Been thinking lately about Halloween, self-identification, and cultural appropriation. Along with Megyn Kelly, I’ve been trying to understand “cultural appropriation” and, more specifically, “identity appropriation” as “explained” to us by progressives who apparently now believe that some people (but only some) should be able to choose their age, race, sex, “gender”, and even species, forcing the rest of us to acknowledge their new reality.
I started thinking about this, and getting way confused by progressive “logic,” when the topic of Elizabeth Warren’s alleged appropriation of Native American identity came up after she reported results of a DNA test that “prove” she may be anywhere from 1/64 to 1/1024 “indigenous” American, but only because she apparently shares a tiny fraction of DNA with persons who may or may not descend from indigenous Mexicans or South Americans, who themselves may or may not have shared genes with indigenous North Americans. Warren’s claim to be part Native American is apparently offensive to those who have more “indigenous” DNA than she does.
Warren is engaged in a kind of identity theft, or so her opponents’ theory goes. Warren, an outwardly “white” woman, for some reason that only progressives understand is not allowed to “identify” as Native American, or even partially so.
Whether she’s truly of indigenous ancestry or not, the fact remains that Warren is not allowed to self-identify, no matter what she thinks, believes, feels, or claims to know as a result of her DNA test or family oral history.
Who is allowed to decide what’s offensive?
Who is allowed to self-identify and who is not allowed?
Similar to the topic of self-identification is the topic of cultural appropriation.
Halloween was just the other day. Colleges everywhere warned students to be careful not to dress in culturally inappropriate costumes. In particular, students were warned not to wear blackface, even if they planned to dress as a character who happens to be black. Similarly, they were warned not to wear “tribal” paraphernalia or ethnic items like sombreros.
Mind you, it seems perfectly okay to appropriate any number of practices, costumes, and traditions from people who are considered to be of “no color” (aka “white”).
Progressives “of color” seem to totally miss the irony of Halloween being celebrated by themselves. Halloween is indisputably a cultural practice “belonging“ to “white” people. Isn’t it misappropriation for persons of color–or anyone who deigns to speak for them, such as those who habitually gripe about cultural appropriation–to participate in Halloween and by doing so mock the ancestral religion and traditions of Gaelic people? It’s all how you look at it, isn’t it? Can we apply their philosophies to everyone, please?
One of their “experts” on the topic of cultural appropriation opined:
Cultural appropriation is important to consider during Halloween because this is the time of year when we are most likely to dress up in a costume that is representative of another culture.
If you don’t know the meaning of the ethnic attire you are considering for Halloween, you shouldn’t wear it. For instance, tribal markings, headdresses and turbans would not be appropriate costume attire because they are tied to a specific ceremony or religious meaning.
The expert doesn’t seem to appreciate the “specific ceremony or religious meaning” of the celebration of Samhain or consider that perhaps it’s demeaning to Gaelic people when their religious or cultural traditions are appropriated by non-Gaelic people from other cultures. Ya think?
TV host Megyn Kelly is apparently losing her show simply for daring to question the logic of a ban on whites wearing “blackface.” (Are only whites so banned? Can “browns” wear blackface? How about Asians? Can blacks wear brownface? Can blacks wear whiteface? So confusing!)
Apparently, a person is not even allowed to express a lack of understanding and ask for reasons why some find it offensive for non-blacks to darken their faces when dressing up in costume as, say, Beyonce or Michael Jackson. To do so is a firing offense (if you’re white, or if you’re blond and semi-conservative, and even if you’re female).
To ask a question, to ask for an explanation, to seek enlightenment is now a crime worthy of losing one’s job! That’s how I read it, anyway.
What did Kelly say that was so offensive?
But what is racist? …
You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween.
Back when I was a kid, that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as like a character.
Kelly’s not the only person who’s left wondering. Being a lawyer, she’s trained to think logically, so she has my sympathy on this one, except that I haven’t a clue why she believed that she had to apologize. She shouldn’t have done so, in my humble opinion (so long as I’m “allowed” by progressives to have an opinion).
