My Mazamet

Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho

Canadian journalists support ‘appropriation prize’ after online furore | The Guardian

“The piece sparked furore on social media. While some defended Niedzviecki’s idea, others described the piece as clueless and an insult to the indigenous writers who had contributed to the issue. The piece ignored that white, middle-class authors appropriate other cultures too often, said Alicia Elliott, one of the contributors to the issue. “Their voices are lifted up, while the people who are from those cultures are pushed down and kept outside the industry,” she wrote on Twitter.”

Source: Canadian journalists support ‘appropriation prize’ after online furore | World news | The Guardian

May a Blond Chinese Jesus help us all.

For goodness’ sake. The concept of appropriation (as other adventures of North American college students) never ceases to amaze me. In this case they themselves have appropriated the concepts of nativism and xenophobia- apart from denying the human capacity for empathy and understanding. If there’s one thing we should aim for as a society it’s to be able to put ourselves in another’s shoes. My skin does not need to be dark for me to understand the indignity of being relegated to the back of the bus. I needn’t be a woman to acknowledge the horror of stoning or the insult it is to earn 75 cents on the dollar.

The idea we, humans, we who laugh and cry at the same times during films, whose eyes water on queue to lyrics, can and should only communicate experiences based on our born identities is the ultimate in imbecility. It is the appropriation of sexism, of racism, of homophobia and all the other things many of us reject because we know better. And if you don’t know better yet, you should.

16 comments on “Canadian journalists support ‘appropriation prize’ after online furore | The Guardian

  1. Esme upon the Cloud
    May 13, 2017

    “If there’s one thing we should aim for as a society it’s to be able to put ourselves in another’s shoes”. – Yes! That’s just it! I wrote a whole big comment here about this and the bastard iPad (pardon my French sir), jumped a page and it’s gone and I’m too shattered to get it all typed out again, but yes! That was the core of it.

    – Esme weak but strong of will upon the Cloud

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I read about “controversies” like this, I despair. Practically all of culture is based on the idea that there are things we all share. You don’t need to be Russian or born n the 19th century to read Dostoïevski. Or to act one of his characters.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. inspiredbythedivine1
    May 13, 2017

    Like my bigoted Uncle Stymie used to say,” Hell, I’d walk a 1000 miles in another person’s shoes just ta show ’em how my way ‘o doin’ shit is far better ‘n their way ‘o doin’ shit.” Never cared much for Uncle Stymie. He talked funny. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. foolsmusings
    May 13, 2017

    How dare you comment on a Canadian story? :p

    Liked by 2 people

  4. acflory
    May 14, 2017

    Apparently the need to make others conform is not restricted to the Spanish Inquisition.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. theoccasionalman
    May 14, 2017

    I just watched Dear White People, and while I loved it, I had to acknowledge that I have no idea how to approach race in a respectful way. What is the line between acknowledging a terrible past and appropriating the pain of others? I don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve just watched it too 🙂 I have mixed feelings.
      The biggest problem I see is when we’re young we’re looking for absolutes. The TERF “feminists” say women are the hardest hit minority. I’m sure other groups would say *not so fast*. Being a black man and being stopped by the police isn’t a notch on the male privilege belt. Being LGBT in Uganda isn’t fun either.
      I think it’s important to recognise nuance- and to look outside ourselves. You and I may have lived very different lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t relate to each other.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. makagutu
    May 15, 2017

    I don’t know how cultural appropriation became a thing. When I did anthropology, we were told culture is adaptive and fluid. So it should be a good thing when others learn from other cultures. This, in my view, would promote unity and so on. Maybe I am wrong

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been reading about the idea lately and I find it utterly ridiculous. It presumes a sort of cultural exclusivity that doesn’t exist. All philosophy appropriates classical Greek ideas. Art is one long, never-ending appropriation. Brazilian music heavily borrows African rhythms. Fluidity all the way.


      • makagutu
        May 16, 2017

        How would life be if we didn’t borrow from one another culturally? Static, boring, mundane

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on May 13, 2017 by in activism and tagged , , , , .
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