This needs to be proof read and grammatical err’s fixed but I wanted to get thoughts while this was still fresh. This is a response to a message to me stating why we should not feel proud on the 4th of July as we are celebrating the mass murdering’s of the native people. It is also that very reason that the Native Indians are still in such a bad place from a socio-economical view. There were a few other points to it but I think you will see that in this piece and I try to answer in question and answer format.
Cultural Appropriation is harmful and disrespectful?
I do not understand this and I don’t mean I can understand the feeling of being ripped off or stolen from, or that it hurts when others take what is yours as their own. If I am understanding you correctly and that is what you are meaning, I don’t understand that to be what is taking place on a large scale. Also that this would be causing such pain and harm so far down the road. I don’t see how wearing a fashion style or haircut or a particular vernacular is so damaging even if the person isn’t associated with or understanding of the culture. I think for one they look foolish if that is the case and they are being disingenuous. Though still, it takes nothing away from me or anyone else unless one lets them have that power. I feel we give way too many excuses for bad behavior and far too little of holding the individuals responsible for their thoughts, actions, and feelings. One would be so much stronger and well equipped to handle life if they knew their own ability to control their thoughts, surroundings, and actions and were not so easily victimized by mindless and careless people. We can choose to be rubber and not glue and let their harsh words and action bounce off of us.
So to suggest that generations are stuck in the place that they are because some of the people that came over here were not very kind and treated the natives is not looking at the reality and facts logically. They have had plenty of time and opportunity to rebuild and a large majority have and have moved on to greater things and are contributing to the betterment of society. Those that have chosen to make poor decisions for whatever reason have done so by their fault. The same as you and I, we have made bad decisions that we cannot blame others for. I just feel that this mindset of trying to find a narrative or responsible party to blame for the misfortunes of others is not beneficial to the individual or society as a whole.
A little side thought for those that are doing such cultural appropriation how would one know that they understand the culture? How would one determine if they do or don’t understand the culture? They might know all about it and understand it more than most and yet arrive at a different conclusion about choosing to represent that style in their fashion choices.
Missionaries were not helpful to the indigenous people. As for the early encounters of missionaries and native Americans the Christians that had come over during the mid-1500s were protective of the native Americans and fought back against those who treated them harshly. A letter by Franciscan friar Juan de Escalona criticizes the “outrages against the Indians” committed by the Spanish governor of what is now Mexico. I am only pointing out that to see this whole story as Christians coming in and slaying the natives is not historical but fanciful and pushing an agenda. Now plenty of leaders and elite were ordering the harsh treatment and killing of the natives when they realized they were self-sufficient and did not need the state nor need to pay taxes. The only way to get them to pay taxes was to give them a reason to need them.
Non-Indigenous people need to acknowledge the apparent wrongs of the missionaries and denounce their “forcing religious views and genocide” on the indigenous people. To blame not doing this is the reason they are still in situations living on reservations with a heap of social problems is insane. I think there are a lot of indigenous people who would disagree with that blanket statement.
Acknowledging and talking about the wrongs that you said will somehow fix the issue or cause us to be more sensitive to their Trauma. This will all help to get them off of the welfare and drugs and social situations they are in now. This implies that they are there solely because of a lack of acknowledgment and awareness of their plight.
NM, Blasting shitty rap, carrying guns, and thinking they’re impressive while on meth. This very sentence is the exact heart of those who you are so mad at that came in and forced their ways upon the indigenous people in the past. You assume that they should get off the drugs, listen to better music not carry guns and not have any pride in who they are now because you say that the lifestyle they live is not impressive.
I am not sure who drives but feeling sorry for these people and I don’t think it matters. I would argue some people drive by you and me every day that feel sorry for us and it doesn’t affect my day or your day or how we live.
