The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    Bronze Medal: why can't I change my skin?

    Set off by Vogue & Gigi Hadid's "scandal" over a bronzed up photo shoot, I'm amazed by what we can or cannot do. I can go to a tanning salon or the Bahamas to get as dark as can be, put on Smokey Eye and that's presumably fine. I can go into plastic surgery and give myself tits, tighter abs, a smooth face, almond eyes with a pert nose, and of course do my hair style in whatever manner or color (presumably - maybe some are off limits). If I transition to a woman, people will be supporting my right to use other bathrooms and not be discriminated against, and gender and sexual preference is a matter of what I "identify" with. If I dress up as an outrageous transvestite woman as Rudy Giuliani did, I'd just be a good sport, showing solidarity with LGBTQ. The Village People could costume up as whatever as part of the fun. De Niro could tubby up superfat to play Jake La Motta, and Daniel Day-Lewis could get in line with the intricacies and nuances of Cerebral Palsy to play Christy Brown, while dressing drag was the key plot device in Academy winners Some Like It Hot and Mrs. Doubtfire.

    But as a high school girl discovered, it's not okay to put on a Chinese dress (unless willing to take 1000's of Twitter condemnations). As kids are discovering, it's not okay to be Pocahantas on Halloween. As Gigi Hadid found out, fake tans are only allowed so far before "appropriation" kicks in. Presumably Adam & the Ants could never regroup and keep the  Indian  Native American regalia. Rachel Dolezal discovered that "identifying as black" wasn't enough, even though she followed that up with action & involvement.

    With each boundary our sense of understanding is damaged. We can't put ourselves in someone else's skin, understand what they feel like, identify with them, try to *be* them in some way. What used to be a natural in acting and childhood make-believe is now verboten, a step too far in human imagination even though it's so obvious that it's completely natural.

    I remember the kids dancing on the bed in Crooklyn pretending they were the Partridge Family, and it was charming - whether "white" was part of it, I dunno, but if one put on a frizzy red wig and whiteface and went to school as Danny, I'd have no reason to be offended (except if wearing "dumbass honky" signs). Though we had a largely embarrassing period of blackface that faded out through understandable objections (but also launched a number of key black careers in the Chitlin' Circuit and others), that doesn't mean every use of skin coloring is a patronizing insulting attempt to exploit or make fun of people.

    We can look at the steady appropriation of black music as a *good* thing (except when Led Zeppelin rips off Howlin' Wolf & Willie Dixon without credit). It means 2 cultures are mixing, integrating, getting closer together, accepting each other and their art forms and their people. Imitation is often the sincerest form of flattery, at least when it's not Trump making fun of disabled people in a disgusting manner. When I or De Niro/Jake LaMotta look in a mirror, it doesn't just have to be an "I coulda been a contender" or "how many bullets do I have left?" - it can easily be Jules going " Check out the big brain on Brett! You're a smart motherfucker." or Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles with his hilarious lines - lines that aren't even as ironic in retrospect as white guys & girls I'd see dancing to rap and mouthing off some rather self-abusing lyrics having to do with race and gender.

    Whatever - it's as real as pretending I'm Michael Caine in The Man Who Would Be King mouthing a cockney accent in Afghanistan, or a gangster out of The Godfather or a ninja warrior in Sho-gun - much of what we do is simply entertainment, enjoyment. When Ray Davies sang "Ape Man", it didn't take us back 50,000 years - it was just a song. A vibe, a joke, a commentary. I wore a toga and mixed frozen margaritas at a high school party - should Italians have been offended by appropriation and mismatched drinks? Why are our red lines so screwed up? Why can't we lower oppression and exploitation while still maintaining respect and humor?

    [Odd to me that there wasn't more outrage in the rather misogynistic Almodovar film "The Skin I Live In" where Banderas skins a guy who abused his daughter and turns him into a beautiful woman, with the assorted rape imagery you'd expect from such a film. But it's only scraping skin, not color...]

    This isn't as complex as that of Apu from the Simpsons - a character that's both a mockery but also somewhat a fairly real caricature and perhaps an improvement on total absence of a culture on TV. Yes, little black girls will often want black dolls that look more like them - skin color is one of our more obvious traits - but most people wouldn't be worried or offended or conflicted if the girls had fun playing with a white doll or even preferred one. I cringe a bit when I hear yet another "first black or lesbian or transgender or..." to do something, as if all these firsts fattening up the Guinness book of records will stop the planet spinning, but folks enjoying Black Panther is fine with me, whether the hype's a bit contrived or not (and what is hype anyway but contrived excitement). While James Cameron finds The Avengers boring (like his green people in Avatar kept our interest for long?), it's just more adjusting our movies to the times we live in, just as we got rid of the slow pacing of the 50's, and once had a bunch of 48 Hours black guy/white guy knockoffs, and now we do action heroes.

    I dunno, some days I just scratch my head - we're supposed to celebrate diversity, but not copy or enjoy it except in tightly approved ways. We're a weird species. What'll happen to all this angst when the aliens come and colonize us? "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain". Time to live.


    I've been wondering at this one, too. There is a line to walk though (as you point out) and maybe we've become so polarized about everything that nobody can live in the gray areas comfortably.

    And certainly, with the internet, everybody is able to offer their expert opinions about everything. I'm on a expats Facebook page for my city and the other day a new couple moving here asked for some advice about bringing their dogs. A total stranger basically called them inhumane for wanting to bring dogs to this city. Imagine how much gray area you'd have to remove from your world view to tell total strangers what to do with their own damn pets!

    The cultural appropriation battle is at least decades old. Pat Boone has a mega hit with Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill”. Elvis Presley is the “King of Rock n Roll”, not James Brown. Brown is allowed to be “Godfather of Soul”. Macklemore wins a rap award over Kendrick Lemar. Lemar later does the “Black Panther” album and wins a Pulitzer for “Damn. Taylor Swift wins an award over Beyoncé. Kanye West goes crazy on stage. Their are arguments about whether white artist can do real jazz. Melania is complemented on a wide brimmed hat. The Beyhive notes they saw it first in Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” video. Communities that feel marginalized speak out about being ripped off.

    Roseanne Barr supports Trump. There are arguments about whether a poor white family would have voted Hillary instead of Trump. Barr’s television character is viewed as not representative of poor white families. That discussion is acceptable. Cornel West criticizes Barack Obama, and West is criticized and marginalized by many in the black community. Clarence Thomas is considered an embarrassment. Kanye West is literally viewed as a traitor. These are discussions within the black community. Black people are outed as not being representative of the community.

    Groups of blacks criticize other black people. Groups of blacks criticize white people. White people criticize Donald Trump, Roseanne Barr, and the majority white NRA. We, are tribal so the criticism aimed at another tribe comes across as harsh. It is just part of the daily conversation.

    Any reference to changing one's skin color or gender or other attributes, or owning say particular ethnic outfits to the exclusion of others?

    This diary had a particular motive/stimulus - I'd like to keep it there.

    The Rachel divide over Dolezal exists because she is white and with very little effort can go back to being white. Her ability to change back doesn’t exist in a vacuum. She can still benefit from white privilege.

    In the Guardian, one transgender person differentiates Dolezal’s experience from the transgender experience. Tribes.

    A Netflix documentary, “The Rachel Divide” delves into some of the controversy surrounding Rachel Dolezal.

    The backlash she experiences is because, she made a choice to abandon white privilege. Blacks do not have a choice. Thus we get back to the microaggressions minorities face and how that impacts why there is a sense of cultural appropriation. 

    And a transvestite can easily go back to dressing their actual gender. A male who feels himself a female can easily just wear a suit and get all the trappings of privilege, but the point I think was that if he identifies as female, he won't be comfortable doing that, and that was supposedly a sentiment we were trying to support. Of course most women don't have the ability to walk into a board room and be treated like a male.

    So we're just continually slicing and dicing according to some mystical chart of accepted and non-accepted board moves. "oh, you stepped on the square next to the mountain without dipping your wand in the pool of water, go back 3 squares. You? yes, you wore a silver cloak when the gremlins attacked, so move fwd 7 paces".

    It's no privilege to be told you can't do what you most want to do, whether you're male, white, rich, blueblood, whatever.

    RuPaul was criticized for differentiating transvestites from people who underwent sexual reorientation

    ​Does the sex-change contestant have an advantage over the biological male transvestite on “Drag Race”? Is it discrimination to not allow contestants who underwent a sex-change? Can Rachel Dolezal computer in Miss Black America?

    "Everything is relative in this world, where change alone endures."   - Trotsky

    So, I looked at Gigi's bronzed photo and wondered, just whose culture was being appropriated? It's a tan, people. Anybody can get a tan. Sheesh.

    The "ultra sensitives" are enjoying their moment. Soon, the pendulum will swing back to the "don't give a shit's" and then we'll have something else to bitch about.

    You know, I kinda expected more out of life than crap like this.

    As did I, Wabby, as did I. I even thought our society might get smarter rather than dumber, or more humane rather than less, but what I'd hoped was a dip seems to be sustaining or expanding & deepening. We're in a sinkhole.

    ETA: I flip to Huffpost to see what's breaking - lead headline in bold: "Why is Fish Sex So Hot Right Now?"
    Idunno, because we're perverted idiots with no taste? Guess I should have read to find out the answer. Time for the weekend....

    Great piece. The real problem with minstrel shows wasn't the make-up, it was the racist mockery that caricatured African-Americans as funny-looking buffoons. In addition to blackface, there were exaggerated lips, parodied dialect, foolish characters, and racist jokes. Replacing white actors with black ones, which happened, didn't make minstrel shows any less offensive. The same holds true for any ethnic stereotype. Gedde Watanabe playing Long Duk Dong was just as racist as Mickey Rooney playing Yunioshi. Conversely, playing a character of a different ethnicity or imitating a foreign aesthetic isn't inherently racist or offensive. It all depends how you do it.

    Yes, I'm assuming people know Anthony Quinn, for starters, and I think I referred to the idiot mockery - "that doesn't mean every use of skin coloring is a patronizing insulting attempt to exploit or make fun of people". So we can't do makeup for a millenium or 10?

    Yep, I was just riffing off your main point, which was well put

    This Times story from Tues. struck me hard as getting at exactly what you are here, Michael, that it's the intent of disparagement, stupids, that makes for offense

    Teenager’s Prom Dress Stirs Furor in U.S. — but Not in China

    I was really shocked to see that someone, anyone would even say this about a non-Asian wearing a cheongsam, that political correctness has become this twisted. These responses are very much like proof for right wingers that things have gone too far:

    “My culture is NOT” your prom dress, he wrote, adding profanity for effect.

    “I’m proud of my culture,” he wrote in another post. “For it to simply be subject to American consumerism and cater to a white audience, is parallel to colonial ideology.”

    Some Twitter users who described themselves as Asian-American seized on Ms. Daum’s dress — a form-fitting red cheongsam (also known as a qipao) with black and gold ornamental designs — as an example of cultural appropriation, a sign of disrespect and exploitation. Other Asian-Americans said the criticism was silly.

    “This isn’t ok,” wrote someone with the user name Jeannie. “I wouldn’t wear traditional Korean, Japanese or any other traditional dress and I’m Asian. I wouldn’t wear traditional Irish or Swedish or Greek dress either. There’s a lot of history behind these clothes. Sad.”

    Simply absurd! What made these responses all the more ridiculous is that the folks complaining are stupid about where the cheongsam came from, that it was itself appropriated by Chinese.

    What are they teaching the kids these days? People trading cultures over millennia is not all "colonialization",  if we didn't have that, the world would certainly be a much sorrier place, I dare say the human race might no longer exist. People who find non-Asians wearing cheongsams offensive need to shut up then the next time they hear an Asian actor complaining he/she can't get any parts that don't specifically call for Asian facial features.

    Edit to add: what is white American culture anyways? Ain't got none without our multi-culti! wink Quit wearing the Burberry plaids and LLBean stuff, all you black folks, we know you are doing it just to make fun of the WASP's.

