CULTURAL APPROPRIATION

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1. Cultural appropriation is when one culture tries to pass off natural aesthetics, styles and/or unique aspects of another culture as their own invention.

2. Cultural appropriation is the equivalent of plagiarism.

3. Cultural appropriation typically involves members of a dominant group exploiting the culture of less privileged groups — often with little understanding of the latter’s history, experience and traditions.

4. We’re being told that we don’t have rights over how we are represented in mainstream America. We are being told that we should ‘get over it’ – but the people who are saying this don’t even know what the issues are. When people know of us only as a ‘costume,’ or something you dress up as for Halloween or for a music video, then you stop thinking of us as people, and this is incredibly dangerous because everyday we fight for the basic human right to live our own lives without outsiders determining our fate or defining our identities.”

5. “When modern Natives see half-naked chicks strutting around on runways or street corners completely devoid of knowledge of our real cultures and religions, AND misrepresenting and misappropriating these sacred symbolic articles, we must demand respect for our religious practices. Such misrepresentations sexualize, commodify, and pervert our traditions — and impart to children of all cultures and backgrounds that it’s perfectly acceptable to “play dress up” as a Native person, without regard for our ceremonial practices that have persisted here for millennia despite historic violence, and recent legal acts that literally outlawed our religions until 1978! Our ancestors and our parents survive attempted genocide (for their lands) and severe discrimination (for our languages and spirituality). So to pretend that we’re fictional characters vs. real people from real cultures is not only offensive, and racist, it’s a vicious act suppressing our lived realities as Native peoples, and an appropriation of our very identities.”

6. The American Indian Arts & Crafts Act , which makes it illegal “to offer or display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian Tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization.”

7. The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro ~ by Frederick Douglass
a. Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852
http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/douglassjuly4.html

8.  What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

9.  Culture is not just race, nationality or any particular social category–culture is experience.

10. Blur the Western distinction between intelligence and social competence

11. Largely corresponds to the Western idea of academic intelligence

12. You’re just going to be able to pick out more efficiently those individuals who would be considered intelligent by Western standards, but you’re not going to be able to answer the question of whether you’re picking out people who are most intelligent according to the standards of their culture.”

13. Society views what’s acceptable for black hair through a white lens so braids, locs and afros can be deemed “unkempt.”

14. When a patriarchal society tries to conform everyone to its restraining model women and minorities are always the first and almost all specifically affected by those rules and norms