Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

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leady
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby leady » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:24 pm UTC

You can't really believe that this stops at a single trademark battle.

If I lived in the states I'd buy myself a Reskins Jersey on principle :)

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:30 pm UTC

leady wrote:You can't really believe that this stops at a single trademark battle.

If I lived in the states I'd buy myself a Reskins Jersey on principle :)

Someone I know did something similar; they asked if I was even a fan, and said 'well it doesn't matter what's right or wrong, you can't change my mind, it's my team'.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:31 pm UTC

leady wrote:You can't really believe that this stops at a single trademark battle.

If I lived in the states I'd buy myself a Reskins Jersey on principle :)
Yes, of course you would. But you've already firmly established that you're a dick, so I'm not sure what you think that would prove or accomplish.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:38 pm UTC

Can I get a Blackskins Jersey? A Mammy with giant lips and a hunched over posture is its mascot.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:45 pm UTC

I would totally get a "Caucasians" jersey, if it weren't for the fact that other white people would likely misunderstand the point and think I was saying, "I'm not offended by this, so nobody should be offended by "Redskins" either!"

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby leady » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:47 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
leady wrote:You can't really believe that this stops at a single trademark battle.

If I lived in the states I'd buy myself a Reskins Jersey on principle :)
Yes, of course you would. But you've already firmly established that you're a dick, so I'm not sure what you think that would prove or accomplish.


I think we've proven that based on your personal hypersensitive view of the world I'm a dick. On that basis i'm a proud one too so I think I'll get a matching towel...

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:50 pm UTC

If it's 'hypersensitive' to avoid racial slurs then yes, I suppose I am hypersensitive.

Seems *you're* the one overreacting and exaggerating with that redefinition of 'hyper', though.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby leady » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:52 pm UTC

well we are struggling to even establish that the minority group is in any way offended, so yes taking massive offense on their behalf is hypersensitve - but any of the following pre-fixes work:

super
mega
uber
fantastically

Theres nothing wrong with this, but you'd have to be blind to not recognise yourself as far more sensitive than a "reasonable person" of any culture.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:05 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I bet a lot of people would describe a word that they hate as disparaging.

What do you think 'disparaging' means?
Tyndmyr wrote:I do not contest that if you slice subsets small enough, and are permitted to pick any subset you choose, you will eventually find one that finds the term offensive.

Of course you will. That's trivially true for essentially anything.
Following your logic, you'd agree that if you poll larger and larger groups you will eventually get a group large enough to make the offended people a minority, correct? So, if I poll a wide variety of soccer fans at the World Cup, and the majority of them do not find the words "negro" or "puto" or "faggot" offensive, does that mean the words are not disparaging?

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:40 pm UTC

Wait, don't we already have a bunch of "Caucasians" teams? Minnesota Vikings, possibly Dallas Cowboys, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, any team named after Spartans, etc?

Keep in mind that the US's relationship with the natives is not as clearcut as you may have learned in Europe. The colonists had a weird combination of hatred and adoration for the locals. Whenever an indentured servant was released and wanted to start their own farm, they'd fight the natives for land, which is oddly parallel to how the natives treated each other. At the same time, the greatest threat to the colonies' existence was people defecting TO the tribes. When the Boston Tea Party happened, people dressed as natives not to blame it on the tribes, but as a show of defiance the way today someone opposing perceived government tyranny might wear a pirate outfit or a Guy Fawkes mask.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby setzer777 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:05 pm UTC

Of course wasn't Guy Fawkes trying to impose government tyranny?
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:16 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Keep in mind that the US's relationship with the natives is not as clearcut as you may have learned in Europe.

I'm pretty familiar with the complex love/hate relationship my country has had with the various tribes. Here's a Revolutionary War General ordering his subordinates to wipe out the Iroquois:
George Washington wrote:Destroying not only the men but the settlements and the plantations is very important. All sown fields must be destroyed and new plantations and harvests must be prevented. What lead can not do will be done by hunger and winter.

So even if "redskin" were appropriate in some contexts (it's not), it should be clear that "Washington Redskins" is the absolute worst context.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby mobiusstripsearch » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:28 pm UTC

Was Washington referring to all tribes when he said that?
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:28 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Wait, don't we already have a bunch of "Caucasians" teams? Minnesota Vikings, possibly Dallas Cowboys, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, any team named after Spartans, etc?


The vikings, as mentioned earlier, aren't parodying an extant culture. Fighting Irish sits uncomfortably with me although I'd like to know what the Irish think of it.

As for cowboys, well, that's a profession not a culture, and a profession rather prevalent in and around dallas. I have no issue there unless someone can produce evidence that actual cowboys find it offensive.