    Think of Italy without the New World tomato, Ireland without the potato. What was that Silk Road thing about, or all that ocean travel. "Indians tell Columbus to get stuffed; beads or no beads they're not going to trade off their cultural icons".

    "White" is just a bunch of Celts and Saxons and Slavs and Gaelics and Albanians and Italians and Spaniards and Nordics and Germans and Greekks and Basques and Lithuanians and even Jews in recent years, all one grab-basket of ethnicity lumped together. And yeah, we steal each other's shit, so tacos and pasta and pirogis and falafels and herring and Shepherd's Pie are all white people's food now. Though if someone can take the haggis away, would be grateful.

    Chinese Export porcelain = Chinese trying to catch on to what Euro culture was shortly after Marco Polo, trying to profit by adjusting their wares for sale to the Euro taste. 

    It's that offshoring again - should've kicked 'em out of the WTO, imposed tariffs, quit buying mobile phones...

    And we are such suckers that many are still paying megabucks for the old dishes. And moving on to Occupied Japan wares, "they" never behave with proper deference when conquered....egads, the stereotyping of Caucasians

    True, though while we're on the subject of stereotyping, I'd be careful of projecting a few stupid tweets onto a whole generation.

    True enough, and the handful who are argumentative enough to post create the reality for millions or even billions. It's a powerful phenomenon. How many actually took part in the Apu debate, were voices actually heard? How many differing opinions are there? How many of those are even Indian/Pakistani/related?

    What one learns about this from watching it over millennia rather than over just a few decades: People have got to start somewhere when trying to understand another culture. The stereotyping is part of the process. Then those with open minds and not feet stuck in sand will move on to get more edjumcation about "the other" Also: it is not a wise thing to destroy the historic artifacts of that process even though they might be offensive to some (the Mullah Omar method!) Maybe eventually you don't laud them with public approval, but you do keep them for understanding of how this all works (Afro-American collectors of racist objects.)

    Aside: If you're lucky, you move on to the peace love and understanding globalized world of the Coke commercial. George Soros is plotting this, I hear:



    a reminder from 2001 that one can also actually do a MAGA thing with the Coke meme, owing to what makes our country atypical:

    For much of the country’s history, ethnic minorities had very little voice in objecting to stereotypes. Now magically, we are all supposed to view things through the same lens. People find Apu offensive. Apu has been on our screens for years. People feel comfortable with Apu. When people criticize the character, why is there no obligation to try to understand the roots of the criticism rather than demand that everyone get.the joke?

    Edit to add:

    When organizations like the NAACP objected to Amos N Andy, they represented a small group black people. That does not that the NAACP was wrong. It is likely that people sad blacks should relax and flow with the jokes. The same is now being said about Apu. Complaints of marginalized groups are dismissed. Perhaps like Stepin Fetchit and Jose Jimenez, the time has passed.

    For much of the country’s history, ethnic minorities had very little voice in objecting to stereotypes.

    Absolutely true.  But what do you make of Eddie Anderson, Jack Benny's "Rochester" character?  He was a stereotype of sorts, but also:

    • First African American to have a regular role on a nationwide radio–and then television–program
    • Though the character of Rochester was a valet, Anderson, working with Jack Benny, developed the role so that Rochester’s status makes him more of an equal to Benny.

    Rochester was still a butler. Hattie Daniel won an Oscar for being a maid. McDaniels wanted her roles as a servant too open up opportunities for a wider range of black roles, something that didn’t happen.

    link to Hattie McDaniel Black Ambition White Hollywood,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

    ​Jack Benny and Eddie Anderson worked to minimize stereotypes after WWII.

    The current problem is that there is a long history of ethnic minorities being portrayed negatively. There is very little trust of how Hollywood depicts minorities as a result. It is illogical to expect that Hollywood won’t be criticized for some portrayals. Black-ish is a popular television show, but a recent episode was not aired because ABC thought discussion of NFL players taking a knee was too controversial.

    ​The thing that has changed is that blacks can be more outspoken about what they see on television screens. Eddie Anderson is noteworthy. We are still dealing with issues today. These issues occur in a context where blacks in Hollywood were treated as second class citizens. 

    Rochester was still a butler. Hattie Daniel won an Oscar for being a maid.

    You're disregarding the whole by dissecting the piece, rm.


    McDaniels wanted her roles as a servant too open up opportunities for a wider range of black roles, something that didn’t happen.

    Oh, yes, it did.  Maybe not in the blink of an eye - I doubt she ever expected that - but it most certainly happened.

    Given the time lapse between Hattie Daniels and Halle Berry, you can understand the skepticism about Hollywood. You are looking at the progress that happened over decades. Others look at deficits that exist today. Bo Derek wore braids that black women wore for decades. Derek’s hair was considered a creative achievement. Black women were told to change their hair. My point is that attacks on Hollywood stereotypes and cultural appropriation occur in a society where blacks and other minorities were second class citizens. Communities that have been stereotyped are going to be suspicious when they see things they associate and have been criticized for praised by society when white sport the same gear. Another issue is the idea of dressing black without having to face the other things that come with being black. Getting arrested at Starbucks, shot in the back in your grandmother’s back yard, police called for playing too slow on a golf course, etc. things that do not happen to the appropriators. This reality underlies the complaints. Rachel Dolezal can simply go back to being white.

    You bring back memories of watching this when there was literally nothing else on, back in the three channel days. I think Benny was on a weekend night, or maybe it was reruns I was forced to watch by the dirth of available entertainment, not sure.

    Anyhow. Maybe I've got it wrong, as I was basically still a kid when watching. But I remember the Rochester character as the classic "smart house negro" character, he was way smarter than his boss and manipulated the boss' vanities. But I also remember the Benny character playing it as in on that whole game, it was more complex than like in a Shirley Temple movie from the 30's or similar, as in: I really do know this guy is way smarter than me and is manipulating me. And the absurdity of the situation was what was supposed to make us laugh.

    But isn't that the way it works with everyone?  Time portrays it differently, as time is wont to do, yet even in the highly money-centric levels of today the secretary still rules. 

    Now that I thought more on it, Benny is a special case because he was just doing a later version of all the stereotypical characters straight from Vaudeville. He did the ethnic humor on himself  of"cheap Jew" and "jewish violin player". Benny's character was more of a stereotype than Rochester, Rochester was more developed than an "Uncle Tom", more complex.  Benny also had the Senor Wences guy with the puppet after Milton Berle show ceased (as did Ed Sullivan, I think) another ethnic humor Vaudeville act that would be considered politically incorrect today. That was far from complex, straight out Mexican bashing jokes. But first and foremost, Benny did the "cheap Jew" thing about himself, that was his main shtick, all the way to the bank! I never found his stuff lol funny but that's becase vaudeville style just not funny to me, the slapstick of it neither.

    Edit to add: good point on "the secretary". I just (unfortunately, because I got so involved in my work and didn't bother to change the channel) ended up seeing much of the 1980 movie Nine to Five again, with Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda as the sexually harassed secretaries who take over and pay the boss some of his own medicine. (Just as goofy as you remember it if you saw it in the 80's like I did.)

    Shall we move on to the stay-at-home 50's little woman who also is actually controlling everything? wink

    Because Rochester is Radar O'Reilly, while Eddie Murphy is still some old dumbass vaudeville schtick who might as well wear blackface. But lemme guess, Archie Bunker and the original Roseanne were tributes to the intelligence of white people? Michael J. Fox's Alex as a vicious yuppie? Travolta's Mr. Kotter role was flattering to Italians? Lucy showed the wisdom of the white housewife and Ricky was a sane Hispanic? We make fun of everyone, sometimes improving things with a few characters, but often working with stereotypes. Look at In Living Color - one of the more memorable characters was a dumb black drunk who farted and smelle - and I bet blacks had more creative control on that show than any before. But serious black people aren't that funny for a sitcom, so we do the easy slapstick stuff instead. That's why in The Simpsons, Apu will either be laughable and absurd like everyone else or not exist. It's a ca

    yeah, Radar, good one, the ultimate example of house person (negro, wife, black woman, whatever) ruling the roost.

    you need to throw Sanford and Son in there somewhere, stereotypical crochety crabby old black guy, 70's alternative to Archie Bunker?

    Begs the questions: do people study a bit of Shakespeare and Moliere anymore as part of a standard education? Dr. Cleveland how popular are your courses? (Yeah, Shylock, for example, is a slanderous ethnic stereotype, it happened. The human condition about "the other".) Or is everything just all about the evils of "colonialization" according to PoMo theory. Throw out all the old narratives!

    Edit to add: Re-watched another B-movie-comedy the other night, mid 90's Renaissance Man where Danny DeVito loses job, gets forced by unemployment office to teach Army recruits a humanities course, chooses to teach them Hamlet. Underrated flick for general audiences, mho. About role play, learning to walk in another person's shoes, as moat put it recently elsewhere.

    Sanford/Red Foxx *was* old school vaudeville and standup, which is why I didn't include him - he was already on radio in '39. He makes an appearance as "Chicago Red" in Malcolm X's biography.

    well Im glad I brought it up, learned something new in your response. I am back here because this one's almost spooky, popped into my head just now, The White Female Rochester. I didn't like the show much as a little kid, nor the cartoon strip it was inspired by and probably haven't thought of it since 1970, but you stirred it up:

    Wikipedia on the sitcom 1961-1966

    Notice the crown over her name, I believe that's cause she's queen of Mr. Baxter's castle, forget Mrs. Baxter, she's just there as decoration.

    Today the sitcoms viewed are Black-ish and Atlanta. They have black producers. In Living Color had the Wayans Brothers at the helm. Many black viewers accepted the jokes and didn’t feel they were being ridiculed. You could probably get an updated In Living Color on television today (on cable/ satellite). Issa Rae went from the Internet to cable because she created a style of comedy popular with millennials. Apu, apparently creates a less positive sensation for some viewers. 

    Morning Joe exists on MSNBC because Don Imus, a previous host made a crude joke about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Within short order, Imus was no longer on MSNBC. Black did not feel that they were “in” on the joke. Blacks complained. Blacks within MSNBC and NBC also objected to Imus. Audiences change. Ralph Cramden sending Alice to the moon could not be put on television today. Times change. Apu is a throwback.

    I would posit that Apu's character is much less incendiary than some of the Wayans as well as guess that if a white person had come up with some of these skits, many in the black community may have shit a brick. Part if it's that "You're not [_ _ _ _ _], you wouldn't understand" phenomenon. Then again, stereotyping Italians is open season, and a major industry. Prepare for a new round of X, Y and Z groups needing to tell their own stories, and white males especially keep hands off.

    I'm still thinking of that article that Douthat referenced (written by a non-white Brit female) that delves into the feminist shifts that got us from a tough independent Janis Joplin radical chic to a Spice Girls/Sex and the City/Paris Hilton fuck me/suck me/take me to Prada then clubbing 2nd or 3rd or 4th wave feminism. I think a similar analysis on racial politics and movements would be rather interesting, if not a bit controversial as well.

    Given that whites have controlled things and still are large and in charge makes it inevitable that other marginalized groups are going to complain. Italians are white. Giuliani, Scaramucci, etc. have been in the White House. There is also a sense that if a minority is going to be the butt of jokes, blacks should be the ones laughing all the way to the bank. That is not the image that comes to mind when whites are creating and writing black humor or other entertainment.

    er, you should check out the family that were residents of the White House from 2009 through 2016, might surprise you! And a lot of their guests as well!

    Not to mention the 65th and 66th U.S. Secretaries of State who represented the U.S. to the world before the above came along, 2001 through 2008.

    I only thought of that because first off it struck me real hard how much you two are really talking past each other in these two comments. Peracles' comment sounds like he lives in 2018 culture and your comment sounds like it comes from 1980.

    It is 2018. People are complaining about Apu.

    Edit to add:

    Obama had to show his full form birth certificate.

    Every person on the Simpsons is an insulting caricature. Lisa and Apu are two of the least insulting. Even Bart who might be seen as a cool wise cracking kid is always shown as a complete loser in every episode when he's a grown up.

