Slip On These "Whiteness Goggles" and the Violence of Cultural Appropriation Disappears

A new series of prints by artist Roger Peet aims to address a tricky topic: cultural appropriation. In his series In//Appropriate, which debuted at the Portland State University Littman Gallery this month, Peet printed images of white people engaging in cultural appropriation on tall banners. Frozen in time, Miley Cyrus joyfully twerks with her tongue in its signature position, a hipster wears a keffiyeh, and Katy Perry smiles in her American Music Awards geisha costume. Behind them, another vision of whiteness—a violent one—is printed in red: Miley stands out against a scene of police in Ferguson, a bohemian white girl in a feathered headdress is juxtaposed with an iconic photo of a mountain of buffalo skulls, and a still from Iggy Azalea's "Bounce" video frames a portrait of colonizing Queen Victoria.   

To accompany the images, Peet constructed special glasses made from cardboard and red plastic. These are “whiteness goggles,” a sign explains. When you put them on and look at the images, suddenly the red, violent image disappears.

Viewers are left with just the visions of Miley, Katy, Iggy, and Elvis with none of the violence behind them. White audiences specifically are forced to consider the blinders that race creates: one of the privileges of being white is the ability to ignore racism. All too often, the reality of the white supremacy is rendered invisible to people who don’t want to see it. 

“When you put on the Whiteness Goggles, the colonial, military and police violence that underpins casual cultural consumption disappears,” explains Peet, in his artist statement of the project. Peet himself is a white immigrant to the US from Britain—he works as a politically minded printmaker with the Justseeds Collective. To develop this show, he worked with a group of advisors (including artists Sara Siestreem, Sharita Towne, and Gabe Flores) who offered ideas for how to make art exploring cultural appropriation, critiqued his ideas, and pushed him to develop more creative and rigorous ways of addressing the issues at hand.  steered him toward making these prints. In addition to well-known celebrities engaged in cultural appropriation, the In//Appropriate show includes an image of Peet, foregrounded holding an American flag against a backdrop of the wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan. Including himself in the show was important, Peet says, to show that as a white person coming from England, he faced few hurdles in immigrating to the United States. “I was welcomed with open arms,” he says—a contrast to the racial stereotyping many people of color face when they immigrate the US.

Whenever there’s a high-profile act of cultural appropriation, like Katy Perry at the AMAs, there’s often a strong backlash among white people who say, “This isn’t a big deal. It’s just a costume. They’re just having fun.” As many people of color have pointed out, white people often derail conversations about racism by saying, “But I’m not racist!” Writer John Metta summed this up recently in an essay about why he stopped trying to talk to white people about racism, “The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings.” And as Malik Nashad Sharpe at Black Girl Dangerous explained, white people often willfully ignore racism underpinning our culture:

“Stop ignoring our history as if it’s literally dated, past-tense, far removed from our more civilized modern society, as if we haven’t been obviously trapped by the deeply cultivated White supremacy entangled with the very founding of the United States.”

Peet is using his platform as a white artist to make white audiences specifically think about cultural appropriation in the context of the history of violence. Without the backdrop of history, acts of cultural appropriation may not seem hurtful. By slipping on the “whiteness goggles,” white audiences can see how we often conveniently ignore the history and current violence that makes cultural appropriation so damaging. Since it calls out whiteness, some white people will certainly be offended by this show. And that’s a good thing. Some white people will get upset by Peet’s implication that they’re missing a huge part of the picture—and that’s a conversation we need to have. 

In//Appropriate is up at the Littman Gallery until the end of the month—the show is presented in association with artists Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos), Camas Logue (Klamath-Modoc), Sharita Towne, and Gabe Flores, who are programming additional installations in the gallery. You can see more images from the show and listen to voicemails from people calling in to discuss cultural appropration on the project's Tumblr.

Related Reading: Just Eat It — A Comic About Food and Cultural Appropriation. 

by Sarah Mirk
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Sarah Mirk is Bitch Media's online editor. She's interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

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84 Comments Have Been Posted

Only White people?

I appreciate this article and this man's work and his intent. This is a great way to show how appropriation is missed. But I really think that the American youth of today whether people of dark skin or light skin are accepting this type of appropriation and not just white youth. A lot of pop culture is infused with many people appropriating not just white artists. I guess this will be taken as me worrying about white feelings but let me say this, I think it is divisive to suggest that only whites now a days are ignoring racial issues. I think A LOT of people are ignoring it for the sake of fun, for the sake of lightheartedness and not understanding how racism is structural and embedded deep into everything in this country.