A related issue: the London football team Tottenham Hotspur have lots of fans who identify as "yids" to signify which team they support. Understandably, a large number of Jews have issues with this. In the UK however, outside of regular football fans, most people who know about the issue seem to be pretty firmly agreed that this isn't ok.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:34 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:The vikings, as mentioned earlier, aren't parodying an extant culture. Fighting Irish sits uncomfortably with me although I'd like to know what the Irish think of it.
I'd be willing to listen to anyone who claimed the Fighting Irish or Vikings or Spartans or whatever offended them. I think the Fighting Irish aside, there's a difference from the Redskins insofar as it not being a majority culture parodying the minority culture it's basically had wretched relations with, but 'what is offensive' is not a singularly monolithic thing, and if someone was genuinely affronted by the use of these terms for the terms, it would be a conversation worth having.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:48 pm UTC

leady wrote:You can't really believe that this stops at a single trademark battle.

If I lived in the states I'd buy myself a Reskins Jersey on principle :)


Eh. Maybe if I liked football or something. Those suckers cost a lot. I'm not huge on paying for branding overall, but buying something I'm never gonna wear? Meh, not worthwhile. I'm sure the fans will support them just as they always have, more or less.

Heisenberg wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I bet a lot of people would describe a word that they hate as disparaging.

What do you think 'disparaging' means?
Tyndmyr wrote:I do not contest that if you slice subsets small enough, and are permitted to pick any subset you choose, you will eventually find one that finds the term offensive.

Of course you will. That's trivially true for essentially anything.
Following your logic, you'd agree that if you poll larger and larger groups you will eventually get a group large enough to make the offended people a minority, correct? So, if I poll a wide variety of soccer fans at the World Cup, and the majority of them do not find the words "negro" or "puto" or "faggot" offensive, does that mean the words are not disparaging?


Slicing arbitrarily thin slices to cherry pick is not the same as polling everyone. Yes, you could ALSO cherry pick to say that nothing is offensive. That is also invalid, because cherry picking is not a legitimate statistical methodology. Duh. Your "counterexample" is merely supporting that the methodology is not reasonable.

On the topic of polling larger and larger groups, humanity is finite in number. When you are indeed polling the general population, you may find that they still find something to be offensive. You cannot poll more people than that, because you've hit the upper limit. It's a safe bet that if the general population finds something offensive, well, yes, you can describe that thing as offensive. There is no conflict there. Yes, if there were polls saying that EVERYONE found the Redskins offensive, it would support this claim.

I am not demanding such a standard, but if you have evidence for it, go nuts.

setzer777 wrote:Of course wasn't Guy Fawkes trying to impose government tyranny?


An excellent example of how context changes around something, yeah. Symbols bear different meaning to different people and in different contexts. The modern use of the mask doesn't much resemble it's original one...sure, there's a "fight the existing power" motif you could argue connects the two together, but beyond that...

mobiusstripsearch wrote:Was Washington referring to all tribes when he said that?


If memory serves, he was fighting a war, and he was speaking of the tribes on the opposing side.

In the context of the Washington Redskins, Washington is very clearly referring to the location. Yes, it was named in honor of the dude, but this is a generic sportsball thing. They are strongly identified with where they are from. Sniping at them because they are named after Washington DC is...kind of ridiculous.

eSOANEM wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Wait, don't we already have a bunch of "Caucasians" teams? Minnesota Vikings, possibly Dallas Cowboys, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, any team named after Spartans, etc?


The vikings, as mentioned earlier, aren't parodying an extant culture. Fighting Irish sits uncomfortably with me although I'd like to know what the Irish think of it.

As for cowboys, well, that's a profession not a culture, and a profession rather prevalent in and around dallas. I have no issue there unless someone can produce evidence that actual cowboys find it offensive.


It's not really a race, but cowboy culture has totally been a thing. People keep equating race, skin color and culture. It's strange.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:32 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If memory serves, he was fighting a war, and he was speaking of the tribes on the opposing side.
Yes, but he was speaking of rather more than simply fighting enemy forces.

General Washington to General John Sullivan, Head Quarters, Middle Brook, May 31, 1779 wrote:Sir: The expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed against
the hostile tribes of the six nations of Indians, with their associates and
adherents. The immediate objects are the total distruction and devastation of
their settlements and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as
possible
.63

[Note 63: At this point the draft has the following crossed off: "It will be
essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planting
more."]

[Some paragraphs about specific troop movements.]

I would recommd. that some post in the center of the Indian Country should
be occupied with all expedition, with a sufficient quantity of provision;
whence parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with
instructions to do it in the most effectual manner; that the country may not be
merely overrun but destroyed
. I need not urge the necessity of using every
method in your power to gain intelligence of the enemy's strength motions and
designs; nor need I suggest the extraordinary degree of vigilance and caution
which will be necessary to guard against surprises, from an adversary so secret
desultory and rapid as the Indians.

...
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:58 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Wait, don't we already have a bunch of "Caucasians" teams? Minnesota Vikings, possibly Dallas Cowboys, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, any team named after Spartans, etc?


The vikings, as mentioned earlier, aren't parodying an extant culture. Fighting Irish sits uncomfortably with me although I'd like to know what the Irish think of it.

As for cowboys, well, that's a profession not a culture, and a profession rather prevalent in and around dallas. I have no issue there unless someone can produce evidence that actual cowboys find it offensive.