    I'll be honest, I don't get much of the black humor. The more it's focused for the black audience the more I dislike it. The level of misogyny is so high I find it unwatchable. I can't see anything funny about the caricature of the fat loud black women played by men with the lips jutted out to exaggerate the lip size. But black people seem to find it hilarious. Apparently some humor is race based and doesn't translate well.

    So you can understand that some people don’t like Apu?

    Edit tomadd:


    Did you ever watch the Cosby Show or Black-ish?

    I have it on strong authority that AA was born under a rock and never strayed.

    I understand that some people object to Apu but I don't care. There's not a single christian on the Simpsons that any christian would identify with favorably. When I visit my parents I can't watch the Simpsons because it enrages my father. Most likely because the person my father might identify with, Homer, is a jackass who is treated like shit by his son. I don't care that some people find Apu objectionable because by any objective standard every character on the Simpsons is objectionable.

    As an adult I never followed any tv show. If a show became popular I'd watch it now and then. I've seen a dozen or so episodes of the Cosby show and Fresh Prince of Belaire etc. You do realize that the Cosby show was specifically designed to appeal to a white audience.

    I do know that Carsey and Werner hired Harvard psychiatrist Alvin Poussaint to prevent portraying negative stereotypes.

    I haven't watched it a lot, so I googled. @ wikipedia's list, I saw that there have been a lot of recurring characters over the years and most of them are ridiculed in one way or another. Then I followed some of the footnotes, bounced around and was convinced that it was true what some writers were pointing out, not only are Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and his family longstanding characters, they are some of the rare few good guy characters, they are basically depicted as very good people and have few of the character flaws that most of the others do.

    I also live in European culture, where we see some of the damage the oversensitivity has caused. My wife was noting tonight a class teaching kids about African masks and making their own, with the teacher noting this couldn't happen in the US [because someone would get upset, offended, someone would be fired, the media would step in, there'd be a million tweets, any grants would be rescinded... my extrapolation]

    That is 2018 United States. We are still very tribal. 

    Was Brexit in part about immigrants?

    Are Nazi style groups a concern in Britain?

    I don't live in Britain, and soon they may not be part of Europe. The Anglo-Saxon part of both is having its meltdown, though British minorities may respond differently than US ones.

    Solved soon! Royal wedding!  American half-black divorcee actress (mother a life long social working do-gooder, father a fat former Hollywood lighting guy now living in Mexico) Gotta give it to the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha family, it takes them some time, but they eventually figure out how to do this! 

    Oh come on, really? sounds like a reality show. What have these people been smoking? It'll never play in Southampton... or will it?

    Forgot sarcasm smiley. Except perhaps the part about their genetics; they ain't  really "Brits" but they symbolize them. It can all be head faked: tribes, race, nationalism....

    Funny you should go there, as I have been thinking of Picasso this whole thread, one of the greatest appropriators of all times.

    Check this out @ The New Yorker "Culture Desk" May 4, provided clarity for me: Shudu Gram Is a White Man’s Digital Projection of Real-Life Black Womanhood. When the political correctness folk stray over the line into criticizing other folks who are merely appreciating the beauty of another culture, like the girl with the prom dress, that's when it really goes over the line into ridiculousness! Should never ever be a problem with that!

    The true "trouble" is caused by humorists doing their job, if they are doing it well, painfully poking at human foibles. That's why we laugh, it's a release of nervous tension.

    Or simply as Heinlein put it, "we laugh because it hurts". Or "hurts so good" as a porn star might put it.

    Art amputates life. Don't know if you've seen Leni Riefenstahl's photos of the Nuba from Sudan - interesting to feel such beauty flowing out of such a cutting edge videographer and self-justifying lying Nazi enabler, or just the eery confliction of these beautiful ideal male and female bodies, black not Aryan, somehow refuting and supporting the Nazi ideal at the same time. "We were only doing our job," reports Picasso after painting Guernica. We're all collaborators to someone somewhere.

    Nah, we'd just be co-opting the black woman who rules her family with a steel hand.  Both a stereotype and a truth, eh?  Reminds me of the piece Helen Keller wrote ...

    thanks for reminding of the Helen Keller piece, I will re-read now.

    Michael W, I don’t know if this is the best place to chime in, but your comment about not generally attributing these thoughts to a wider group reminded me of a conversation I had about Halloween costumes last October.

    The irony of applauding Disney for finally having diverse heroines and heroes in their cartoon line-up, while telling white children that they can’t dress up like any of them seems to me a very sad direction.  It is likely that black mothers have also been discouraged from dressing their girls as Snow White or Cinderella, or any other of the former Disney females.  One mother told me she was harassed because her daughter wanted to be Moana (a Hawaiian native) and her ‘group’ said her daughter was white, and so had no business in that costume.  She was really upset, and felt guilty about this and didn’t know what to do.  

    In my mind there was no conflict:  Get your kid the costume she wants.  But it opened up a line of thought, and I could not comprehend the motives behind the criticisms.  What we have here, is children admiring characters who are brave and adventurous, and those children admire and identify with them...they don’t see how they are different.  They want to be like them.  And yet people want to shame those children because they haven’t suffered like those they admire have suffered.  That BS is what got us where we are in the age of trump.

    So I think it is worse and more pervasive than the prom dress.  My hope is that these kids who go to school with, and have birthday parties with, and become friends with diverse people will overturn this negative Apple-cart that some seem determined to jump on.


    Be sure & dial this in to how some feel about immigrants and support programs. A touch of "white privilege" here, "stop appropriating" there, and as Michael Moore notes, a big F.U. starts forming. It's not clever, but it *is* rational.

    The problem is that we pass the problem on to the next generation and we pretend that the next generation will solve the problem. We end up with Donald Trump. Black people experience voter suppression, police brutality, bias in obtaining home loans and differences in health care. This is real life experience. Even a Republican like Tim Scott, the black Republican Senator from South Carolina was stopped by police 7 times within a 12 month period. We saw a black man choked to death with an illegal choke hold for selling loose cigarettes. Ethnic minorities are ridiculed. Barack Obama’s citizenship was questioned. It is not surprising that when white children are praised for wearing costumes associated with ethnic minority characters/icons while ethnic minorities who are punished for practicing the things these characters/icons are punished. How could There not be criticism and claims of cultural appropriation? The children will not correct the situation. They will repeat the errors of their parents. It is 50 years since the death of Martin Luther King Jr. We keep passing the problem off to the children. Donald Trump was elected President. We have to do better.

    This is a garbage comment. It has no place in this thread. Yes racism isn't over and you can interject your version of it into every conversation, and you do, but most of the time it has nothing to do with the subject. Change the subject if you like to your gripe about racism but it has nothing to do with little girls and Halloween costumes or some teen wearing a prom dress.

    You think if some 8 year old white girl doesn't wear a costume of Moana that it will effect blacks like Garner being choked by police? If only white girls didn't wear a dress with some symbolic meaning to Chinese no one would ask to see Obama's birth certificate? It's a separate subject with only the most nebulous of connection.

    It matters whether one is mocking, like black face, or respecting as little girls with Halloween costumes do, as cville pointed out. Disney comes out with a black princess in New Orleans and black, white, Native American, Asian, Italian American etc. little girls want to dress like her for Halloween. Disney has a white princess in Frozen and black, Asian, white, Native American etc. girls want to dress like Elsa for Halloween. If we don't let them it will have absolutely zero effect on voter suppression.

    We live in a cultural melting pot. Cross cultural appropriation happens all the time. The most common form is minorities culturally appropriating from the white culture. As far as I'm concerned if some group is going to bitch about cultural appropriation they should raise their children by the same rules and eschew any props of white culture. 90% of the cultural appropriation arguments are bullshit. Only 10% ever had any purpose and meaning

    I point out the context of the objections to Apu and reactions to what people perceive as cultural,appropriation. People consider Apu offensive. The complaints made the voice actor say that he is willing to give up the role. There are rumblings that the portrayal of Apu will change. The backlash has impact. They took action and got results.

    The complaints about costumes come from people who absolutely do not believe that we are a melting point. Just look at the comments a teen received for wearing a Chinese style prom dress.

    People lodging complaints focus on marginalization. The melting pot does not exist for many people. Not everyone feels in on the joke, they are angered. There was an NBC show “The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer” starring Chi McBride as Abraham Lincoln’s black slave butler. The butler was an update of the Rochester role, with the butler being the brightest one in the room. Even before the show aired, the show was criticized. The show was canceled after only one episode.

    Two episodes are available on YouTube.

    People complaining don’t feel the melting pot


    Cville's comment was about a little white girl who wanted to wear a Moana Halloween costume. Explain exactly how stopping her from wearing that costume will affect, " voter suppression, police brutality, bias in obtaining home loans."

    If you don't want to discuss issue of cultural appropriation as it relates to Halloween costumes then don't reply. Don't attempt to divert the topic or change the subject with your off repeated standard rant on racism just because you can't think of something sensible to say on the topic.

    eta: Bullies often have an impact, it doesn't mean they're right. James O'Keefe had a huge impact in destroying ACORN and ending a decades old organization. It doesn't mean he was right.

    Look rmrd, I don't come here to be pointed at random comments by morons on the web. I know most articles have comment sections that I ignore. I come here because I expect a higher level of thought and discussion than exists on other sites. If you can't think of arguments to support your views don't post. Don't bother pointing me to other idiots commenting on other sites.

    The context behind the objection to the Halloween costume and the prom dress is marginalized communities objecting to being mocked. Some people understand why there are complaints.

    Teen Vogue

    USA Today​

    NY post white mother discussing Moana

    Cosmopolitan discussing Moana.

    ​We are having discussions about cultural appropriation fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr. died. Obviously not wearing a costume is not going to change things. I’m pointing out that marginalized communities will complain when they think their culture is being mocked. You may night feel the costume mocks the culture. Others disagree.


    I read as much or more than you. I don't need your links. It's one thing to use a link to support the ideas you express in your posts. It's a different matter to substitute a link instead of expressing your thoughts and views. I could post links that disagree with your links and instead of having a conversation we could have a link war. If you're too lazy or ignorant to post your own thoughts don't reply.

    The conversation we are having is about why some in marginalized communities voice objections to Apu and the Moana costume. The complaints about Apu have had an impact. The complaints about the Moana costumes has people reconsidering choices.The links pose answers to why CV’s friend got complaints about the Moana costume. We are not talking about people who don’t object to the outfit.

    Careful with the ad homs.

    You missed the point I was trying to make by seeing everything through a distorted lens:

    The context behind the objection to the Halloween costume and the prom dress is marginalized communities objecting to being mocked. Some people understand why there are complaints.

    No!  The context behind the objection to the costume was people dreaming up shit to be concerned about.  My observation about all of this is that, as kids grow up with diverse groups, and learn, play and form friendships among them they will also not see the differences that are so apparent to the previous generation.  

    My children are in their late 20’s and early 30’s.  When they bring someone home for a BBQ or a holiday those friends are black, white, Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern, or a mixture.  They know they don’t need to tell me in advance because they are all welcome.  All their birthday parties and events, soccer teams, camp pals and sleepovers included a diverse group.  That is why I think there is hope.  That is not the same as throwing the responsibility on the next generation.  It is more like each generation will get farther and farther away from drawing distinctions based on looks.

    They only note their “difference” (they are all obviously of South American descent) when they are treated unfairly.  I told my son about a cool restaurant I went to and he said that he had gone there for a drink at the bar and they made him pay for the drink in advance.  I might add that he is a strikingly good-looking, dark guy who dresses well.  So I know what you are talking about, but it has nothing to do with what this whole stream of comments is about.

    Trump fans don't like the whole melting pot idea.

    Osama bin Laden didn't like the whole melting pot idea.

    Let's eliminate all the ethnic festivals. No wiener schnitzel for you if you're not German. And Bo Derek, how dare you wear those braids.

    Let's all stay "separate but equal".

    "Go back to your own country."

    Edit to add: Those Moana costumes, they're  part of a Soros plot to globalize and kill western culture. Little American white girls need to continue to dress like Snow White.

