January 2018
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exclusionism is prejudice

There is this attitude among some people that culture is something that belongs to a person by birthright. This is a form of prejudice, and I hate it every bit as much as the rest. Anything that is exclusionist on the basis of the way a person was made (race, sex, family) is prejudiced.

Yet some people think that if others (whites especially) try to learn about other cultures, and possibly adopt their belief systems, they are 'usurping' their culture. This is bullshit. I do understand the drive behind it, especially for those who have been an oppressed minority -- there's the idea, "You did _______ to us, now you want to share our treasure? Fuck off!" I might have that attitude myself if I was an oppressed minority, because it is completely justified. That doesn't make it right.

If a person respects you, your race, and your culture, and they want to learn and perhaps even adopt your culture, you should be flattered! Can they pay a greater compliment to your culture than wanting to emulate it? As human beings, we need to recognize that culture is what we have made and are making it. It's constantly in flux, because it is shaped by very changeable humans. We should encourage the desire to learn about each other, to respect each others' beliefs and ways of living, and possibly to adopt those that resonate with our inner selves.

This was brought on because I wandered into a culture-focused community, hoping to find people celebrating their culture -- instead I found nothing but negativity and hate for others, and a very exclusionist attitude regarding culture and religion. I agree that it's justified -- but what good does it do? What good does it ever do to hate other human beings?

sounds: India Arie: "(Not The Average Girl From Your) Video"
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acid_burns ══╣charlize theron / freedom╠══
belenen ══╣teasing╠══
karmia ══╣╠══
To some extent. On the other hand, there are parts of culture you can never emulate, namely entire histories of oppression. And if you remember that, then it's understandable why someone wouldn't want you trying to emulate their culture-- sure you can like some of the aspects, but because you were not raised in it, have not had to undergo the trials that they have, it's not necessarily your right to take the rest of it. IE, you can't just have the pretty parts of the culture, which is how it may seem to them.

Personally, I would never want somebody to embrace my life, god forbid pretend they lived it, if they obviously haven't. There are things you'll never know about that culture, never be able to truly understand. Therefore, trying to take it on is your own is actually kind of demeaning-- it's like you're saying that it's so simple that any person who's only been around it slightly can take it on.
psychobobob ══╣╠══
im kind of in two minds here - on the one hand i agree with Belenen but you have made an extremely good point - i myself dont try to emulate other cultures i am me - original and unique but ou are quite right, a portion of people from a culture may find it flattering that others would want to emulate them but the hardship that a culture may have gone through - they will hopefully never experience therefore the other portion of a culture will find it extrelyanooying and even demeaning

i know what i mean anyway lol!!
belenen ══╣╠══
eternitywaiting ══╣╠══
"You did _______ to us, now you want to share our treasure? Fuck off!" I might have that attitude myself if I was an oppressed minority, because it is completely justified.

I actually completely disagree with the idea that it's "completely justified." I did not own anyone as a slave, for example. As a matter of fact, only one grandparent in my family was even a U.S. citizen when slavery was legal (I'm only second-generation American on my dad's father's side, Grandpa Cullison wasn't a citizen). I never did shit to anyone, and I don't like being blamed for things that other people did, just because my skin happens to be the same color. I'm part German, should I be blamed for Hitler? No? Then why should being white make me responsible for attrocities committed against other races? I'm also part Asian and part Native American. I don't blame "pure whites" for the near-genocide of Native Americans, or for the opium laws that opressed Asians. They were horrible atrocities, but no one alive today is responsible for them, and it's just not fucking right to blame an entire race for the evil of some.
belenen ══╣shimmering╠══
I understand your sentiment, and I think perhaps my wording wasn't right when I said it was justified. What I should have said was that it is understandable.