Only White people?

I appreciate this article and this man's work and his intent. This is a great way to show how appropriation is missed. But I really think that the American youth of today whether people of dark skin or light skin are accepting this type of appropriation and not just white youth. A lot of pop culture is infused with many people appropriating not just white artists. I guess this will be taken as me worrying about white feelings but let me say this, I think it is divisive to suggest that only whites now a days are ignoring racial issues. I think A LOT of people are ignoring it for the sake of fun, for the sake of lightheartedness and not understanding how racism is structural and embedded deep into everything in this country.

Respectful rebuttal.

I'm just curious as to what non-white celebrities appropriating culture you are talking about? No seriously. I just want to make sure that in my tireless crusade to help the progression of this country I want to make sure both arguments are understand fully. I would just theorize the reason it exists in celebrities of color is because celebrity status in America was a whites only thing first, so celebrities of color are basically made to adhere to those standards, which would involve appropriating cultures. (This excludes comedians, comedy is an entirely different thing)

Also please tell me the which people of color ignore the things that affect them everyday whether they want it to or not?

Please tell me how black people who are followed for walking in affluent neighborhoods and muslims who are stripped searched for even thinking of boarding a plane, are ignoring racial issues for "Fun" and "lightheartedness"

If I may, respectfully of course assuming you are white, you have no reference of not being able to ignore something because of your race. You have no experience of having to think of your race every day unless it's from the perspective of seeing oppressed people talk about your race. Then you subconsciously realize that as a majority and more importantly the race with the power behind it, so you are able to ignore it. Other races can't. For one reason or the other. I'm a guy, I can go a week without thinking about being sexually assaulted. Women cannot. Ever. And that may sound weird if you are a guy, but that's because you have no reference of not being able to not think about it. Which is my point.

This country is about as "divisive" as it can be without re-instituting slavery and equal-but-separate laws. But that's okay that's what progression is or whatever. My point is that you can't pass the blame from the white folk, because that in turn perpetuates the cycle.

Respectful rebuttal.

I'm just curious as to what non-white celebrities appropriating culture you are talking about? No seriously. I just want to make sure that in my tireless crusade to help the progression of this country I want to make sure both arguments are understand fully. I would just theorize the reason it exists in celebrities of color is because celebrity status in America was a whites only thing first, so celebrities of color are basically made to adhere to those standards, which would involve appropriating cultures. (This excludes comedians, comedy is an entirely different thing)

Also please tell me the which people of color ignore the things that affect them everyday whether they want it to or not?

Please tell me how black people who are followed for walking in affluent neighborhoods and muslims who are stripped searched for even thinking of boarding a plane, are ignoring racial issues for "Fun" and "lightheartedness"

If I may, respectfully of course assuming you are white, you have no reference of not being able to ignore something because of your race. You have no experience of having to think of your race every day unless it's from the perspective of seeing oppressed people talk about your race. Then you subconsciously realize that as a majority and more importantly the race with the power behind it, so you are able to ignore it. Other races can't. For one reason or the other. I'm a guy, I can go a week without thinking about being sexually assaulted. Women cannot. Ever. And that may sound weird if you are a guy, but that's because you have no reference of not being able to not think about it. Which is my point.

This country is about as "divisive" as it can be without re-instituting slavery and equal-but-separate laws. But that's okay that's what progression is or whatever. My point is that you can't pass the blame from the white folk, because that in turn perpetuates the cycle.

I was really speaking about

I was really speaking about the youth of today and listening to the music that they are listening to and that isn't only white youth being complicit please don't try to argue that it is. If you believe it is only white youth that is divisive and completely inaccurate. I am fully aware of the race issue in America and it gets under my skin that the youth today have ignored the atrocities of the past for the sake of fun and lightheartedness or being comfortable. But it isn't only a lesson for white youth it is a lesson to all youth and should be. No I'm not white I'm other and yes I think of my race everyday because I can never forget that I cant choose just one and sit comfortably within it and be accepted fully as it. You need not know what I am for that would make you all to comfortable in categorizing me and my role in this world. I am not going to regurgitate what I have been told but rather what I observe as a citizen of this universe. The youth of today are far too complicit in the mysoginistic (sp) racist crap that is going on in music and the color of your skin doesn't determine your compliciteness (sp) of this. If you believe that than YOU my friend are no better that what this racist structure has asked you to be.