    It's time to stop this cultural appropriation. It's terribly upsetting to see black men in the culturally white traditional suit, vest, and tie. This costume has been the traditional outfit of white males for four hundred years, first developed by whites in Great Britain. I support blacks wearing the traditional costumes of their culture. I don't see why they have to steal the cultural traditions of my culture.

    You are free to make that argument. Go for it.

    According to FIT Museum director Dr. Valerie Steele, Chinese women in Shanghai created the modern-version qipao dress in the 1920s, a then-contemporary signifier of elite, Eastern-meets-Western fashion for Chinese woman, who would often pair the qipao dress with traditionally Western heels and accessories.

    As you can see this cultural appropriation has been going on for at least 100 years. By what right do Chinese women have to use traditional Western heels and accessories? What is your defense for this blatant cultural appropriation?

    The discussion is about marginalized groups complaining about cultural appropriation. Your response is that the majority (for a limited time) community can do whatever they want. Good luck with that argument. Apu has already been impacted. What responsibility does the majority community have to marginalized groups who object when they feel the minority community is mocked? It seems that your answer is that there is no responsibility in that situation.

    No it is not about marginalized groups.  It is about people getting into high dudgeon for the hell of it.  

    Give examples of how Chinese, or other Asian communities are marginalized.  Tell that to the people trying to get into MIT or UCLA.  How about native Hawaiians - maybe in Hawaii, but not on the east coast where children want to dress up like someone they admire for Halloween?  

    Get over yourself.

    CV, read the comments made about the prom dress. Those who object, view their culture as marginalized.

    FEELING marginalized is not the same as BEING marginalized.   Note all the white supremacists who feel left out...sad.

    i repeat.  Get over yourself.

    CV, I linked to ethnic minorities who detail their complaints These complaints are not going away no matter how much anger you direct at me. Asian Actors Left Hawaii-Five-O because of pay discrepancies. Roles for Asians were limited. Do you feel that these complaints by Asians are out of order?

    Oh, c'mon, rm.  You have to admit that just because she brought up Hawaiians you bringing up pay discrepancy complaints from Asians on a TV show is ... a stretch. 

    You've brought up tons of reasons (and links) to explain why "people" might be pissed off, or could feel a certain way.  What's your personal opinion about the student in the dress, the child in a Halloween costume or the model being bronzed for a photo shoot?  Do you think they're worthy of the outrage directed toward them?  Or do you think they're somewhat petty, but lend themselves to a much larger problem that you always seem to need to place front-and-center?  If the latter is the case, then own up and we'll get it even if we think it's misplaced on this particular thread - and I'll personally invite you to start your own on the issue.  But if you feel the examples of appropriation are, indeed, worth of the outcry tell us why you feel that way.

    Back in October, when CV told the Moana costume, I said the complaints were coming from people with too much time on their hands, As time has gone on, I see the complaints as more evidence that we are fracturing as a nation. We are tribal. I do see the cultural appropriation attacks as part of a larger problem. I understand that the criticisms are dismissed as petty,

    See below

    What struck me the most about the case of the prom dress being argued here is word "marginalized" just doesn't seem to be an exact fit for Chinese culture worldwide these days, hmmm? They are busy buying up half the world including the U.S.

    Hey, comes to mind, how popular Western Princess Ivanka products have proven to be over there! Seems they are marginalizing the cheongsam (which they appropriated earlier) by doing that?

    Then there's Chinese activities over in Tuscany where a bunch of Chinese have immigrated to make: Italian leather handbags, one of the star crafts of Tuscan artisans for centuries.

    Talk about marginalization, can we talk China in Africa? How about Pakistan? And one of the biggies: what about Tibetan culture, what is happening to that?

    If one were to complain about appropriating Chinese culture, I would think one should complain to Chinese exporters about this, no? They should mark their goods as "for Asians only." It doesn't say anything about racial requirements over at Amazon where anyone can buy a 100% polyester cheongsam straight from China for $14.50cheeky There's more than a few Chinese vendors of them there. Over at the Chinese giant, for the convenience of international importers, there are many styles of them available in mass quantities. (Did i mention that there's no such thing as bad publicity. And then there's that "to get rich is glorious.")

    The culture is marginalized? Puhleez. That's from back in the days when children were told to finish their dinner because "there are starving children in China." It's way way past days of marginalization, they are changing their culture by their very own selves and glad to sell whatever that is to anyone who will buy.

    The point to take away, as many others have agreed on this thread: is that the Apu case and the dress case are not alike at all. To want to wear a Moana costume or a choengsam instead of a western prom dress is appreciation of another culture, not at all ridicule. It is promoting the sub-culture from which it was taken. It is the exact same thing as white kids paying good money for black hip hop and blasting it out their car windows. IT IS MELTING POT: that is how melting pot works! It's quite simply ridiculous and absurd, these instances are like a parody of political correctness that a right winger racist might dream up for effect.

    The Apu case is a more difficult one and totally different and where reasonable people disagree. It is parody of stereotype for a certain effect. Some from that culture think it derogative and hurtful, others disagree. It will all work out according to capitalism. Here are the rules on that: 1) everyone gets freedom of speech but you don't get a guarantee of profit 2) boycotts can help or they can hurt and be counterproductive if you go overboard. Concerned people on all sides have to use smart politics here and be grownups. No one is going to protect any group from mean hurtful words, we don't do that here, we don't censor thought crimes, everyone need to have grownup smarts about that, like mom said: sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me.

    You lose a propaganda game about your culture, maybe your culture didn't deserve to survive.You immigrated to the U.S. for what reason? Did you want your kids to grow up living exactly as they had in the old country or did you want them to have a different life?  I.E., maybe arranged marriages deserve to be ridiculed? Maybe if you wanted your kids to live under a system of arranged marriages you shouldn't have immigrated.

    Want an example from white 50's white culture losing? There are tons of examples! They lost the war against inter-marriage, they lost the war against gay marriage, they lost their good old fashioned meat and potatoes and wonderbread menu and food availability and moved on to international cuisine and avocado toast, with the avocados imported from Mexico and the development of globalized "foodie culture". Conservative Christianity is dying off, getting smaller every day! Contemporary international art including abstract is the most popular kind when only a few decades ago it used to be the most ridiculed kind, i.e. "my kid/a monkey could paint that." (Not to mention that The Rolling Stones and Elvis with their "jigaboo" music were a plot to destroy our culture.  Etc. etc.

     Movies and other pop culture have been doing this meme about immigrant assimilation for a century, only the most clueless wouldn't get it.

    Hollywood?  Is that the only industry that matters?  Get real!


    No, it is obviously not the only industry that matters, but we have heard complaints about role availability and salary from women and blacks. Asians have similar complaints. Should they be dismissed?

    The idea that Asians are economically well off applies only to a segment of the Asian population. Many Asians are impoverished. Asians feel marginalized and are often stereotyped economically.

    As the United States becomes more diverse, we are going to hear complaints from more groups.


    I agree.  Asians are in that group that are thought of as I repeat:

    get over yourself 

    "Your response is that the majority (for a limited time) community can do whatever they want."

    I never said anything like that. I never even implied it. You know the people here read and comprehend what's posted yet you still post this completely false statement. And like Trump you feel no embarrassment even though you know how obvious your lie is.

    I've seen little black girls wearing Cinderella and Snow White costumes on Halloween. Is that not cultural appropriation of white culture? But little white girls can't wear a Halloween costume of Moana. It seems like you're pushing a double standard here. Any ethnic group can appropriate white culture but whites can't wear costumes of any other culture.

    The overwhelming response from the Chinese in China is that the use prom dress is not cultural appropriation. "In its original form, the dress was worn in a baggy style, mostly by upper-class women during the Qing dynasty, which ruled China for more than 250 years, until 1912. It was only in the 1920s and ’30s, when Western influence began seeping into China, that the qipao was reinvented to become the seductive, body-hugging dress that many think of today." Is that not cultural appropriation of western styles incorporated into Chinese styles? Now this mix of cultural influences from east and west becomes the sole cultural style of the Chinese? Your argument is nonsense.

    The complaints did not come from Chinese in China.

    Hi CVille, just saw this. That's a great point about Moanna. I didn't even think about children's costumes. I googled around and found this blog post that's been getting a lot of attention: Moana, Elsa, and Halloween. The identity gymnastics that this mom engages in with her daughter are insane:

    I feel like because Elsa is a White princess, and we see so many White princesses, her character sends the message that you have to be a certain way to be “beautiful” or to be a “princess”…that you have to have White skin, long, blonde hair, and blue eyes.You are White, like Elsa—if you dressed up as a character like Moana, who has brown skin, you would never change your skin color. But I’m not sure I like the idea of you changing your hair color to dress up as Elsa—because I think Elsa’s character could also be a short, brown-haired character like you.

    On the other hand...

    I don’t like the idea of dressing up using the same traditional clothing that someone from Moana’s culture may have worn because that feels like we are laughing at her culture by making it a costume. A child whose family is Polynesian could dress up using that type of traditional clothing but Moana’s culture is not our culture. If you want you could dress up as someone from one of your cultures, you could be a tango dancer from Argentina…(or as Che Guevara!). Otherwise, maybe you could be a modern-day Moana and dress up in the clothing you think Moana might wear today.

    Mike, I think the line of thinking demonstrated in your quotes are proof that everyone contemplating parenthood should have to take a common sense test first.  On the other hand, those mothers don’t realize how lucky they are to only have those worries.  

    Halloween appropriation's not just for kids - it can screw your decades-long professional career too.
    Careful with that "free speech on campus" thing - teh stupid, it burns...

    Christakis believed that he had an obligation to listen to the views of the students, to reflect upon them, and to respond that he was persuaded or articulate why he maintained a different view. In short, he believed that one respects students by engaging them in earnest dialogue.

    Many students believed that his responsibility was to hear their demands for an apology and to issue it. They saw anything short of a declaration of wrongdoing as unacceptable. In their view, one respected students by validating their hurt feelings.

    Their perspective was informed by the idea that their residential college is akin to a home. At Yale, residential colleges have what was then called a “master”—a professor who lives on site and is responsible for its academic, intellectual, and social life.  “Masters work with students to shape each residential college community,” Yale stated, “bringing their own distinct social, cultural, and intellectual influences to the colleges.” The approach is far costlier than what’s on offer at commuter schools, but aims to create a richer intellectual environment where undergrads can learn from faculty and one another even outside the classroom.

    “In your position as master,” one student said, “it is your job to create a place of comfort and home for the students who live in Silliman. You have not done that. By sending out that email, that goes against your position as master. Do you understand that?!”

    “No,” Christakis said, “I don’t agree with that.”

    They saw anything short of a declaration of wrongdoing as unacceptable.

    As he saw it, there was no contradiction between creating a safe residence for Silliman students and challenging them intellectually, a view Yale itself officially shares (though what its representatives convey to prospective students is opaque to outsiders).

    The kids want a meek compliant houseboy. Guess they pay enough to get one, however poorly it serves them.
    Perhaps college has passed its shelf life, perhaps a new way(s) of education needs to evolve just to save us from ourselves. Or study abroad where sanity still has a grip.

    There is another side to the Yale controversy.

    It’s possible — necessary — that we figure out a way as university communities to avoid censorship and at the same time acknowledge that there is such a thing in college as collegiality. Led by students, Yale has already seen a model of how to build community and transcend political differences over divisive issues. Last fall, swastikas scrawled in chalk were discovered in a courtyard that connects several dorms. The university administration responded swiftly, with a moving e-mail from Dean Jonathan Holloway: “There is no room for hate in this house.” And in a display of solidarity, two pro-Palestinian student activists who have differed with some Jewish students on contentious questions related to the movement to boycott Israel, led an effort to erase the swastikas and cover them over with chalk messages of love.

    That is the spirit of a recent faculty letter in support of our minority students acknowledging that “calls for diversity do not themselves resolve the experience of racism.” I signed it, and I am heartened, but not surprised, that Nicholas and Erika Christakis did, too.

    Like them, I believe the edge of learning must sometimes be an uncomfortable place. I do not coddle my students in class. I do not teach around an inexhaustible list of trigger warnings. And my students and I understand the paramount importance of free speech.

