19 June 2014

Cultural Appropriation

There is a young white woman I know who has an aboriginal boyfriend (he's in line for hereditary chief of his tribe, actually). She's a lovely lady, and she's utterly clueless about matter of privilege, racism, etc. She drew a Salish style hummingbird for her boyfriend, and he suggested she tattoo it on her foot. Um. Right. So that's serious cultural appropriation there, but her First Nations boyfriend suggested it. I suggested that it's not going to go over very well with a lot of other people, and she was horrified when I explained and was very very happy that I had told her. She said, "Oh my god. I might as well have gotten 'asshole' tattooed on me!" Which was very very awesome of her. She didn't do the "Don't care. It's pretty" thing.

So what the hell, Boyfriend? You trying to get her killed? She lives on a reserve!

edit: I just had a... you know! A headache. With pictures... A thought! Yes, a thought. So my clueless friend, she might explain it as "So, you know I'd be okay as long as you're around. But you know, I might not be able to walk through my neighbourhood without someone assuming I'm a racist asshole who doesn't give a shit about your culture". Remember the episode of Scrubs where Turk (a black guy) and J.D. (a white guy) go to a Halloween party together? Turk goes in whiteface. J.D. goes in blackface. It's okay because they're together and it's funny. But when Turk gets sidelined and J.D. is alone, he looks like an epic sonofapigfucker. This is the same.