It's not really a race, but cowboy culture has totally been a thing. People keep equating race, skin color and culture. It's strange.


Did I ever equate culture with race or skin colour? No? So why the pointless distraction tactics?

Anyway, my understanding is that "cowboy culture" is more a description of the culture in areas with lots of cowboys and not a culture specific to cowboys. Cowboy then is not the key feature of it, instead the location/class etc. are more important in defining the culture.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:05 pm UTC

What's also weird is that historically, 1/4 of cowboys were black and 1/3 were Hispanic, and most of the culture is Hispanic in origin. They also spent most of their time handling cows. Very little of it was being chiseled jawed morally ambiguous people just who had been pushed too far by a group of outlaws.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:04 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Your "counterexample" is merely supporting that the methodology is not reasonable.

Again, what do you think 'disparaging' means?

How many people do you think need to object to a disparaging term for their criticism to be considered valid?

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:03 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:If memory serves, he was fighting a war, and he was speaking of the tribes on the opposing side.
Yes, but he was speaking of rather more than simply fighting enemy forces.


Trimmed for length.

Harsh, certainly. The history of war has often been terrible, and this sort of tactic is not particularly laudible, but...Washington was hardly alone in using such methods. We have kind of a cleaned up and prettified view of that era, but there were plenty of horrors. Hell, one can look at the revolution and see some pretty nasty tactics on both sides. Sure, racism was a thing, cruelty in warfare was a thing, but trying to link this to the current name of the Washington Redskins is pretty tenuous.

eSOANEM wrote:Did I ever equate culture with race or skin colour? No? So why the pointless distraction tactics?

Anyway, my understanding is that "cowboy culture" is more a description of the culture in areas with lots of cowboys and not a culture specific to cowboys. Cowboy then is not the key feature of it, instead the location/class etc. are more important in defining the culture.


People keep dismissing any example that isn't about race/skin color. The title of the thread purports to be about culture, does it not?

And yes, modern day cowboy culture, and even the popular view on historical cowboy culture is wildly different from the reality of it. We could certainly chat about if the modern subculture is genuinely inherited from the original culture, sure. I'm not that worried about it, but either way, it's a distinct thing. Plenty of subcultures to investigate out there.

Heisenberg wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Your "counterexample" is merely supporting that the methodology is not reasonable.

Again, what do you think 'disparaging' means?

How many people do you think need to object to a disparaging term for their criticism to be considered valid?


I was trying to discover what ya'll thought an objective standard was. It is my contention that you(generic you, for those waving the banner of cultural appropriate = evil) do not have one, and are simply looking for an excuse for outrage. It's a means to attempt to effect social change without bothering with burdens of proof, supporting evidence, and so on. I view all such efforts very skeptically.

If one wanted to create an objective standard, something like "most people believe x to be the case" would support it quite well. "Most people in the labeled group believe label x to be offensive" would also be a decent argument. However, you do kind of have to survey everyone in the labeled group to make this case. Cherry picking does not make anything valid.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Crissa » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:33 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Can I get a Blackskins Jersey? A Mammy with giant lips and a hunched over posture is its mascot.

leady wrote:If I lived in the states I'd buy myself a Reskins Jersey on principle :)

leady wrote:Who is speaking ill of anyone?

It seems your positions are quite clear, and they aren't about a reasonable discussion on this topic.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Crissa » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:47 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Wait, don't we already have a bunch of "Caucasians" teams? Minnesota Vikings, possibly Dallas Cowboys, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, any team named after Spartans, etc?


The vikings, as mentioned earlier, aren't parodying an extant culture. Fighting Irish sits uncomfortably with me although I'd like to know what the Irish think of it.

As for cowboys, well, that's a profession not a culture, and a profession rather prevalent in and around dallas. I have no issue there unless someone can produce evidence that actual cowboys find it offensive.

Cowboys: A significant number of cowboys were of non-european stock. Beyond that, it's not used in a disparaging manner nor is it taken as one, and cowboys aren't particularly ignored or disparaged by our culture.

Vikings: Well, no extant culture; it's not meant as disparaging; and it's not taken as disparaged. They aren't named 'those a--holes who burned all the bibles' after all, and despite Capital One commercials, there aren't any out of work Vikings wishing someone would really call them Norse Redistributors.

Fighting Irish: It's not takes as a slur, not given as a slur (now), and the team was named by Irish immigrants and represents a Catholic school.

Basically, none of these trigger the three points I outlined before.

It's totally possible to use a mascot in a way that honors a memory. It's all about the context: Who named it, who is using the name now, what the name was, how they're using the name now, and do they have permission from whoever is impacted by the name. Cowboys, Vikings, and Irish are all not negatively impacted by the mascot's name, which really undercuts any other damage that can be done. Redacteds, on the other hand, are using a slur word for a specific downtrodden group in the US. Further, it's not being used by them or with their permission.

How many strikes does it need?