    But we shouldn’t demand that our students coddle professors or administrators. They are voicing an uncomfortable truth: Despite its vast resources, Yale is stunted on the issue of race. They are asking us to grow. As sophomore Ivetty Estepan told the crowd  Monday, “Healthy communities don’t just happen, they are made. We are showing Yale University how to make that community today.”

    ​The article notes that there were Swastikas scrawled on the grounds of the university. The effort to remove the symbol was led to two Muslim students and two Jewish students who disagreed about the boycott Israel movement.

    Well, fuck me - I mean, wanting to dress up like Mulan for Halloween is whipsawed in with leaving swastikas around campus. Of course, they're like the same thing - and obviously the professor and her enabling hubby needed to be shut down as a Menace II Society

    I mean, if we remove funny, historical, cultural and religious costumes from Halloween, we've got left.. Idunno, a cow could either offend HIndus or be a sign of meat-eating (I was attacked the other day for thinking that cloned meat was a good thing - nope, even eating meat that had never been a live animal is bad, apparently, along with the milk in my coffee). Probably a Star Wars stormtrooper - white, no lesss - will restimulate the horror some 3rd worlders have suffered at the hands of the oppressive race. Anything sexual would likely make someone uncomfortable (and I go around as a dick the rest of the year, so what's the point?). Military is out, for sure. Political speech might be protected, but then that couldn't be at the expense of people who hold different opinions.

    I know - Springsteen!!! Bored in the USA, Bored in the USA...


    I don’t see a risk of running out of entering Halloween costumes at Yale. I think the actions of the Muslim and Jewish students impart a more important message than some stupid Halloween costumes.

    Had to go back and retrieve an article from one of the Yale students. The core of the protest wasn’t about Halloween costumes but about systemic racism on the Yale campus.

    The same attitude came through during an interview a black Yale student had with Conor Friedersdorf

    She doesn't have to impart a more important message on Israel - she responded to the goddamn letter rather than shift topics all over the place like you do. You just linked to 2 URLs, and the only thing related to black discrimination at Yale was 3 girls denied entry to a sorority party as "whites only" which obviously shouldn't happen. The other, an anti-semitic act, was some swastikas - my, that's creative and unique. That's it - these 2 things were worth shutting down 2 tenured professors and getting them fired, or we're supposed to use these 2 incidents to imagine a whole bunch of other horrid stuff in our fervent make believe fantasies? Dumb dumb dumb. If people can't at least express themselves better and make a stringer case, they don't stand a chance, and they likely don't belong at Yale, or not the Yale of old. I no, evrything is everything, so if a child in the world goes to bed hungry we should all be sad and apologetic. 

    You brought up the Yale Halloween costumes. I gave responses from two black Yale students who said that it wasn’t about costumes. The first article mentioned hours and hours worth of stories about discrimination experienced on this campus. That was not just about three women turned away from a fraternity. 

    There have been some changes in the aftermath

    ​Thins wa in response to a list of demands.


    so you agree bringing up Halloween costumes is a stupid counter-productive thing to do?

    From the link to the Quartz article above

    For starters: the protests are not really about Halloween costumes or a frat party. They’re about a mismatch between the Yale we find in admissions brochures and the Yale we experience every day. They’re about real experiences with racism on this campus that have gone unacknowledged for far too long. The university sells itself as a welcoming and inclusive place for people of all backgrounds. Unfortunately, it often isn’t.


    More gobbledygook nothing links, 0 showing anything of cultural appropriation. They fired 2 old white professors and hired more ethnically diverse - yay quootas and litmus tests. Even the fraternity thing's in doubt. Congrats.

    From the 1st WaPo link

    Katie McCleary, a junior from Montana and the President of the Association of Native Americans at Yale, takes hope from the greater collaboration she sees among different groups, including new partnerships with the Black Student Alliance, a fossil-fuels divestment group and the Yale Student Environmental Coalition, seeing it as evidence that the Native community is stronger after the protests.

    Do you know the backgrounds of these “quota” hires?

    If they were brought in to satisfy the demand for more minorities, do I need to "know their backgrounds" to know they're "quota hires"? The assumption is pretty obvious that white people need not apply, or else the protestors wouldn't be content that it satisfied demands, no?


    Oh great, so their "diversity" demand is that they hire more people who agree with Bernie & co agenda. Why the fuck should I care about black students & native americans getting tied in with fossil fuels divestment, and what the fuck does that have to do with dealing with black & native discrimination and opportunity or microaggressions or what not?

    Getting different groups actually working together is a way to challenge discrimination. Strength in numbers.

    I’m curious.  I wonder if Katie McCleary feel that her Halloween costume has to be in the traditional dress of her tribe?  Or could she wear a chicken, or cell phone costume?  Would she consider herself “triggered” to see a couple of white students sporting Native American garb?

    Asking for a friend.

    Asking for a friend. lol!

    Tell your friend he/she/hse can join with these other campus groups to better understand and take special courses in ethnic & gender topics and integrate & engage with them, just as long they don't appropriate anything. Sometimes these white students while ignorant of these other spheres are afraid to engage with the alternative community for whatever reason, possibly from a perspective of excessive privilege and historic exploitation.

    The friend might point out that the debate is already occurring on college campuses.

    Debates? Or demands and denunciations?

    The cultural appropriation “movement” is active on campuses. This is the new generation. Yelling about it in reality is old people yelling get off my lawn. At the end of the day learning some cultural sensitivity is a good thing. I don't think we are getting snowflakes, I think we get people who will just say bullshit when they hear nonsense from Trump, the NRA, etc. The Parkland were quick to point out that there black classmates were being ignored. They made sure that minority students were a part of the overall plan. I don’t think the get off my lawn generation would have been that aware.

    People who will just say bullshit when they hear nonsense isn't uncommon. If you had been paying attention you could have learned that from this thread.

    Lol. You are hilarious The cultural appropriation debate will continue. Obviously it will be addressed on a case by case basis. Relax. Try meditation.

    It will continue but you won't really be a part of that debate. Debate requires that one consider and respond to other people's views.

    hey ya know, you almost sound like you could give this sort of advice professionally! laugh

    Edit to add: the multiple choice pronouns are a real "tell"

    Tell your friend to apologize. Even thinking this question shows just how unenlightened she is. You should out her on twitter because all the feedback she'll get will help her to learn to think right.

    I did just what you said, and now she is having a nervous breakdown.  She is running up and down the streets of Charlottesville with a nazi flag and asking everyone she sees to buy her a Tiki torch.  When I tried to calm her down she hit me with a stuffed bunny named Cottontail.  I’m running out of ideas.  I think I’ll put on one of my old nurse uniforms (complete with nurse’s cap) and give her a hypo.  I know I’m appropriating old movie culture but you gotta do what you gotta do.


    It seems that those who complain about cultural appropriation think all they have to do is complain and apologies should be issued. That they don't have to make a convincing argument to support that complaint. That seems to be where rmrd is coming from.

    There's some obvious racist things out there that can be called cultural appropriation, Mexican and black themed frat parties are some of the worst. I'll accept the designation of cultural appropriation though it doesn't really fit the bill. They're not really appropriating the culture but mocking it with insulting caricatures of stereotypes. I think most can easily see the racism and condemn it.

    On the other side of the spectrum is the prom dress controversy. Here you have what at one point was a tradition Chinese baggy dress worn by the rich and elite in China completely redesigned from western sources to be body hugging and adorned with western accessories. This dress that may have had Chinese roots had become an amalgam of two cultures. If any cultural appropriation took place it was Chinese fashion designers and those Chinese buying and wearing the newly designed dress appropriating the culture of the west. There's a reason rmrd has refused to discuss it. It's clear that the teen who wore it as a prom dress was appropriating nothing.

    Those who choose to make an issue of cultural appropriation need to address each specific incident on it's own merits and make good arguments to support their case. The only 'obligation is to listen to the views, to reflect upon them, and to respond that he was persuaded or articulate why he maintained a different view.' If those who choose to make this an issue are unwilling or unable to make those good arguments then we are justified in discounting their concerns.

    Funny you should mention that - the "drunk guy in sombrero" imagery posted by "progressives" on Twitter for Cinco de Mayo didn't strike me as something I'd comfortably retweet. Don't know if it's "appropriating" - it's simply ridicule and trading in poor stereotypes, even though they're not trying to be insulting.

    It's not that I'm unsympathetic to cultural appropriation. But those who are making the complaint need to do more than make that complaint. They need to make the case of why and how a particular act is harmful cultural appropriation.

    For example, there's a problem with the cultural appropriation of Lakota spirituality with white people leading sweat lodges. Some white dude goes to a sweat lodge and has a powerful experience then decides to make one and lead the ceremony. Or it's a money making scheme. They make the pretense that they are sharing "Indian" spirituality but it's not. It's some weird distorted form based on ignorance of the religion. They assume that the sweat lodge is just a dome made out of saplings. But it's not. It's a religious edifice with symbolic meaning that's a part of the ritual. Just as the many facets of a church or synagogue from stained glass windows and candles at the base of statues of Jesus or Saint Anne are part of the religious edifice. The sweat lodge should have 16 branches for religious reasons related to the ideology I won't get into now and they should be bent in such a way as to create an eight pointed star at the top of the lodge. I could go into much greater detail but I doubt that any are interested enough to get into a detailed account of the Lakota religion.

    These white people claiming to share Native American sweat lodges would be the equivalent of someone with no experience or understanding of Catholicism attending a service and being moved by the pomp and ceremony. Then deciding to call themselves a Catholic priest, buying the vestments, leading a service and giving holy communion. All with no idea of what the religion was actually about. Or going to a synagogue and being moved by the rituals. Then deciding they are Jewish and a rabbi and leading Jewish services.

    I understand why many Native Americans are upset about this cultural appropriation of their religion. I think I could answer questions and explain it sufficiently that any open minded person would understand it too. That's the point. If you're going to make the complaint you have to also make the case to back up the complaint.

    I would like to just add this food for thought, not going to get into the details, would have to write a whole college-type paper as a comment to do so: most scholars of cultural history now agree that in the end, the enormous popularity of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin did a lot of good for the abolitionist cause. It's also like a main originator of the whole minstrel show thing. You can get into Mark Twain here if you like....

    Yeah, yeah - toss in a bomb, then run away...

    You got me, 'xactly what I am doing.laugh

    Let me throw another that comes to mind:  where Twain was clearly very racist: against Ottoman Turks. Which just goes to show ya even some of the best minds can be affected by "us vs. them" contemporary zeitgeist.

    After all my other blather on this thread, I'd like to add this point, taking it to another level, maybe another bomb:

    The popularity over the last decade of old school preppy WASP clothing like LL Bean and Burberry grew from the street up from Afro-American and rap culture, up the chain to the big designers.

    Initially it was intentional ironic co-option. So in a way, making fun and stereotyping. Had the culture being appropriated for this use been one that was downtrodden, they should have been offended? They weren't offended. They weren't offended because they have confidence in their culture.

    I strongly believe one interesting catalyst of this little fashion movement/statement was one President Obama,  Mr. Preppy Rap Afficianado his self. Half white, half Kenyan heritage, raised in Indonesia, schooled in Hawaii. Hahvad Law.

    Flash forward to taking the subway from the Bronx to Manhattan 2018. Nobody fears young black men on the #1 train anymore. You don't have to believe me, just ask anyone that travels the subway in NYC. Young black men are virtually all Obama wannabes, dressed in prepster clothes, maybe with dreds thrown on top for multi-culti effect. Anyone that still imitates gangsta culcha looks like a real loser. Knowing how to do college admissions is the new thing here, be there or be square, that's one of the reasons why I posted this story.

    Nice twist: reverse cultural appropriation. It's even a little more complicated than that. The modern trend started in the 80s among white kids who appropriated it from New England prep. At my nearly all-white junior high school in Iowa, we lusted after penny loafers, Izod, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger. My most treasured article of clothing was a white Hilfiger button-down. Then hip-hop stars appropriated the trend in the early 1990s, and sales blew up. And then it went mainstream.