I do think, that as part of a privileged, oppressive majority race, we have a responsibility -- even though we may never have oppressed anyone -- to be humble and admit that our ancestors were wrong and we are ashamed of their actions. Perhaps not you, because as you said your family wasn't here, but mine was, and even though they were too poor to own slaves, they certainly contributed to the evil by not speaking out against it. I am willing to step up and take on that responsibility and apologize, because people were wronged, and they deserve an apology even if it's only from the decendent of the one who did it.
untoldeuphemism ══╣╠══
I was at the police station today getting my fingerprints and local background check for the new job I am supposed to start soon. Behind the counter was a black police officer and a white civilian who were helping people. A lady came in and began screaming because apparently there was a misunderstanding. She was getting angrier and angrier because the 2 women behind the counter were addressing her in English and apparently she wanted to speak in Spanish. The white lady said she can speak and understand Spanish so she was still trying to help her but that clearly was not working because all the Hispanic woman was doing was yelling that the lady wasn't listening. Um, how could anyone there NOT hear??? She had one of those really annoying voices too so I was quite tempted to throw my shoe at her and tell her to shut up but of course I didn't. What set me off is that she was screaming at people to speak Spanish and then the white lady got fed up with her crap and said "This is America. Learn to speak English." Then the Hispanic lady said, "This is Miami. This is Latin America. You learn to speak Spanish." [which was stupid anyway because the lady she was saying this to WAS speaking Spanish] This was such an annoying exchange but people are like this a lot here. Miami really is like Latin America. People here don't learn English because they don't have to since it's a giant subculture of Spanish speaking people. People here will actually get mad at you if you do speak English. Both of my parents are Latin American. I will NEVER EVER label myself Hispanic because I have never felt tied to that culture. And I tried but it never worked for me. The language, the food, the customs, the history, the clothes, etc...none of that works for me. I just can't relate to it. All I know is that it's just not for me. I obviously can't change who I was born to and where they were born but I don't have to accept something that does not fit who I am. I will never ever embrace it. I've been accused of being a racist because of this but what am I supposed to do? I see myself a certain way and nothing can really change that. It's like people with blonde hair wanting to dye their hair black. If that is what they want and like, it does not make them any less of a real person. I have no plans on joining the military. That doesn't make me unpatriotic. When people ask me what I am, I say I am American. I was born and raised in America so that is what I am. I don't understand why people are so concerned about what anyone is. I care about if a person is nice and good and kind. Beyond that, not much else matters to me.
belenen ══╣shimmering╠══
I think you have a very well-balanced and mature view. I've been accused of being racist against whites because I can't connect at all with the white American culture -- thank you, but I am too unique for my cookie-cutter culture, and I like being expressive and energetic rather than polite and unobtrusive.

We're humans, we're all different -- it stands to reason that some of us don't fit in the culture we were born to.
bluebl00d ══╣╠══
This world is filled with ignorance.

belenen ══╣passionate╠══
unfortunately, so true.
soulresilience ══╣╠══
The hate humans have for each other is something that truly drives me mad. I just shouldn't be that way.

Here's a suggestion to the people who don't want to share their religions and cultures, stay in your homelands. Don't venture out into a world where human curiousity is so abundant.

Or something.
belenen ══╣teasing╠══
*snicker* I like your opinion. ;-)
jedibubbles ══╣╠══
*pokes with a ten foot pole*

Erm, I can see why people might get a bit pissed off, babe. For many, culture is part of their identity, and most people are very protective of their identities. When someone tried to be JUST LIKE ME waaaaaaaaaaay back in high school, it was NOT flattering. It was insulting and I resented it. It felt like that person was saying "Oh, wow, I like your life better than mine. And I bet I can live it better!"

It's natural to be curious, hell, I LOVE learning about other cultures and, when I happen across an idea that stretches my brain, I tuck it away for future use. But I'm curious as to how you could possibly adopt any other culture without living in it. I don't mean being born to it, necessarily; I mean being utterly immersed in it for a long period of time. And even if you are immersed, you will still probably be regarded as an outsider, which is not quite an acceptance. And as culture is, at it's most basic, something shared by a group of people, being accepted into the fold is part of it. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is alot more realistic than The Last Samurai.

I'm not saying that anyone had a right to be hateful to you--especially as I'm not sure what the situation was--but you might want to cool down, back off, and see it from their end.
eternitywaiting ══╣╠══
I agree with both of you, though I think it's largely because, Bel, I think you're covering (perhaps unintentionally?) two totally separate ideas in this post.

I don't buy into the idea that culture is something you are born into - genetics have nothing to do with culture, they just tend to create trends. Culture is about how you were raised, and how you've chosen to live your life. It's what you're surrounded with, through your own choices and through unintentional contact that forms your culture. It's not about how you look, it's about how you interact with the world. (That's why I hate when "urban culture" is used as a synonym for "black culture" because I think it's entirely possible to be black without being urban, or be urban without being black.)

Still, that's something that's hard to "adopt." You have to be immersed in a culture for a long while before you can really even think about calling it your own. Although you don't have to be born into a culture, it helps, because your formulative years are spent immersed in it.