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:56 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Sure, racism was a thing, cruelty in warfare was a thing, but trying to link this to the current name of the Washington Redskins is pretty tenuous.
I'll agree that the term "Washington Redskins" is no more racist than the term "redskin." But I expect you understand that there's no rational way claim that the term somehow loses is racist connotations by attaching the name of a General who ethnically cleansed this group of people.
Tyndmyr wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:How many people do you think need to object to a disparaging term for their criticism to be considered valid?

I was trying to discover what ya'll thought an objective standard was.
Really? Because that's what I keep asking you, and you keep... not answering.
Tyndmyr wrote:If one wanted to create an objective standard, something like "most people believe x to be the case" would support it quite well. "Most people in the labeled group believe label x to be offensive" would also be a decent argument. However, you do kind of have to survey everyone in the labeled group to make this case. Cherry picking does not make anything valid.
Most people in the labled group "Native American" DO find the term "redskin" to be racist and offensive. If you consider polling members of the labelled group according to the federal government's definition of who is and is not a member of the labeled group "cherry picking," that's on you. Plenty of people who are not legally Native American call themselves Native, but if you want the federal government to recognize their opinions as valid, you're going to have to take that up with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Personally, despite obviously qualifying the term "redskin" as disparaging, I find your standard rather poor. If, for instance, only 37% of American Jews found a term to be racist, offensive, and disparaging, but the remainder were unsure or didn't care, your standard would allow that term to be considered just fine despite the fact that two million people considered it a racist slur. That's ridiculous. I'm sure we won't agree on a lower bound, but any term that deprecates millions of people should be considered to be a disparaging remark.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby jseah » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:31 am UTC

I'm going to go out on a limb here and draw a parallel to the public breastfeeding thread.

In these arguments, I've seen some common ground between the two, in that people get offended at things and other people tell them they are right/wrong to get offended by it.

The basic principle I am seeing here is that people can consider other people to be "dicks"tm, both for being offended, failing to be offended by, telling other people that they are right/wrong to be offended by a thing. Assuming that people want to not appear to be "dicks"tm due to social penalties if enough people consider you to be dickish (and the state of "people consider you to be a dick" is contagious via word of mouth), then the basic principle is as follows:
Whatever the majority considers being offended by, failing to be offended by, telling other people that they are right/wrong to be offended by a thing, to be dickish... is the one that will draw the most social penalty and what people desire to not be seen as doing.

With relation to the cultural appropriation thread: some people are offended by the misuse of cultural icons, many not. Many, however, consider telling other people they are wrong to be offended to be dickish, even those people who aren't offended by the misuse. Some also consider that not being offended by misuse is dickish too (note the difference)
With relation to public breastfeeding / topless: many* people are offended by public breastfeeding, many not. Many consider telling other people that they are wrong to be offended is not dickish, but those who are offended by public breastfeeding consider it dickish. Some also consider that being offended is dickish too.

*this may only be "some"
Note: I am substituting "right/wrong" in certain cases with "dickish/not dickish" to make the meta-level clearer.

Therefore, to effect the kind of social change you desire, you must aim to change the proportions of the 4 attitudes in the population.

I am drawn to the conclusion that this isn't a Right and Wrong issue, but more a "what people do / do not want social penalties to be applied for" issue. In less kind words, social penalty is a weapon that can only be aimed in aggregate and everyone is part of the weapon (and, even if unconsciously, also wrestling for control of it).

I find this disturbing. I will think about this a bit more, but I am leaning to the position that we should put away social weapons in general.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:54 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Sure, racism was a thing, cruelty in warfare was a thing, but trying to link this to the current name of the Washington Redskins is pretty tenuous.
I'll agree that the term "Washington Redskins" is no more racist than the term "redskin." But I expect you understand that there's no rational way claim that the term somehow loses is racist connotations by attaching the name of a General who ethnically cleansed this group of people.


Tyndmyr wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:How many people do you think need to object to a disparaging term for their criticism to be considered valid?

I was trying to discover what ya'll thought an objective standard was.
Really? Because that's what I keep asking you, and you keep... not answering.


*sigh* read the whole post*

Tyndmyr wrote:If one wanted to create an objective standard, something like "most people believe x to be the case" would support it quite well. "Most people in the labeled group believe label x to be offensive" would also be a decent argument. However, you do kind of have to survey everyone in the labeled group to make this case. Cherry picking does not make anything valid.
Most people in the labled group "Native American" DO find the term "redskin" to be racist and offensive. If you consider polling members of the labelled group according to the federal government's definition of who is and is not a member of the labeled group "cherry picking," that's on you. Plenty of people who are not legally Native American call themselves Native, but if you want the federal government to recognize their opinions as valid, you're going to have to take that up with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.


Self selection as an identifier for cultural identity is pretty normal. Upon reading his study, he did not describe in detail how he verified that they were, in fact, Native American, only that he did so. I cannot have any reasonable amount of faith in an undisclosed methodology.

It seems patently obvious that someone might reasonably be a Native American without paying dues to any associated lobbying organization, registering as such, or living on a reservation. Discluding such people seems to obviously be cherry picking.