I was really speaking about

I was really speaking about the youth of today and listening to the music that they are listening to and that isn't only white youth being complicit please don't try to argue that it is. If you believe it is only white youth that is divisive and completely inaccurate. I am fully aware of the race issue in America and it gets under my skin that the youth today have ignored the atrocities of the past for the sake of fun and lightheartedness or being comfortable. But it isn't only a lesson for white youth it is a lesson to all youth and should be. No I'm not white I'm other and yes I think of my race everyday because I can never forget that I cant choose just one and sit comfortably within it and be accepted fully as it. You need not know what I am for that would make you all to comfortable in categorizing me and my role in this world. I am not going to regurgitate what I have been told but rather what I observe as a citizen of this universe. The youth of today are far too complicit in the mysoginistic (sp) racist crap that is going on in music and the color of your skin doesn't determine your compliciteness (sp) of this. If you believe that than YOU my friend are no better that what this racist structure has asked you to be.

6 days and no response.

6 days and no response.

6 days and no response.

6 days and no response.

Outstanding.

Wish I could see this in person. Brilliant - accessible and and well done. Good for Roger Peet for unpacking his own white privilege while exploring a hot topic to join the fight to end white privilege.

Outstanding.

Wish I could see this in person. Brilliant - accessible and and well done. Good for Roger Peet for unpacking his own white privilege while exploring a hot topic to join the fight to end white privilege.

I'm sorry, this artwork is

<p>I'm sorry, this artwork is certainly thought-provoking and wonderfully put together but I won't be thrown under the bus simply for being born white. We don't all do ridiculous things like get up in geisha clothing or dress like Native Americans (is that the right description or will I be posted all over Tumblr for that?). As for the Elvis piece - are we not allowed to enjoy rock n'roll music any more because it stems from blues music written by black men?</p>

I'm sorry, this artwork is

I'm sorry, this artwork is certainly thought-provoking and wonderfully put together but I won't be thrown under the bus simply for being born white. We don't all do ridiculous things like get up in geisha clothing or dress like Native Americans (is that the right description or will I be posted all over Tumblr for that?). As for the Elvis piece - are we not allowed to enjoy rock n'roll music any more because it stems from blues music written by black men?

This really sounds like a

This really sounds like a "not all white people argument." We understand that "not all white people" are this way but look around--- it's the majority. And if this doesn't describe who you are, GREAT. Really. Just move along, but let it speak to others.

PS. It has nothing to do with rock n' roll music. Elvis is exemplified here because he never gave any credit nor recognition to any of the [black] blues artist he stole his songs from. Therefore, he benefited from appropriation. You can still like his music as music should be enjoyed by whomever, wherever, but we must learn that the way Elvis went about it was wrong....a long with other notable artists.

This really sounds like a

This really sounds like a "not all white people argument." We understand that "not all white people" are this way but look around--- it's the majority. And if this doesn't describe who you are, GREAT. Really. Just move along, but let it speak to others.

PS. It has nothing to do with rock n' roll music. Elvis is exemplified here because he never gave any credit nor recognition to any of the [black] blues artist he stole his songs from. Therefore, he benefited from appropriation. You can still like his music as music should be enjoyed by whomever, wherever, but we must learn that the way Elvis went about it was wrong....a long with other notable artists.

Elvis never gave credit?

This claim is nonsense. On more than one occasion Elvis gave interviews to black media outlets including Jet where he paid tribute to the black artists that had gone before him. A little research goes a long way.

Elvis never gave credit?

This claim is nonsense. On more than one occasion Elvis gave interviews to black media outlets including Jet where he paid tribute to the black artists that had gone before him. A little research goes a long way.

seriously . . .

So what your saying is that it is 1 ok to steal things without compensation. 2 that smiling in the face of black people makes it ok that he never told white people that black people's issues are important while making bank on black ideas. Wow. The whole point is that while you enjoy the cool parts of black culture, black people are suffering. They wear headdresses and often cash in on minority scholarships of the people who sit full blooded in real ghettos. They paint thier faces like sugar skull while telling Mexicans to leave and that they don't belong in a country of immigrants. It's sick.

seriously . . .

So what your saying is that it is 1 ok to steal things without compensation. 2 that smiling in the face of black people makes it ok that he never told white people that black people's issues are important while making bank on black ideas. Wow. The whole point is that while you enjoy the cool parts of black culture, black people are suffering. They wear headdresses and often cash in on minority scholarships of the people who sit full blooded in real ghettos. They paint thier faces like sugar skull while telling Mexicans to leave and that they don't belong in a country of immigrants. It's sick.