    PS An interesting Hilfiger retrospective:

    You know what really interests me? They don't do this down Miami SE Florida way, it's non-collegian all the way., they reject the preppy look. Latin Flash all the way. It struck me when I was in a plane line a year ago December. There was some kinda hip hop-y group ahead of me going for a gig, I could tell they were New Yorkers and professionals, used to it, tired of it. And definitely Afro, not Latino. But they had this kind of more ziggy stardust/Bowie look to their duds, for the Miami culcha.

    Except then there's the Parkland crew. And their parents moving there, to that suburb, to get that education, preppy style education. And next store there's Palm Beach. I went for a visit around Thanksgiving while down in Fl, went for walk down Worth Ave there. Looked like few under 65. But they dress preppy too, go figure, just never changed. Lily Pulitzer and pink and green alligator printed pants were in, out, ridiculed and back many times and octagenarian Muffy and Buffy, they are still wearing em.

    (Shhh ... fashion is what you wear when you can afford to care what other people are wearing.  Otherwise, it's called what's-in-the-closet.)

    Seriously, folks.  I honestly hate to do what Arta pointed to above and bring politics into the mix, but for this short burst I will: this is the lefty nonsense that folks who voted for Trump pointed to when they said they liked his "straight talk".

    Note to Peracles:  Your piece is good and its point valid ... this is my favorite part:

    With each boundary our sense of understanding is damaged. We can't put ourselves in someone else's skin, understand what they feel like, identify with them, try to *be* them in some way. What used to be a natural in acting and childhood make-believe is now verboten, a step too far in human imagination even though it's so obvious that it's completely natural.

    Can I get an Amen?

    If we cannot step into other people's shoes then all empathy is just contempt by another name.

    And there it is.

    Young black men on the #1 train  get up and offer  me their seat now.

    They didn't used to.

    Fascinating.  When our son was younger (same time frame you’re writing about), it was so often the case that African American and Latinx people would be sure that mother and son could sit together in a crowded car, that we joked about it. We joked about this to the point that, when he was 3, our son proclaimed “white people are the worst,” while we were on the subway. We ride also ride the red line.

    Now that's almost "courtly"! appreciate you sharing it.

    That poor girl with the pretty dress, by the way.

    We do have to get this debate to the point where intention matters.  Cultures need to share, so there has to be a difference between appropriation and well meaning exchange.  History has not been kind in this regard, but we should probably assume well-meaning sharing, the way we assume innocence in a court.

    I really like this:

    I’ve said to people sometimes, ‘You know, I’ve been Black all my life. You don’t have to tell me how to be Black.'”

                     ~ Condi Rice when asked about the Kanye West hullabaloo.

    Even though I have been quite skeptical about the whole Mr. West thing.

    Sure beats an Omarosa type selling her victimhood to the highest bidder at the time.

    I blame barefooted for bringing up Rochester to make me think of things I haven't thought of in decades.

    Uncle Tonoose....lebaaaneeeese....beeg noses....skinny stick American wives with no meat on their bones...making it up with the Irish inlaw....etc.

    suffice it to say found.this clip worth watching,  shocked me how it departs from our "Mad Men"-induced picture of 50's NYC, far from Vaudeville, I think, and as American as apple pie, all for diversity and dysfunctional family values:



    Watching it, since the Cosby Show had just been brought up on this thread, I thought of how comparatively Cosby seemed to be extremely weak brew, a Disneyfied ,not real, supposed American family, written according to PHD in Education standards to furnish role models of sufficient caliber.

    You mean the black Norman Rockwell of  soap operas  sitcoms?

    PP:  turns out Groening been there, done that. @ 1:15 here on YouTube vid Black Simpsons Characters (of which there appears to have been quite a few of diverse stereotypes, including a cop), it says: The (Hibbard) family is said to be a parody of the Huxtables from the Cosby show.

    As I said, I don’t watch the Simpsons but in the context of cultural appropriation, it was clear which ethnic group made up most of the voice actors. This has been amusing. Waiting for the next set of complaints.

    Here is an exchange with stillidealistic on cultural appropriation on 10/31/17


    One of the core issues is the idea that whites love being people of color for a day, but really don’t want the constant baggage that comes with being a person of color. Facing discrimination and condescension on a daily basis is not an easy thing. The argument about cultural appropriation is a surrogate for some pressing issues. Take the Women’s March, black and Latino women had to force themselves on the planning committee. Black women think white Progressive women take them for granted. In a recent example, black women feel that they speak out about the evils of Harvey Weinstein, but when Representative Frederica S. Wilson is called a “cheap, sleazy,  Democrat whore”, there is little response from white feminists. I don’t know your exact situation, but the argument may not be about the costumes but about a lack of connection etween white women and women of color.

    The Women’s March

    The Frederica S.Wilson story

    Radio bigot Bill Handel’s comment


    by rmrd0000 on Tue, 10/31/2017 - 7:43am

    I'm sure it's not easy, and I certainly don't want to add to the distress. I can assure people until the cow comes home that this has NOTHING to do with "pretending to be a person of color for a day," but rather just enjoying what other cultures have to offer. I have no real cultural identity, being a mutt, but I can't imagine not wanting to share with everyone whatever culture I identified with, if I did. I would NEVER think they were trying to be white for a day.

    Thanks for the articles. I'm working my way through them.

    by stillidealistic on Tue, 10/31/2017 - 3:27pm

    Again, I don’t know your particular circumstance but it may be people who are stressed by the age of Trump and take out frustration on you since they can’t get to Trump, Huckabee-Sanders, Kelly, etc. 

    by rmrd0000 on Tue, 10/31/2017 - 3:52pm

    I hope that's all it is. At a time when the Repubs are doing their very best to divide us, you would think we would cling more tightly together, not let something like Halloween costumes divide us. My fight or flight instinct kicked in and I flew!

    by stillidealistic on Tue, 10/31/2017 - 5:04pm

    Generally, unless blackface or something as offensive involved, people take pictures at most. They then complain about it on Twitter or Snapchat.

    Edit to add:

    If you have been reading about cultural appropriation, you notice that opinions among black people are all over the map. Most folks are focused on other things. You may have simply run into the wrong folks.

    by rmrd0000 on Tue, 10/31/2017 - 8:00pm

    Pat Boone stealing the late Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill”, now that was cultural appropriation.

    by rmrd0000 on Tue, 10/31/2017 - 8:02pm

    Turns out that “Blueberry Hill” has a more complex history than I thought

    by rmrd0000 on Wed, 11/01/2017 - 1:10pm

    I think people are more ticked off and disconnected now than they were in 10/17. I thought that the complainers about the Moana costume were outliers. Today I think people are much more ready to lash out. Social media makes it much easier for them to be heard.

    I have to refer back to Hollywood again. There is a show “Atlanta” headed by a black producer, Danny Glover, that has cultural appropriation as one of the themes in the show geared for blacks but sending a message to whites in the audience.

    I think social media and pop culture are carrying messages ignored or dismissed by MSM. 

    I realize that I am the lone voice, but I see cultural appropriation as an issue that is not going away, and one that is having impact. Marvel has six superhero shows on Netflix. One is a failure. The failure is “Iron Fist”, a show that features a white marital artists with better fighting skills than the Asians in the place where he trained.

    Even before the show aired, it was criticized for being culturally insensitive.

    ​The Show is being reworked to minimize mention of Asian ties

    ​The first linked article also notes criticism of actresses Tilda Swinton and Scarlett Johansson for portraying Asian roles. I think cultural appropriation is front and center. The focus is on Hollywood because they are a major source of imagery of various cultures. I attempted (badly) to identify reasons why some cultures don’t feel that they are a part of the melting pot. 


    So Blueberry Hill largely says it all - musicians white and black largely ripping each other off and crediting each other. Blondie did "Rapture" as an early rap song but called out Fab Five Freddie and Grand Master Flash in it (who I'd been listening to earlier with his "don't touch me (Close to the Edge)", but then again Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues was rapping 15 years before, and he was ripping off Guthrie and others. Hendrix covered Dylan's All Along the Watchtower, Like A Rolling Stone, plus Hey Joe while also working thru black blues and rock 'n roll, and all these London musicians hanging out. Eric Burdon played with War. Chuck Berry probably stole much from his piano player (much of the music was scored as E flat, not a key a guitar player'd use but a blues piano player would). Meanwhile white players were covering black tunes and their own.. Rolling Stones were named after a Muddy Waters ong, and repaid the favor multiple times. Sex Pistols did Monkees, Talking Heads did Al Green. People were just playing music and enjoying it. There is no point to much of this "appropriation" crap. 

    I disagree. I think the issue will be with us for a long time. As I note above current shows are addressing the issue. One show “Iron Fist” has probably suffered because of criticism about cultural appropriation.

    Criticism will persist over white actors portraying people from different cultures.

    Well fuck them. Have them go criticise a clown or something else completely useless. Actors should act. Part of acting is makebelieve. What a dumb repetitive thread. It's like criticizing Picasso because his paintings weren't realistic enough. I liked Jackie because they didn't try too hard to make Camelot characters exactly perfect. Do I give a shit when Clint Eastwood casts Morgan Freeman in a historically unlikely role in the West? It's a goddamn movie, a western no less - nothing's accurate, except Blood Meridian, and that's too accurate for most people to stomach. Did anyone mind Halle Barry playing CatWoman? (Aside from the movie itself not being that good if I recall correct, not her fault)

    The actors who don’t get to do make believe for their own cultures probably object.

    Haave em go do their own show and build their own studio then. That's what Chaplin did. Monty Python had George Harrison and Eric Clapton back their first films. Spike Lee got a bunch of brothers to back Malcolm X and other flicks. Stallone took his Rocky success to launch his own studio. Robert Redford buitlt Sundance. JAackie Chan has his own franchise. Hitchcock developed his. Indie films like tranny flagship Priscilla Queen of the Desert used the non-film record label Polygram who also did Trainspotting and Fargo. What did Tarantino have to do to make his films (and he was pretty diverse, though John Voight played an Indian). Really, too many goddam excuses.

    As if on cue:

    Of course when you do that independent film crap, you can get the cops called on you.

    Best thing that could have happened to them, no? Got the start of a documentary, national name recognition, a story - and didn't get shot, thank God.
    Kind of like those 2 Native American kids hassled at Colorado Springs - almost guaranteed to get scholarships now.

    You glance over the “could’ve been shot” quite easily.

    Did I? Read again.


    It's a huge problem - dwarves this appropriation worry.

    Give a guy a badge and he's suddenly a crazed inhospitable warrior, 0 humor, 0 common touch left.


    We have two realities. Ethnic minorities have be aware that interactions with police can go South very quickly. You  risk getting conned on home loans and shortchanged on healthcare. Then, when a white guy plays an ethnic minority role, you complain. It is a small deal to many, but some see it as a form of pushback.

    Edit to add:

    You are told it is your fault for being so sensitive.

    Well, presumably you're talking about sticking up for your own group. But what happens when Will Smith plays a white role like Wild Wild West - that's okay? Should I be "sensitive" or complain too? Or bask in my privilege?

    But anyway, I'll focus on the guns and police abuse - I don't care who plays Mulan.

    People fight for justice and complain about cultural appropriation.There was more work on GOTV than complain about a television show. The cries about cultural appropriation will continue.

    People complain about a lot.

    Like I or most people give a fuck. At least it wasn't insulting. Not only was David Carradine doing Eastern Arts in Kung Fu, he was a Marco Polo, connection between 2 cultures. Nobody in the 60s thought the Beatles invented sitar. Marlon Brando played Pancho Villa because audiences needed a familiar character to bridge the gap before a next generation of Chicanos could. Scorsese cast Dutch Willem Dafoe as Jesus & Harvey Keitel as Judas, while Once Upon a Time in New York had De Niro as head of a Jewish gang. I mean, are people sitting around worrying about this stuff or just chuckling a bit and getting on with thwir lives.

    Like I said, I realize I am a lone voice on this. 

    If you want a real grin, google Pat Boone singing “Hound Dog.”  He enunciates so painfully, and with his eyes closed as though his wonderful voice is giving him some kind of rapture.  No appropriation here.  The King can rest easy in his grave.

