Monday, April 14, 2014

UU Group and Cultural Appropriation Articles

(image source)
While on Tumblr, a person I follow posted a link to a really insightful article on cultural appropriation on Jezebel's website. The article is titled: "A Much-Needed Primer on Cultural Appropriation" by Katie J.M. Baker. I thought it had some really informative parts as well as helping people who want to wear Native-inspired clothing. (Hint: you should buy from Native Americans.) I reblogged it on Tumblr, linked it to my Facebook timeline, linked it to OPPSG (which needs to be changed over into PAGBAH, I think), linked it on Cross Quarterly's Facebook, and finally decided to also link it to the UU Facebook Group.

Which brings me to this: I haven't been removed from the Facebook group! Even though I have decided to stop attending monthly meet-ups, they haven't removed me from the Facebook group. I would like to go back to the monthly meet-ups once the current organizer steps down.

Anyway, after I posted that article from Jezebel, the guy declaring he should be able to use the word "Shaman"--whom I've dubbed MoonSpirit--decided to make another post after mine about his views on cultural appropriation:

(trigger warning: racism below, though thankfully no slurs.)

I didn't address him right away. The first line immediately filled me with rage. "For those interested in a thoughtful, well-balanced article about cultural appropriation [...]" Not only is he talking about me and the article I posted in a separate comment, but he is blatantly accusing both me and the article of not being "balanced" or "thoughtful." Then, to add insult to injury, several people on the page liked his post and not mine. (Except for Chalice, who did the inverse. Thanks for the support!) So, I left the computer and did my homework until I cooled down from that.

I came back and read what he had written. Ugh. Next to me was my boyfriend, who was more than "Ugh." He was offended as a Jewish person to see his language misused. He would have commented himself, but the group is closed. So I included his comments in my rebuttal:

Articles linked: "Just Eat It: A Comic About Food and Cultural Appropriation"
and "I'm so over people thinking leis look like this

After addressing his post, I then went to the article bracing myself. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderfully written and helpful the article is!

So of course I made another comment using quotes from the article:

 The entire article is quotable--I do mean that. I really resisted quoting the article more. However, my boyfriend was right next to me wagging his finger about "informational overload." So I left in what I thought to be the most concise and potent quote, then paraphrased the rest of the important information with page numbers so he could find it. 

This continues a pattern of "MoonSpirit" that he seems to read what he wants to be there, instead of what is. Or perhaps he didn't read the article at all? I'm not sure how he read through the article, agree with it, then continued to be guilty of the very racism Johnson advocates against. 

I look forward to a response--if any--from him or others on the page. I'm also curious if this will cause me to be banned. I guess I'll have to wait and see.

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