So Kelly loses her job for simply asking why something’s offensive or wrong; a nurse in Missouri loses her job for dressing up as Beyonce and darkening her skin; little kids who aren’t black have to wonder if they can dress up as the superhero Black Panther (even though kids of color have dressed as Superman or Batman for decades); and hair stylists in South Carolina experience “extreme backlash” for daring to dress up as various incarnations of Michael Jackson, including “blackface” to portray moments in time when Michael did have a black face.
Was it cultural appropriation or identity appropriation when Michael whitened?
However, Al Roker is defended for dressing as a white character from the movie “Back to the Future”, and Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Silverman, and Jimmy Kimmel (all white) wore blackface on TV over the years, but faced no outcry and all still kept their jobs. Funny that. What’s the diff?
The above quoted expert on cultural appropriation and identity also wrote this:
Dressing in blackface during Halloween is inappropriate because the blackface tradition is founded upon the enactment of demeaning stereotypes of black people. …
Yet the issue is bigger than blackface. Any cultural appropriation – defined as the adoption of elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture – can be deemed inappropriate and offensive.
Which brings me to the most important point I’d like to make. Keep in mind the expert’s citation of “demeaning stereotypes” and the “adoption of elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture.”
Blackface is offensive. I get it. Why, then, is this not offensive to at least half the population?
Demeaning stereotypes? Check.
Minority culture? (Historically, women have been oppressed.) Check.
Elements of the minority culture appropriated by the dominant culture (males) in order to further demeaning stereotypes? (Women as sex objects?) Check.
Consider this, by Rush Limbaugh:
Career Day went sideways for students at Rocky Top Middle School in Thornton, Colorado.
One of the featured speakers was Jessica L’Whor, a dancer and performance artist. Actually, Jessica L’Whor is a drag queen.
L’Whor explained to the middle school students that he is a man, but portrays a woman in performances. L’Whor asked that they call him Ms. Jessica. Because using “L’Whor” around the children he wanted to influence would be inappropriate, you see.
Parents were not informed that their children would be getting career advice from a drag queen. When word got out, many of the parents were outraged.
Cute, huh? In case you didn’t grok the demeaning stereotype, “Ms. Jessica” invented for himself the surname “L’Whor” (the whore), and dressed (inappropriately) appropriately as a stereotypical whore. Then he spoke to little children, presumably as a role model.
Mr. Whoever He Really Is may (or may not) self-identify as a woman, but it’s hard to tell from stories about this outrageous incident. Nevertheless, L’Whor is referred to in mainstream media news articles as a “woman”, as “she”, as “her.” Does L’Whor self-identify as female even though at the same time he admits to being “a man?” Is he/she “allowed” to be both male and female simultaneously? Seems so. But this isn’t supposed to be offensive to women, even though it’s probably the most flamboyant and outrageous example of identity misappropriation out there.
Here’s a circumstance that is even more horrifying, debilitating, demeaning, discriminating, harmful, and offensive to genuine females:
Writes the Gateway Pundit:
Dr. Rachel McKinnon became the first ever transgender world champion in a womens cycling event this weekend.
She whooped them little girls. …
McKinnon believes that men who identify as women should not be required to take testosterone suppressing hormones (let alone have gender reassignment surgery) in order to participate in women’s athletic competitions.
Just say you’re a woman and viola! You become so, even if you forego the hormones and the surgery to make you at least outwardly female, despite your Y chromosome.
But, but, but, do not, under any circumstances, even openly pretend for one single night to be black.
Can anyone imagine a scenario where Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who self-identifies as black, would be allowed to compete in and win an event like Miss Black America? Would it be an outrageous example of cultural or identity appropriation if she tried to do so? Would it be offensive to blacks?
There’s a lot more about Dr. McKinnon at this link.
Does it make sense that some people are allowed to be offensive while others lose their jobs simply for asking why something is offensive?
Why is it terrible when some people get offended but apparently of no concern when females are equally offended and also actually harmed (e.g., when biological males win scholarships or contests designed for biological females)?
I truly would like to hear an explanation from the progressive experts who reify things like cultural appropriation and sex, race, and gender self-identification, but do I dare to even ask for a logical explanation?