Personally, despite obviously qualifying the term "redskin" as disparaging, I find your standard rather poor. If, for instance, only 37% of American Jews found a term to be racist, offensive, and disparaging, but the remainder were unsure or didn't care, your standard would allow that term to be considered just fine despite the fact that two million people considered it a racist slur. That's ridiculous. I'm sure we won't agree on a lower bound, but any term that deprecates millions of people should be considered to be a disparaging remark.


If it was significantly divided, I'd simply state that it being offensive or not was controversial, without general agreement.

Absolute numbers do not mean it is reasonable to discard percentages. Attaching the word "million" to an argument does not mean you win.

jseah wrote:Therefore, to effect the kind of social change you desire, you must aim to change the proportions of the 4 attitudes in the population.

I am drawn to the conclusion that this isn't a Right and Wrong issue, but more a "what people do / do not want social penalties to be applied for" issue. In less kind words, social penalty is a weapon that can only be aimed in aggregate and everyone is part of the weapon (and, even if unconsciously, also wrestling for control of it).

I find this disturbing. I will think about this a bit more, but I am leaning to the position that we should put away social weapons in general.


They maybe have a place, but not in EVERY disagreement. Likewise, laws. Sometimes, the conflict really isn't worth it.

Of course, issues arise when we disagree about which conflicts are worth it, and we're back where we started.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Outchanter » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:01 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
turmoilsofthesea (another tumblr...er) wrote:Hindu people literally get beaten and killed in America for wearing bindis and saris
White girls get Instagram likes for the same thing.
That’s why you can’t wear it, because you can’t wear it without wearing your privilege with it.
Granted I believe her response in this particular case was misplaced, because the context was of a white woman who grew up in a Hindu household herself, so it isn't actually someone else's culture but her own. The part I quoted here remains a valid response to everyone not raised in the culture whose styles they're wearing.
So how exactly do we police cultural appropriation without it turning into race policing? (Think gender policing, only instead of "you're a man, you can't wear a dress" it's "you're white, you can't wear a bindi".) Making assumptions about people's culture based on their skin color seems like a terrible idea to me. I don't want to live in a society where a culturally Indian white person with a bindi gets yelled at everywhere they go, anymore than I want to live in a society where Asian Americans continually get asked why "their English is so good".

I mean, I get that dressing up as a stereotype is offensive. For example, I'm Jewish, and apparently there's some weird street festival in Lithuania where Christians dress up as stereotypes of Jews (huge fake nose, curly wig, black hat, fake bag of gold). That's obviously offensive. It's basically "Jewface". But there's a big line between calling that particular combination offensive, vs saying that, e.g. anyone curling their hair is offensive. (And I've seen people claiming that anyone wearing dreadlocks is offensive if they're not black. That seems pretty extreme - it's just a hairstyle, not blackface.)
Last edited by Outchanter on Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:10 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:07 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Self selection as an identifier for cultural identity is pretty normal.
Ok, well I just now decided that I'm Native American. So you're going to have to re-do your math now that my opinion is considered an accurate representation of Native American views. Do you see the problem with self-selection?
It seems patently obvious that someone might reasonably be a Native American without paying dues to any associated lobbying organization, registering as such, or living on a reservation. Discluding such people seems to obviously be cherry picking.
Again, if you have a problem with the federal government's definition of Native American, you can take it to court. While it may seem obvious to you that anyone claiming to be Native is in fact Native, it's not obvious that polling those people would give you an accurate representation of Native American views.
Absolute numbers do not mean it is reasonable to discard percentages.
Why do you think that 50% of an ill-defined survey should carry more weight than absolute numbers? That's really two questions: Why do you think that a thousand people who consider a term disparaging are right if they are part of the majority of a group, but wrong if they are part of a minority? Secondarily, why do you consider 50% to be a reasonable percentage to justify whether a term is disparaging?

It seems far more reasonable, if we're trying to avoid using offensive slurs, to adopt a simple standard something like: If 1000 people consider your term to be a disparaging slur that targets their ethnicity, just stop using it.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby leady » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:43 pm UTC

If you really can't see why a representive survery aimed at solicitiing the general opinion of american indians specifically with regards to the team name "Washington Redskins" is objectively far superior as a measure than a specific, self selecting and deliberately misquestioned survey then we can't really discuss the issue rationally.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:15 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Self selection as an identifier for cultural identity is pretty normal.
Ok, well I just now decided that I'm Native American. So you're going to have to re-do your math now that my opinion is considered an accurate representation of Native American views. Do you see the problem with self-selection?


So, you're arguing that significant number of survey respondants lied about their cultural identity in order to skew the data? Do you have evidence for this happening?

It seems patently obvious that someone might reasonably be a Native American without paying dues to any associated lobbying organization, registering as such, or living on a reservation. Discluding such people seems to obviously be cherry picking.
Again, if you have a problem with the federal government's definition of Native American, you can take it to court. While it may seem obvious to you that anyone claiming to be Native is in fact Native, it's not obvious that polling those people would give you an accurate representation of Native American views.


It is not at all clear that the survey you favor because it gives you numbers you want is utilizing the same defintion as the federal government.

