I do not:
- Have to feel bad about playing a part in it
- Have to repent for playing a part in it, or being part of the ethnicity that spawned the group that perpetuated it
- Bear responsibility for it
for being German.
Similarly, I am not responsible in any way for the treatment of Natives by the government or ye olde colonists simply because I am white.
There, I just debased the bullshit original sin argument at the heart of the prejudiced and racist-through-racial-bias concept that is the cultural appropriation of Natives.
As for the other argument, that it’s their culture, this wreaks of such inane cultural purity it’s almost ridiculous. Welcome to capitalism. Your culture is going to get bent over and fucked by the long dick of the profit motive. That happens to every culture exposed to capitalism. Does it suck? Yes. Do Natives deserve some special exemption from this terrible-terribleness just because this country treated them brutally? No; the way they were treated is beyond reprehensible and inhumane, and capitalism’s butchering of culture is bad, but Natives don’t get special treatment.
The problem of cultural appropriation isn’t one of racism; it’s one of economics. You don’t have hipsters wearing headdresses because they’re racist or oppressive or because of the USA’s treatment of Natives; you have hipsters wearing headdresses because the nice corporations that rule the developed world realized there was money to be had in selling big fancy feathery-looking things to teenagers.
Racism is not the issue in this case; the abhorrent capitalist system is.
/there now you guys can either stop being so exclusive with your hatred of cultural appropriation or you can start fighting the real cause of cultural appropriation. Or you could just miss the fucking point, call me racist, and keep fighting a losing and misguided battle.
HEY GUYS, BLAME CAPITALISM!
While, yes, fashion retailers have certainly been smart enough to see that consumers go gaga over feathers and tribal patterns, THAT “TREND” IS STILL ROOTED IN A FUCKING RACIAL STEREOTYPE. When retailers mark a collection as “Native” or “tribal,” it negates the diversity of hundreds of tribes.
I actually take serious issue with you telling me that what I’m doing is misguided. Should I tell my other friends of color that their efforts to fight other racial injustices and stereotypes are useless? Should I tell my trans friend Casey that he should just put up and shut up over how he is treated by his employer? Why can’t I be angry that a privileged designer makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a years pawning shitty caricatures of my culture when my family and friends deal with lack of employment, basic health care, and sexual violence on my reservation? There are many ways by which we can address discrimination - and I consider this to be one of them. Shoot me.