Like jedibubbles, I've had experience with people emulating me, and emulating my culture. When I was a senior in high school, a bunch of the girls decided they were "street" and started using (albeit outdated) urban slang and acting like "thugs." This irritated the shit out of me, being that I'm actually a city person, and these girls had never set foot outside of their rural, all-white, all-Christian, diversity-free town. (I dealt much better with the people immitating me, directly, than I did with the people who tried to identify with my culture, since they'd never been a part of it.) If they'd honestly wanted to experience city life, move away from their small town and broaden their horizons, that would've been one thing. But they wanted the "fun" part of the culture without the "bad" parts. They all were afraid to go to the "big city" 'cause they thought they'd get shot. Well, unfortunately, crime is something you just have to deal with along with all that "fun city culture."

Unfortunately, culture is a really touchy subject. You can't just wake up one morning and say, "Hey, I think I'll adopt a new culture!" but it's still possible to do so, over time. It takes an immersion, though, that most people aren't willing to put forth, because they find too much comfort in their original culture to go that far outside of their comfort zone.

Hmm. I think this might have been rambly. Tell me if I didn't make any sense....
karmia ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
jedibubbles ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
jedibubbles ══╣╠══
kevloid ══╣╠══
the whole thing is just foolish. people are molded by the atmosphere around them, and they pick up cultural stuff the same way. saying 'stay out of my culture' is like saying 'hey, that's my oxygen'.

canada's very multicultural, and as a result I've picked up things from maybe a dozen or two dozen cultures that are a part of me now. and nobody cares. some people might even think it's cool that I'm not totally ignorant about them or who they are.

they're doing themselves a disservice by excluding you.
belenen ══╣caffeinated╠══
I read this and exclaimed, "FINALLY! Someone who GETS IT!" Thank you, THANK YOU for commenting this. I was getting really riled.

Out of all of the Canadians I've met, all of them seem much less exclusionist than the majority of other people I know -- due to the multiculturalism, I'm sure. I like that. I think I'd like to live in Canada for a year. ;-)
kevloid ══╣╠══
lilerthkwake ══╣╠══
Your opinions are powerfully and lyrically stated. Well done--and I agree!!!
belenen ══╣caffeinated╠══
Thank you for saying so! ;-)
lilerthkwake ══╣╠══
shelly007 ══╣me╠══
Amen sister!
belenen ══╣vivacious╠══
*clinks glasses with you*
baka_shampoo ══╣╠══
There's no point on not getting along..
it'll just get you nowhere.
so your point is fully taken.
belenen ══╣vivacious╠══
cool. ;-)
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
I feel as long as it's done with respect and knowledge of a culture, then it's the highest compliment someone can pay another and agree wit you totally.

belenen ══╣passionate╠══
yes, exactly. It has to be done with respect and honor, but with those two things it's a compliment, not an offense!
chillychilly22 ══╣╠══
I have to say... you make a very good point. Sometimes it takes time for that said culture to see if a person's motives are pure. And other times their attitude is based on ignorance and selfishness... as in "it's MINE, no touch!!" lol
belenen ══╣shimmering╠══
Exactly. ;-)
thesaj ══╣╠══
Oppressed Minority is simply an endearing term of ignorance and a failure to understand another's oppression:

Russia's Serfs - the unmentioned slaves not freed till the early 19th century

Irish & Italian immigrants, restricted from entrance into many restaurants and pubs and who's lives were valued less than a slaves - as they were so easy to replace.

Hispanics, you mean, one of the largest slave-owning and oppressive groups who's descendents have in recent times suffered exclusion by being the only minority group to refuse en mass to learn the common language in the U.S.

Africans, sure, but let's not forget that slavery came about from one tribe's oppression of another. The usually result was mass-murder (like in recent Rwanda events). But then the opportunity to profit came and instead of murdering they sold them. Mind you, that the Ivory Coast of North Africa was full of oppressing pirates who preyed on merchant vessels in the mediterranean.

China...minority (1 in 4 people on the planet are chinese). Known for repeated attempts of oppressing neighboring groups.

Okay, lets talk about a real minority group "Australian Aborigines" or Alaskan "Inuits". But often the term minority group is merely a misused moniker.

Now does racism and prejudice occur, (yes, but by all parties) and is it wrong (yes)...one should not be judged on their ethnicity but rather on their character and their moral fiber and ethics.

- The Saj
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
what I mean when I say "oppressed minority" is "living in an area in which they are a much lower percentage than other races, and valued less than the majority race."
thesaj ══╣╠══
eternitywaiting ══╣╠══
thesaj ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.