Even if this WERE the case, governmental definitions of a culture may not accurately map to real world defintions of a culture. I do not know enough about Native American culture to define it's boundaries.

But...was it not the case that people who identify a culture can better define it? Was that not exactly what ya'll were arguing earlier? Why the inconsistency?

Absolute numbers do not mean it is reasonable to discard percentages.
Why do you think that 50% of an ill-defined survey should carry more weight than absolute numbers? That's really two questions: Why do you think that a thousand people who consider a term disparaging are right if they are part of the majority of a group, but wrong if they are part of a minority? Secondarily, why do you consider 50% to be a reasonable percentage to justify whether a term is disparaging?

It seems far more reasonable, if we're trying to avoid using offensive slurs, to adopt a simple standard something like: If 1000 people consider your term to be a disparaging slur that targets their ethnicity, just stop using it.


Definitions of words result from use. If everyone uses a word to mean x, then it means x. That's how language works. Therefore, if everyone agrees, there is no need for argument. If significant disagreement exists, it is controversial. What part of this is strange?

If 1000 people out of ten million consider a word to be x, and nobody else does, then yes, the 1000 are an insignificant part of the overall population. Exactly as insignificant as 100 people out of a million. Proportions are what matter for word usage, not absolute numbers.

Discussing which population is proper to poll is a seperate question, but surely you must accept that you cannot use absolute numbers as a replacement for percentages. That's....not really sensible.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Crissa » Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:31 pm UTC

Generally, I think we should accept self-selection.

But this needs to be mediated by also looking at whether that self-selection affects the outcome. For instance, many people in the South labeled themselves as Democrats - but did not vote for a Democratic candidate for the last forty years. Is it useful to use their self-identification when polling the views of people representative of the Democratic Party? No, it's not.

Discounting the opinions of those not impacted by the slur seems the place to slice the line. I realize we're having a conversation where with several people who don't think people who are disparaged should have a voice, which makes the whole argument less useful.

-Crissa

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:52 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Definitions of words result from use. If everyone uses a word to mean x, then it means x. That's how language works. Therefore, if everyone agrees, there is no need for argument. If significant disagreement exists, it is controversial. What part of this is strange?
First of all, language is significantly more complex than that simple statement, but regardless, the definition of the word 'redskin' is not in doubt.
Webster wrote:redskin /ˈrɛdˌskɪn/ noun
plural redskins
Learner's definition of REDSKIN
[count] informal + offensive
: native american
◊ The word redskin is very offensive and should be avoided.
If you need a poll to verify that, go for it. What's in question is whether a significant number of Native Americans find the use of the term 'redskin' disparaging or deprecating. So, you know, you should probably ask an actual Native American or five to find that answer.
Tyndmyr wrote:If 1000 people out of ten million consider a word to be x, and nobody else does, then yes, the 1000 are an insignificant part of the overall population. Exactly as insignificant as 100 people out of a million. Proportions are what matter for word usage, not absolute numbers.

Discussing which population is proper to poll is a seperate question, but surely you must accept that you cannot use absolute numbers as a replacement for percentages. That's....not really sensible.

You, I, and the federal government all agree that racial slurs should be avoided. I don't know what you think the goal of avoiding the usage of racial slurs is, but to me it's to protect minorities from verbal abuse. I don't think the percentage of the minority regularly experiencing verbal abuse has any impact on whether or not we should protect people from specific verbal abuse. For instance, if I'm speaking and there are 50 people in the room who would consider a racial term disparaging or deprecating, I'm not going to use that term, regardless of the total number of people in a room. It's trivial for me to choose a different term. It'd be ridiculous for me to expect those people to accept that I'm going to use the term because the majority of the audience did not consider my term to be deprecating or disparaging. This is not about pandering to the majority, this is about being a decent human being and not calling people things they don't want to be called.
Tyndmyr wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Self selection as an identifier for cultural identity is pretty normal.
Ok, well I just now decided that I'm Native American.

So, you're arguing that significant number of survey respondants lied about their cultural identity in order to skew the data? Do you have evidence for this happening?
What makes you think I'm lying? If ethnicity is based on self-selection, then I'm by definition Native American. I'd discuss my ancestry but apparently you don't think that's a necessary qualifier for who should speak for an entire culture.

Tyndmyr wrote:It is not at all clear that the survey you favor because it gives you numbers you want is utilizing the same defintion as the federal government.
First of all, I don't care about percentages, I care about the million-person-strong organization that brought this lawsuit. The National Congress of American Indians is comprised entirely by people who are categorized by the federal government as Native Americans. The same cannot be said of the self-selecting survey.
Tyndmyr wrote:I do not know enough about Native American culture to define it's boundaries.
I agree 100%

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:09 pm UTC

Despite being Irish, I have a problem with the name "the fighting Irish" -- both because the non-Irish players haven't "earned" the name, and because using that to apply to the group implies that being Irish is the "superior group", thus denigrating not the Irish but the players' own cultures.