     I can tell you, though that if Par Boone was singing that shit at my Airbnb I would have called the cops on him! 

    seems a tailor made piece for you laugh

    Europe Has No Problem With Native American Mascots

    By ANDREW KEH @, May 7

    European teams and fans, detached from the fraught history that Native American imagery carries in U.S. sports, have their own ideas about what is socially acceptable.

    Anyone who cares to go much deeper into this topic, I would 100% recommend they read this book first:

    Amazon link

    Edit to add: I'm with ya as to your comment upthread that much of the discussion has gotten stupid and repetitive. There are far more interesting issues involved here once you rise above all that crap.

    The article suggests the debate in Europe on this issue is just beginning.

    P.S. Comes to mind: who really needs to be dissed and ridiculed here are the people equating cultural appropriation because of admiration i.e., the prom dress or the Rolling Stones, and ridicule of a cultural stereotype meant to demean, i.e., minstrel show or perhaps Apu, perhaps not. Not only are they not the same thing, they are opposites.

    The first is the process of cultural trade, de-segregation, assimilation, learning knowledge and gaining tolerance of "the other", globalization; the second is the path to ghettoization, tribalism, war between cultures and ethnicities and religions and actual war between culturally based nation states.

    For that reason people who are dissing the prom dress girl on twitter et. al. who also on the left politically deserve to be dissed and ridiculed by the left. The isolationist tribalist ghetto-izers on right should welcome it, the anti-globalists should especially welcome it. 

    The title of that book really says it all: kindred by choice.

    Glad you got this all worked out before we got to eating rituals & preferences - that'd be quite the food fight...

    Oh I already mentioned that one upthread, about the 1950's American white people's diet and how it became globalized. wink Luckily most missed it. A lot of thanks for that should go to a white girl: Julia Child. Perhaps with secondary development thanks to Martha Stewart.

    Well I mentioned haggis, but I think you were talking about *food*.

    last gasp of the tribalists on that front was this, mho.

    Speaking of Iraq, I noted this report yesterday of some very interesting cross cultural possibilities developing over there.

    Yeah, but with haggis we're on *my* turf, and here I can say "appropriate away - I encourage you. I even double dog dare you". Sadly we can't even give it away. (Heather beer's another, but that at least isn't wicked & disgusting).
    As for those Freedom Fries, they come from Belgium anyway, and they eat them with mayonnaise - what kind of freedom is that? "Nothing left to lose", I hear Janis/Kris piping up - perhaps they're right.

    on you got this all worked out,

    finally figure I have a right to make some of these big sweeping generalizations after paying very close attention to cross-cultural iconography for like 40 years. Again: you are right that the conversation has had much stupidity and repetition without much learnin' going on. Your blog post was great, though.

    I should add that the political here who still believe a big tent party can do something about our politics need to stop tribalizing and proudly ghettoizing and segregating on this front. A lot of these deceptively little memes can be great ammunition for very potent culture wars. Or real wars. If someone admires one of your tribes stereotypes,just let it go, if they like one thing, they'll learn more over time.

    Not unexpected, there are complaints about cultural appropriation when it comes to the German hobbyists

    The story isn’t as clean as the book title suggests.


    book covers a story that develops over nearly 200 years.

    I've been hearing good things about German hobbyists. Everybody's talking about their excellent work, they have the smartest peiple working for them, believe you me.

    nice simple Psychology Today essay summing your whole thing up:

    The Culture of Victimhood


    You be nice to your brother or I'll send you both to your room.

    By the way, on the subject of Gigi's Vogue cover photo, there are two other issues that seem to have gone unnoticed: 1) what's up with the dude pulling her top down?  2) are those caricatures of an Asian woman all over her outfit??

    Sigh.  So many outrages, so little time.

     I happened to catch this fun comment while there while I was at yo link:

    • ms_von@stevenkleinstudio my brother you do amazing work! This is not considered black face to me and I am a black woman. I am not offended by this work of art you created. You did nicki video and made her look like an asian woman and no one is saying a word which was amazing by the way. This is not black face not by any means. Plus I didnt like how @gigihadid had the fire under her ass and then tried to throw you under the bus and say it was all your idea. Keep doing goid work my man black people understand black face and this is not!

    I clicked on ms von's Instagram account, while it was private, it gave a full name which is also on this Pinterest account, where I saw a black woman who seems to have collected a whole bunch of pictures of  geisha-looking hairstyles for black women, go figure, damn little cross-cultural appropriator, this gal! What's next, researchng an operation to change to Asian eyelids? But then her other Pinterest board suggests she might be into literacy., that could explain things!

    It got me thinking we should haul all the drag queens in for re-education so they stop making fun of centuries of femme culture. Damn, they do those shows where everyone in the audience laughs at the things we wimmin do with our bodies. I used to laugh along but now I am rethinking this, how I maybe should feel humiliation followed by outrage.

    An aside for those into history of fashion: check out the potentially naughty stuff that the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute is doing with Catholic vestments in a new show. Ah but the curators there know their stuff and this one did a pre-emptory:

    To find out if anything would be considered "inflammatory" (though Bolton said he wouldn't have taken it out, he wanted to be prepared), he consulted with James Martin S.J. "To my disappointment, there actually wasn't. There was one piece a crown of thorns (from Sean Leane) and the chalice potentially. In an interview last week, the Jesuit author mentioned that he cautioned about the crown. Martin said of the show, "The fashion they have is beautiful. It reminds people that in terms of Catholic art, we have to look at Balenciaga at the same time we look at Michelangelo. These are both artists influenced by Catholicism. That might be a surprise to a lot of people. Catholic art is usually Michelangelo, Caravaggio, da Vinci hanging in a museum and not hanging on people. It's a great insight to expand people's idea of what Catholic art can be."

    How dare men dress in traditional women's clothing, walk and talk like they're one of us ... but at the end of the day they can go back to being a man, while real women have to continue living in a misogynistic, sexist, demeaning and often dangerous world.  Gender appropriation!  Humiliation!!  Outrage!!! 

    Another thing I have been thinking of is all the blue hair dye I've been seeing for at least a year on both male and female hipsters.

    Which begs the question: how should Marge Simpson be depicted as reacting to this as a genetic bluette? Outraged, flattered, or in on the plot to make money from blue hair dye?

    Source: Marge Simpson Models Iconic Dresses
    From Kate Middleton To Madonna (PHOTOS)


    oh my, look at this horrific lampooning of Marge by a human that I just ran across on Google Images:

    I can't unsee this.  laugh

    You two - go to your rooms! And no jumping on the beds or dying your Barbies. Enough's enough. (btw, didn't Katy Perry totally cover blue?)


    BTW, the Smurfs are raising holy hell over cultural appropriation - protesting the red carpets (why not blue?) and other places where these atrocities take place. Blue isn't just a color to take on or off - it's a lifelong decision. I mean natural state, not a choice of course, ahem....

    I wasn’t aware of the Gigi Haddad Vogue cover. It appears that both Haddad and Vogue Italia apologized. Both said that they meant no offense. The model and magazine did not want to be perceived as committing cultural appropriation. Seems like the critics won. They got their apology.

    If true, the ones that want their people(s) to stay in cultural ghettoes won.

    again: denigration and appropriation because of admiration are two opposing things! You have absurdly been arguing two sides of this all through this thread!

    Ever hear of "role play"? You know, like acting? Acting someone you're not? Like you want those poor Asian actors to be able to do? That's what this fashion cover is: role play! GEEZ, like C'Ville said: get over yourself.I'd advise you step away from this thread and decide which side you want to argue for before you start in again with the contradictory comments! If you don't want to continue sounding ridiculous, that is.

    While I was t paying attention to the Vogue Italia cover, I was looking at the Urban League report on the lack of blacks in the tech industry and their plans to address the issue.

    Now back to cultural appropriation. The underlying idea is, in the case of acting, Asian actors loose out to white actors playing Asian roles. Asian actors are underrepresented to begin with, so having white people role playing costs them even more jobs.

    In the Haddad case, the complaint is that the exotic look the magazine desired could have been done by a woman of color.

    White actors had no problem role-playing ethnic minority roles. Ethnic minorities should have no problem role-playing a host of roles.

    Regarding the black woman who loved the bronzing. She has an opinion. The model and the magazine received enough complaints that led to an apology.  There are blacks who support Trump like Kanye West, Ben Carson, Diamond, and Silk. Roseanne Barr is a Trump fan as well. There is always at least one.

    She's a popular model, so they used her; that's how things work when you're selling magazines. 

    Check out the other comments on the Instagram page I linked - the "black woman who loved the bronzing" was not alone.  Sometimes there's more than one.

    They got their apology.

    That's it?  For all the bloodthirsty outrage and decimated lives that's all they wanted to just go away?  You use the word "critic", and say they won.  I call them trolls.

    The critics received an apology. Kendall Jenner and Pepsi were criticized for a BLM style protest ad in 2017. After backlash, both Jenner and Pepsi apologized.

    But, rm, what have all these empty apologies gotten the critics?  What's changed besides the online harassment moving on to the next thing?  It's become such a yawn now that businesses, people, etc. have learned that all you have to do is say you're sorry on an internet platform and you're forgiven ... while the song remains the same more often than not.  It doesn't help the underlying issue; it tends to detract from it because the noise is overwhelming. 


    The complaints bring the issue to the forefront. The issue is often not being discussed, so there is nothing to detract from because the debate is not taking place on a serious manner anyway. The Washington Redskins and other First Nation mascots still stare us in the face.

    The Seahawk logo was based on a First Nation sculpture.

    The apologies are all we have so far 

    Maybe we should have the Cleveland Caucasians. That might move the debate forward.


    Can we predict that PETA is getting all riled up about team names like WILDCATS, JAGUARS, TERRAPINS, DOLPHINS, WOLVERINES, LIONS, ORIOLES, BRONCOS, FALCONS, PANTHERS, TIGERS, DUCKS, and more...?  I think not. 


    The Cleveland Caucasians?  Wouldn't matter except that it wouldn't market well due to blandness.  White people just don't care about their culture being appropriated as long as they're still in charge of whatever they think it is.

    Do you think that is because they have always been in charge?

    That's a loaded question since the world is a large place and folks in charge of pieces of it tend to be varied.  We both know that, just as we both know what you're referring to isn't global.  So, yes, in the history of America white people have been and mostly still are "in charge".  But, rm, times are changing more rapidly than you may acknowledge - though sometimes you have when engaged in other arguments - and petty never helps progress.

    You sayin white guys can't jump? We could if we'd step away from the TV controller and beer nuts. But that's our millennia old culture. And the Cleveland Caucs play with such heart. Who else could lose by 50 points but week after week and give it their all? Plus they're the most literate bunch in the league - none of the journalists dare ask them about Kerouac or Flaubert - it's always "why didn't you drive up the middle when they were hard pressing your guards?" or "when are you going to trade for someone taller than 6 foot 2" and all these other hateful, culturally insensitive questions. Go Caucs! We love you anyway!

    (btw, that "keep 'em on the plantation" remark was about owners, not players, but the owner knew to quickly apologize and move on before he lost his team. "Sorry" doesn't have to be sincere, but it needs to be well-marketed, as Gigi did. And don't fret about the designer - the public forgot his name already - not even "the Italian under the bus" - pffft, vanished, ipso change-o.)

    You keep saying they apologized as if it means they were wrong. It's not necessarily so. Al Franken apologized for things I didn't think were wrong and resigned for trivial infractions that deserved at most just the public shaming he received. An apology doesn't prove anything.

    It's ok, he's certified gay, so there was no threat or intimidation or unwanted sexuality felt at any time during this photo shoot. Plus I think he was just fluffing her label, but can't be sure.

    So far apologies are all that have been offered. We will be back in cultural appropriation territory again when the next offensive incident occurs.. The root of the issue is a sense that ethnic minority artists are overlooked and have no input into the creative process.. One solution would be something akin to the NFL Rooney Rule where studios, fashion houses, etc have to make an effort to include black talent as actors, models, writers, etc. A major problem is who enforces the rule? The goal is a concept of cultural sharing rather than cultural appropriation, but we are no where close to that. 