The idea that “these people” are in the situation there is in because of what happened in the past I will argue that you don’t believe that. We can not give place to bad decisions because someone has had a not so fortunate life or the cards have been against them therefore they now are only able to make poor decisions. The notion of that thought process is fundamentally flawed and you would have zero respect for yourself and your loved ones if that is how they responded to their troubles. We as a people praise those that overcome and rise. We honor those that beat the odds and do not become like those who took the easy way out. The reason this is so is we all have our things and mountains to overcome. From the outside one might say this mountain looks bigger than that mountain. Though, when you are in the mountain it feels like the biggest mountain that you have ever faced and you have zero understanding of another person’s mountain and what they will be overcoming. This is true because it is not your mountain. If we made reasons for everyone to make poor decisions and have out as to why it took place we would be the most unlawful upside-down society that has ever existed.
Why should we not be proud to celebrate our country? This is a huge and fundamental problem with the thinking of those that ascribe to this hypocritical and divisive notion of cultural appropriation. Now, I am aware that we have had people from our country, do, have done and, are doing things that we have no reason to be proud of. For this lot, I am going to say it is easy to know what those things are. On the other more important hand we have so much to be proud of that it would be criminal to not well up with a sense of great pride for what this nation offers. Being proud does not have to come from being perfect. If so nobody would ever be proud or have any reason to celebrate. Here I will mention a few of the reasons why we should, but I will not be exhaustive:
- Our country gives more foreign aid than all other countries in the world combined
- U.S. Corporations and citizens make more charitable donations than the rest of the world combined. Donations are both the highest in aggregate and per capita.
- We corrected our biggest historical sin, slavery, by fighting a war that cost a half-million soldiers their lives.
- The U.S. saved much of the world from Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and many other totalitarian regimes.
- A person living in poverty in America has a standard of living that would be considered wealthy in most countries of the world. Most Americans living below the poverty level are well-fed and have cars, TVs, clothing, a roof over their heads, healthcare, and many other items that would be considered luxuries in 3rd World countries.
- No country in the world has as much race and cultural diversity. Nowhere else do you find whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, etc. living together in such percentages. We truly are the “melting pot” of the world.
- No country in the world is as tolerant of religious and non-religious beliefs. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindi, Dowists, atheists, agnostics, Satanists, and so on all live together in harmony. No one is prosecuted for their religious or non-religious beliefs.
- No nation takes in more immigrants, both legal and illegal.
- America spends more on education than any country on Earth, which is supplemented by an endless supply of free or low-cost educational opportunities such as Youtube, Khan Academy, and public libraries. And thanks to the internet, much of this education is available to the world.
- The American government takes care of its poorest citizens with an endless array of benefits–welfare, food stamps, Medicaid & Medicare, job training, college grants, tax credits, and so on.
- American laws and its litigation system prevent discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion, disability, and sexual orientation.
- America has had true freedom of speech and press, which means we can expose wrongs, debate courses of action, and allow the best ideas to win out over the worst ones over time, And we are moving towards this again and will have it again very soon.
- We have the strongest military by far, yet rather than use that power to take over countries, we use it to preserve world peace and stability, for the most part, the last three presidents Clinton, Bush and, Obama, have engaged in unneeded wars
- The U.S. has a free market system that has led to the world’s highest per-capita income and standard of living. Anyone can start a business and go from rags to riches.
- No matter what the circumstances in life, a person in America has more opportunities than any other to become wealthy, change the world, and achieve greatness.
From what I can tell from what is being said, it seems that there is some idea that if we can all acknowledge and be aware of the harm done to them and show a little or a lot of good feelings with them that it will help the situation. I respect you and hear your heart and think that it is so much in the right place. I think it is safe to say that the majority of people do not like to see others suffer and be oppressed. Especially all of us in the 99% who know what it is like to work hard and not get the job or give everything you have and still hall short. I feel that the position taken here is a simple play of tit for tat. If one group has been oppressed then let them have indemnity and make those that are the nearest to the oppressors suffer the same until they have earned their right again to be in society.
I feel like the whole position is retribution to sin committed instead of grace and showing others how to love by loving them more and harder than they have ever known. If you want someone to do what you want and buy into your way of living you have to show them what it looks like and how it works. They need to see you bleed trying to live the standard yourself before they will ever commit to following you or adopting your ethos as far as how people are treated.