I think you could find plenty people annoyed at the use of "Vikings" as well, if not on cultural/disparagement grounds (practicing Norse do exist, after all, and it's not like the lineages went extinct, they just got renamed along national lines), but on the fact that, not only is the image presented a stereotype, but virtually every detail of it is complete horseshit (horns on helmets, etc.) whose public dissemination only serves to further dumb down our world.

Since the very idea of a mascot is to basically personify a stereotype, I would argue it disparages its target by design, by presenting them as a 2-dimensional caricature that, seriously guys, is generally used as comic relief on the field, and sportsball culture traditionally involves disparaging the mascot of your enemy team as well.

I think there's a fair argument to make, then, that any mascot based on a group of sentients (leaving window open for if we learn how to talk to gorillas, or summat) should be verboten, unless it's either based on a distinct person (or their estate) who has given permission (The Washington Washingtons), a fictional character (The New York Neptunes) or based on a Fighting Irish-style self-identification to the point of being tautological (The Texas Texans).

Still, I'd prefer all the sportsball teams be named after animals or summat, if only because of the goodwill it would engender towards animal welfare efforts (and, I dunno, maybe let off some vicariuous steam from people who attempt bloodsports?).

...

That's fairly objective, neh?
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:21 pm UTC

What about names after what the town is known for? Steelers and Oilers come to mind. The Detroit Lions, as much as they suck, probably would've been better off as Motown Marauders or something.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:39 pm UTC

Packers. Cowboys. 49ers.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:21 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:What about names after what the town is known for? Steelers and Oilers come to mind. The Detroit Lions, as much as they suck, probably would've been better off as Motown Marauders or something.

Won't the very nature of a mascot mean that those eventually devolve into disparaging stereotypes, especially given how often teams move or get non-local owners, etc?

(jk) Maybe we just need a list of approved team names. Washington Dragon Army?
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby addams » Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:15 am UTC

nicklikesfire wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
nicklikesfire wrote:Who decides what is or isn't disrespectful?
Perhaps the culture being appropriated?

Your responses are a bit... indicative of feeling like you're (white people!) the victim here, not the culture being appropriated. The common thread I've seen in people not understanding WHY this sort of appropriation can be offensive of disrespectful or whatever is that they feel victimized for it, which is... hilarious.


That's reaching pretty far to play the victimization card.

Obviously it is wrong to impersonate a police officer or a military vet. Meh. That's straight fraud, and pretending to be something you are not.

Such cases do not encompass all of cultural appropriation. That's...pretty blatantly obvious. You would have non-fradulent practices be entirely controlled by one culture because of what, outrage? WHICH culture? It's not as if native american culture is a single monolithic entity, after all.


Thanks, thats more of my point. I definitely don't mean to imply that I'm a victim in any of this, sorry if I'm coming off that way.

One of the common objections I've seen to the cultural appropriation of Native people is that it treats the hundreds of tribes as if there were just one tribe, and that in itself is another form of oppression.

Also when I asked who, I meant more of "Who speaks for the Native people?" As certainly some people within those cultures think its fine, and others are offended. From the (one) Native person I've asked about this issues, he seemed to indicate that it would most likely be divided out by age, with younger people not really caring, and elder members of any tribe being more offended. (This really simplifies the conversation quite a lot, but I figured it was worth mentioning).

Is that not The Point?
The older members don't want to lose a link in the chain that tells us who we are.
When the symbols are used Wrong it makes the Whole Thing seem silly.

The Young People are White on the Inside.
The Older People do not want the Young to suffer with Poverty and Ignorance because they can not Be White and Succeed, just like white people.

It gets complicated.
The young are walking away from Traditions.
No one Tradition is worth living apart and in poverty for

Some of the Traditions are Fun.
I have never known an Indian to get angry about Fashion.
Laugh. Yes. Play little jokes on strangers. Yes.

Who did not want Feathers in a white guy's hair? That's silly.
If that white guy decided he was Chief, that would be different.

Like some Indian deciding he is county commissioner or mayor.
That would be silly, too. I suppose. Unless he IS commissioner or mayor.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby addams » Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:56 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
leady wrote:You can't really believe that this stops at a single trademark battle.

If I lived in the states I'd buy myself a Reskins Jersey on principle :)


Eh. Maybe if I liked football or something. Those suckers cost a lot. I'm not huge on paying for branding overall, but buying something I'm never gonna wear? Meh, not worthwhile. I'm sure the fans will support them just as they always have, more or less.

Heisenberg wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I bet a lot of people would describe a word that they hate as disparaging.

What do you think 'disparaging' means?
Tyndmyr wrote:I do not contest that if you slice subsets small enough, and are permitted to pick any subset you choose, you will eventually find one that finds the term offensive.

Of course you will. That's trivially true for essentially anything.
Following your logic, you'd agree that if you poll larger and larger groups you will eventually get a group large enough to make the offended people a minority, correct? So, if I poll a wide variety of soccer fans at the World Cup, and the majority of them do not find the words "negro" or "puto" or "faggot" offensive, does that mean the words are not disparaging?