    The goal is a concept of cultural sharing rather than cultural appropriation, but we are no where close to that.

    Yes.  And part of getting closer to that goal is realizing when it's actually happening instead of being blinded by knee-jerk reaction.

    A "Don't have a cow, man", Simpsons update, re:

    ” Rather than elaborating on what that meant, Groening said, “We’ll let the show speak for itself.”

    @ Vanity Fair A new book, Springfield Confidential, sheds light on the controversial character—...

    —who has already been benched from the show, according to writer Mike Reiss: “Hank Azaria saying he won’t voice the character anymore is like Val Kilmer announcing he won’t play Batman again—no one’s asking him to.".

    “There is all this hoopla about Apu, and the fact is we were cued into this three or four years ago. We did an episode then to address it,” he said. That was January 2016’s “Much Apu About Something,” which introduces Apu’s nephew Jay, a Wharton graduate who has shortened his first name from Jamshed—and is voiced, without an accent, by Utkarsh Ambudkar, an Indian-American actor.

    It's all a manufactured controversy about the past.  I even say shame on the NYTimes for publishing that guest op-ed that I re-posted saying the Apu character didn't bother him without fact-checking the whole situation. But  I see now that all the original complaints stirring this up were grownup American celebrities of Indian heritage talking about "it really affected me when I was growing up".  Why some of these things bubble up at a certain time is a mystery, other times it does have to do with someone wanting P.R. on it for one reason or another, not always innocent either.

    Where does this whole story really take one? I'd say in the end, it's all about kids bullying, kids using pop culture memes without fully understanding them, to bully. There's a whole world of stuff they can chose from if they wish to bully. We can't censor the world, nor the internet (China & Iran try, we'll see.) Better to work on bullying, especially bullying "the other."

    Black Yale student takes a nap in a common room in a Yale dorm. White Yale student calls the cops.


    Stop this cultural appropriation NOW!  

    Oh.  Never mind.

    With each boundary our sense of understanding is damaged. We can't put ourselves in someone else's skin, understand what they feel like, identify with them, try to *be* them in some way.


    By PeraclesPlease on Fri, 05/04/2018 -

    Happens to be at the top of the thread.

    I excerpted the same part of his piece waaay back on Friday ... either proof that a good essay holds up or that this thread has gone on waaay too long.  wink

    I'm having a Joy Reid moment - I don't remember writing this. Sounds like me, but after over 200 comments just on this thread alone, who knows. Maybe I've been hacked - Russians? Venutians? Marshmellans? It's terriertory fraught with puerile.

    The cultural appropriation movement is more ingrained than I thought in October. The movement is about addressing racial inequality. It is not about costumes or makeup. The black Yale students did not feel welcome on campus. The response to the administration letter about turning away when an offensive costume sparked the protest. The protest was about.racism on campus. The story about calling the Yale cops on a napping black student will confirm the reason for the protest for many black Yale students.

    Arguing that a group of mainland Chinese woman did not object to the prom dress is unimportant. The discussion is about the sensibilities of Asians in the United States. It is no  surprise th at hate crimes ag Aniston Asianans in America are increasing. Some organizations are calling for safe spaces.

    Black Yale students don’t feel safe. Microaggressions like calling the cops for napping can have deadly consequences. The Yale students were laughed at for expressing their concerns. They were told “Don’t worry, just look away”. The conflict at Yale was not about Halloween costumes. The letter sent to Yale administration had nothing to do with Halloween. It was a first step in trying to address a system in place for decades. It was not going to magically solve the problem. The cultural appropriation issue is a proxy for a discussion about racial injustice. 

    BTW, Rachael Dolezal still can’t be black. 


    in other words, you hijacked Peracles' blog post to talk about apples when he was talking about oranges.  Kind of like: "appropriated it" for your own meme. He's a very tolerant fellow about "the other" though, tries to understand when that happens.

    P.S. To be clear, you're totally right that anything going on at Yale has little to do with the "cultural appropriation" controversies that were the topic of his thread.So why did you hijack in that direction instead of starting your own blog post?

    For regular members here, you seem to have this constant desire to preach to us dumb old whiteys on Dagblog simplistic memes about blacks anytime anything vaguely related is raised. As I've said before, you shouldn't be surprised if members here find that insulting, stereotyping in itself, and you get pushback with ridicule.

    The post stated with Dolezal, went to a bronzed model, Eddie Anderson, etc. There were many twists and turns.



    Yes, there were many twists and turns, but I must say I didn't much know how to go further once we got into 2 students arguing over whether someone can nap in a commons. I suppose there's an important relevant principle involved that we have to address as well, but I'm just kind of petered out. I guess I'm happy we didn't seque into Middle East peace though, and leave it at that - was on tenterhooks for a bit.

    the point of quoting Peracles in that context: had that white student somehow had the experience of being black for even just a day, she might have learned not to automatically stereotype someone with black skin as not belonging to the Yale tribe but as a homeless vagrant.

    I dare say it might even be that if liberal and not from a racist tribe, she probably doesn't know a lot of black Yalies because: she's never been allowed to mix or put herself in another tribe's shoes, parents and teachers might have taught her that it's not correct to do so.

    Tribalism begets worse tribalism. I believe I've basically seen you defend segregation and "separate but equal" on this thread. I think you should think about that! That that's the message you've sent to me with some of your comments on this thread. You don't think cultures should mix. You're basically with Steve Bannon, doncha know? In support of other tribes other than the white western, but it's still the same thing.

    lol on: Joy Reid moment. Very apropos in so many ways!

    On Joy herself, allow me to hijack if you please. As a pre-emptive. I'm a fan. I was pleased to run across all the various kinds of support for how she handled the problem on twitter, made me have hope there is still common sense out there on the whole politically correct purity test thing.

    Seems the Chinese don't care. Let's protest anyway.

    (Yes, I'm bored)

    Of all the dumb cultural appropriation complaints the Chinese dress is the worse. I keep looking at that dress to see what makes it intrinsically Chinese and I just can't see it. It just looks like a plain old dress to me.

    "the worst", please. After Melania launched the semi-literate "Be Best", even our language is under heavy Slavic attack. (exception that makes the rule: "none the worse for wear")

    Sorry for the typo, clearly I meant "the wurst." It was a reference to the old adage, "Politics as sausage making." The dress being the result of such metaphoric "sausage" making. You seem to be much more of a fan of sausage than I as you began your comment with a courteous request for sausage, the wurst, please. I much prefer spam. Hope that clarifies and again, sorry for the typo.





    Well I'd seen someone else make the same "typo" the other day and didn't flag it, and recently used a "the würst is yet to come", which sadly proved true, so I suppose what's sauce for the goose is sausage for the gander. Or "you say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to/you say spammity-spam, I say headcheese and haggis/to-may-to, to-mah-to, spammity spam, haggis/let's call the whole thing off"

    Let’s elevate this conversation a bit, shall we (except for the poor goose)?  Foie Gras May be even uglier to watch than sausage - making, but it has some snob appeal.  Being of Scotch descent, I have heard tales of how great haggis is, but the smell of it is a bit of a turn x off for me.

    Let's not haggle over haggis lest we raise the hackles of the hapless not heaped in the habits of the Hebrides. Aye we both know the Gras is greener on the other side, gratuitously speaking, a rather gruesome grossening of the gullet, and a waste of the grainery, if I may grouse a bit, but the gentrified Gauls have always garnished their grandiose gueles, both goose gosier and des gens generis, up to that swift gander up the gangplank where the garrotte or guillotine loosens their galvenized grip on their engorged gorges du gargue as the gaggle gawks and ganders.

    Stories of foods like haggis, kimchi, sauerkraut, etc. being tasty are likely rationalizations made by poor desperate hungry people having no choice but to eat crap. There's no more meat left, let's shove this leftover gunk into the stomach and eat it. Put in lots of spices to hide the taste. Damn the cabbage is rotten. I'm starving let's eat it anyway. It's a corollary of the Fox and sour grapes fable. If the fox had been able to reach the grapes and they turned out to be mouth suckingly sour the fox would have made up a story about how wonderful the taste of sour grapes are. Better than sweet grapes. Since he was so hungry he had to eat them no matter what.

    And I suppose you don't like kids' knees nor kidneys either - human or otherwise. A waist of good entrails, and a waif of gooey inflexion, so to speak (entrail mix? is that how little Hansel made his way out?)

    ah but I can be on topic on this. Here's Afro-American culcha letting whitey in on the potato salad joke. I found that because I loved the whole skit and was looking to find it online.  The skit itself was about assimilating another culture: T'Challa from Black Panther was on Black Jeopardy, and as he is an alien from Wakanda, he didn't have the correct answers. Started catching on quick with the potato salad.

    Duly appropriated! Next!

    Wow. Still going on. You neglect the issue of emoji blackface.

    Soon You May Be Able to Text with 2,000 Egyptian Hieroglyphs

    Wonder if then the mummies will rise from their museum crypts to protest "appropriation"....

    This is what I like about dagblog. No matter how weird or how far off the beaten path a comment goes there's always people who have something to say about it. In many groups my "wurst" comment  would be met by blank stares and be a conversation ender. Here it sparks a dialog. I'm off to visit the parents in FL. Be back in two weeks.

    Don't eat no Cuban sandwiches, ya ain't allowed. Oranges and key lime pie are probably safe.

    Two weeks is a long time, you might miss important developments, by then they could have started crucifying famous fusion cuisine chefs!

    Würst comes to würse, we'll be waiting.

    Here's the thing on that: the lack of a unibrow is something to sue about, while the lack of representation of her broken body from both polio and a horrendous broken spine from being impaled in an accident, it's okay to leave those parts out. (Even though she herself represented her deformities in some of her paintings.) So no disabled constantly-in-pain Barbie yet, but unibrow: now a proud symbol of the genetically hairier females. I guess you could say all Barbies represent the disabled, since they are noticeably lacking in quite a few body joints?

    So is this appropriate(d) or inappropriate(d)?

    [turned into a diary. this is not the blog piece you are looking for. pay no attention to the man in dark sunglasses and checkered cufflinks. look into this flashy thing for just a moment... comments are now closed]

    Realizing AR/VR will make this "problem" mainstream everpresent or go away completely. With Second Life 15 years ago you could make your own avatars and virtual worlds, appropriating whatever you wanted to from whomever and whatever. With Augmented and Virtual Reality, you no longer have to build your own worlds an characters - these are just new skins and templates in various libraries and pulled real-time out of real life. I don't even need to see *you* as you want - I can make you into a Tongan warrior princess (Maiello) or an effete Broadway theater goer (Peter) or a pack of feral kidney-craving zombies (all of you). I can change these instantly, or choreograph you lip-syncing to Justin Bieber or baying at the moon or giving a spanking to Donald Trump while watching Shark Tank. You will no longer be in control of your own image - your $100 hairdo can be remodeled in a moment to a depression-era bowl cut. Not into tattoos? You are now, right on the _ _ _ _. Weight problem? I just gave you anorexia (and a skin disease - sorry, got a bit carried away).

    This isn't just me - you will be marketed to, microtargeted, placed on a faraway beach or driving in a new car of your dreams or in the middle of a Venetian costume ball or teemarking down an Alpine trail. Doctors will create models of your intestines and neural pathways; plumbers will guide plumbums thru your pipes. Your teachers will have instant visuals and which synapses are firing (or not) over their boring lessons, while your kids will get feedback of facial markers and body posture as to whether they can stay out late and how to break down your defenses. There'll be thorough genetic and social history trails to make sure none of your personality or decisions are registered as mere accidents, but we can build on these moments in time to create the new better fantasy you, one that you'll have trouble disagreeing with (the you you'd want to have a beer with, I suppose).

    Walking into the VR conference I saw a girl in a flower dress - couldn't tell if it was an Asian pattern or not; wasn't even sure if *she* was Asian or not. So I said something insulting to her just to be safe. Thought y'all'd be proud of me - I'm learning, evolving on this. I feels so modern...

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