So, painting your face black, brown, yellow, or red is never ok. Such is demonstrated from to reaction to Korean pop star, G Dragon, for painting his face black. It’s not ok when done for fashion or artistic expression as seen in the reaction to the image below of a white model painted to resemble an African queen.
Nor is it ok for Bugs Bunny to go blackface.
Although, it seems to have been tolerated for quite some time to be using Native American images for these sports teams; maybe because there are so few Native Americans to demand otherwise.
It’s also a popular party theme. Like the “South of the Border Party” thrown at my undergrad university.
.. or, for some Australian girl’s 21st African themed birthday party. For the record, she was dressed up as Cleopatra (which is still cultural appropriation) ,and she hopes to go teach English in Africa someday. I guess there’s plausible deniability there– except at the extremes. For example, friend shows up to party dressed up as KKK– response: “Can’t wait to get these photos on Facebook!”… Really?
Hey, it happens a lot with Asian culture too. I remember going to ECAASU and learning about how angry I should be getting. I remember feeling weird when my friends told me that the Buddhism I was raised in wasn’t really Buddhism, because that’s not what they learned in World Religions class.
I think the matter of privilege does nullify the case for reverse cultural appropriation.
Which raises another question not many people seem to be asking. Let’s forget the angels and devils and take the case of Jesus Christ. Is it acceptable to dress up like Jesus for Halloween?
I wasn’t offended when I threw my heaven themed Halloween party and my friend came as Jesus. It seems that only Christians would find that offensive, and I can’t imagine anyone other than a Christian feeling defensive against that act of cultural appropriation. So in this case, does Christian privilege give permit to mockery? My gut feeling is that it isn’t fair to profane something sacred, because some privileged majority had misused it in the past. Is that the same as saying, it’s not fair to blame all white people for their privilege, just because some of them are racist?
Are Christians who feel offended by all those drunken Jesus impostors in the same camp as Mens Rights Activists? At a university campus, I’ve had college professors tell me that intellectuals don’t believe in god in ways that were pretty offensive. I had to really ask myself whether this is ok.
All that’s for sure is that religion is its own interesting case, leading me to wonder about the issues that have yet to reach the lime light. What does the queer community feel about cross dressing for Halloween?– another possible case for insensitive appropriation.