Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9687060:

Halloween appropriation 8 10, 6:33am


How about that people believe that if someone isn't "Indian" enough, or "Black" enough or "Gypsy" enough, that they get cast out of multiple societies. Hatred is a hard thing to look at. There is a *lot* of proof that this hurts many, not just a single individual.

Now, I do have an American view of this. A privileged, white middle-class girl's view. I can't have any other - it's what I am. But in the US there is a thing about stealing. And an idea of intellectual property.

If culture is defined as "the beliefs, ideas, traditions, speech, and material objects associated with a particular group of people" per Webster. Appropriation is taking something for one's own use, usually without permission.

The damage to the Romani is a spread of the idea that there is a specific look about them that is not telling the whole story, and that it is spreading an idea that Romani cannot be educated, well-dressed, or worthwhile of knowing except as something extinct in fairy tales about magic and witches, not as current living breathing human beings.

The hurt to the Native Americans is seeing a religious artifact used for trivialized entertainment and the further push that their entire being is uncultured, uneducated, and non-people. How many wars were started just between the Protestants and the Catholics over which way to pray? To take an important religious symbol and say it's OK to make it as something that's not religious - and worse, to do it unknowingly and then once you do know just shrug your shoulders - that's hurtful to the people who believe in that religion.

The more these stereotypes are spread, the more that the people in power have an easier time to believe them, and that these people then don't matter. It is part of why the Native American reservations have shrunk to a quarter of the size than they were promised. It is why blackface entertainment has mostly died out in the US - people realized that African Americans were people and not just something to make fun of.

Having people believe that another person is not on-par, is not worthy of respect, and is not worthy of listening to - that is always dangerous.