get sorted in the new houses.
-Spread the real stories of these creatures instead of the white washed version.
-Encourage people not to make fan fiction based on it.

But Alicyn! I don’t want to do those things.

Well, that’s fine too. But be aware that you are an active participant in the erasure of several cultures.