Slicing arbitrarily thin slices to cherry pick is not the same as polling everyone. Yes, you could ALSO cherry pick to say that nothing is offensive. That is also invalid, because cherry picking is not a legitimate statistical methodology. Duh. Your "counterexample" is merely supporting that the methodology is not reasonable.

On the topic of polling larger and larger groups, humanity is finite in number. When you are indeed polling the general population, you may find that they still find something to be offensive. You cannot poll more people than that, because you've hit the upper limit. It's a safe bet that if the general population finds something offensive, well, yes, you can describe that thing as offensive. There is no conflict there. Yes, if there were polls saying that EVERYONE found the Redskins offensive, it would support this claim.

I am not demanding such a standard, but if you have evidence for it, go nuts.

setzer777 wrote:Of course wasn't Guy Fawkes trying to impose government tyranny?


An excellent example of how context changes around something, yeah. Symbols bear different meaning to different people and in different contexts. The modern use of the mask doesn't much resemble it's original one...sure, there's a "fight the existing power" motif you could argue connects the two together, but beyond that...

mobiusstripsearch wrote:Was Washington referring to all tribes when he said that?


If memory serves, he was fighting a war, and he was speaking of the tribes on the opposing side.

In the context of the Washington Redskins, Washington is very clearly referring to the location. Yes, it was named in honor of the dude, but this is a generic sportsball thing. They are strongly identified with where they are from. Sniping at them because they are named after Washington DC is...kind of ridiculous.

eSOANEM wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Wait, don't we already have a bunch of "Caucasians" teams? Minnesota Vikings, possibly Dallas Cowboys, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, any team named after Spartans, etc?


The vikings, as mentioned earlier, aren't parodying an extant culture. Fighting Irish sits uncomfortably with me although I'd like to know what the Irish think of it.

As for cowboys, well, that's a profession not a culture, and a profession rather prevalent in and around dallas. I have no issue there unless someone can produce evidence that actual cowboys find it offensive.


It's not really a race, but cowboy culture has totally been a thing. People keep equating race, skin color and culture. It's strange.

I agree with you. (i think)
Cowboy is a profession like Truck Driver.
Both are romanticized by people inside and outside the professions.

Race, Skin Color and Culture.
God Help You if those things don't match up.

I sometimes have a bit of trouble with that.
Most of the time, I laugh.

Sometimes, it's not funny.
Like objects of oppression often do, I often think, "I don't want to know those people, anyway."

It is a little different when violence in some of its usual ugly forms raises its ugly head.
When people use stereotypical symbols and forms, it gets my attention.

Sometimes I like it.
Sometimes I don't.

(shrug) Just don't follow me home to put a stop to people like me.
It will not put an end to people like me; And, it puts me in a foul humor.
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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:22 am UTC

Heisenberg wrote:First of all, language is significantly more complex than that simple statement, but regardless, the definition of the word 'redskin' is not in doubt.


And, in time, language evolves. I hold that there is already a significant difference in usage as a slur and usage to describe the team. This seems fairly trivial. This same difference may not exist for all slurs(and probably doesn't, because lack of history as a team name).

Now, do we want language to evolve in a way where it becomes an untouchable word, a word that is only a slur, or do we wish for it to lose it's sting and fade in time? Yes, many Irish depictions, even now, may not be entirely positive...but I think we can all agree that the Irish are fairly well liked and accepted, and most such depictions and terms have become little more than cultural oddities at this point. Plenty of ethnicities have been intially subject to all manner of slurs, but not all slurs are equal. Nor are they of equal sting at all points in time. It would be incredibly silly, for instance, for someone to lobby against calling saltines "crackers" because that can be a slur. It would be making a bigger deal of it, and giving the term more weight than it has(because seriously, while you still shouldn't address someone as a "cracker", it's not on par with many other slurs). It draws attention to the offensive use, and despite obstensibly opposing it, would have the opposite effect. See where I'm going with this?

If you need a poll to verify that, go for it. What's in question is whether a significant number of Native Americans find the use of the term 'redskin' disparaging or deprecating. So, you know, you should probably ask an actual Native American or five to find that answer.


I still do not think you are understanding how polls work. 1-5 does not a reasonable sample size make.

Unless, of course, the important part there is "actual Native American". In my circle of friends there are a whopping two people who I know to be Native American. IE, they say they have ancestors that were and identify themselves as such. I haven't the slightest idea beyond that. I cannot imagine any way to ask if they are a real Native American that would not be incredibly rude. Now...neither of these two care in the slightest about the Redskins team(though one hopes that they change the logo to a potato wearing a headdress to piss off EVERYONE), but...sample size of two. That doesn't mean shit.

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Re: Cultural Appropriation / Assimilation

Postby Crissa » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:08 pm UTC

You realize that no amount of you telling a Jewish person that 'Kike' is just the friendly name of your football team is going to convince them, right?

You're doing the same exact thing here. But apparently it's okay, because mumble mumble some portion have abandoned/lost their cultural/color/regional differences and chosen your answer.

That's abhorrent.

-Crissa


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