I'm pretty sure that there

I'm pretty sure that there are at least some things that you think are culturally important enough that you take it for granted that 'everyone' should treat them with respect, sacred cows you don't want others tipping for fun.

you don't let your kid play in the baptismal font when visiting a cathedral, you don't ask for bacon in a Kosher restaurant, you don't wear white after Labor Day, you have a specific recipe for something you got from an ancestor and all other variations are 'blasphemy'...

something that matters to you, that you understand the history of, and why it deserves to be treated with at least a casual respect, right?

why does it baffle you that other people have things that matter to them, and react badly when people who don't understand take those things and play around with them, or steal them to make money, and claim the work as their own?

I'm pretty sure that there

I'm pretty sure that there are at least some things that you think are culturally important enough that you take it for granted that 'everyone' should treat them with respect, sacred cows you don't want others tipping for fun.

you don't let your kid play in the baptismal font when visiting a cathedral, you don't ask for bacon in a Kosher restaurant, you don't wear white after Labor Day, you have a specific recipe for something you got from an ancestor and all other variations are 'blasphemy'...

something that matters to you, that you understand the history of, and why it deserves to be treated with at least a casual respect, right?

why does it baffle you that other people have things that matter to them, and react badly when people who don't understand take those things and play around with them, or steal them to make money, and claim the work as their own?

You've just used the "not all

You've just used the "not all white people" defense.

Of course, you're right. Not *all* white people do dumb things. But the point is that when a white person does a bad thing (like taking drugs, rioting, or a shooting), it doesn't get held against all other white people. Yet bad things done by black people are constantly talked about as problems that affect the entire "black community", rather than the actions of individuals. The fact that the obvious generalisation implicit in the idea of "whiteness" got your back up a bit shows how embedded you are in a system that teaches people to view white people as individuals, but non-white people to be faceless members of monolithic "communities".

It's also important to point out that, by using the "not all white people" defense, you are inadvertently trivialising many longstanding grievances that, while they might not be of prime concern to you, might be to others. You may think a geisha costume is in bad taste, but it doesn't matter *that* much to you. But how might you feel if your grandparents were Asian-Americans who were interred in a prison camp during WWII? Your defense shows that you're more concerned to prove "not all white people" are bad than you are to listen to and appreciate the concerns reflected in this art exhibition.

What's also trivialising is that, while you think you shouldn't be "thrown under the bus" just for being white, you conveniently forget that there have almost certainly been black people who have been *literally* thrown under a bus just for being black at some point in American history. Worrying about being generalised as a "white person" – because yes, generalisation is bad – is effectively saying that generalising against white people is the SAME as generalising against black people. Which it isn't.

You've just used the "not all

You've just used the "not all white people" defense.

Of course, you're right. Not *all* white people do dumb things. But the point is that when a white person does a bad thing (like taking drugs, rioting, or a shooting), it doesn't get held against all other white people. Yet bad things done by black people are constantly talked about as problems that affect the entire "black community", rather than the actions of individuals. The fact that the obvious generalisation implicit in the idea of "whiteness" got your back up a bit shows how embedded you are in a system that teaches people to view white people as individuals, but non-white people to be faceless members of monolithic "communities".

It's also important to point out that, by using the "not all white people" defense, you are inadvertently trivialising many longstanding grievances that, while they might not be of prime concern to you, might be to others. You may think a geisha costume is in bad taste, but it doesn't matter *that* much to you. But how might you feel if your grandparents were Asian-Americans who were interred in a prison camp during WWII? Your defense shows that you're more concerned to prove "not all white people" are bad than you are to listen to and appreciate the concerns reflected in this art exhibition.

What's also trivialising is that, while you think you shouldn't be "thrown under the bus" just for being white, you conveniently forget that there have almost certainly been black people who have been *literally* thrown under a bus just for being black at some point in American history. Worrying about being generalised as a "white person" – because yes, generalisation is bad – is effectively saying that generalising against white people is the SAME as generalising against black people. Which it isn't.

I don't want to linger in hatred.

I want to know why everyone insists on pummeling it down the throats of "white people", which I would like to add that the "white community" is made up of a melting pot of several different races, creeds, heritages and ethnicities,that they are awful, horrible people who should swallow the faults of popular culture? Why? Because I am white does this make me related to Katy Perry? She sucks, we all know she does, and unfortunately ... Quite unfortunately... the only people I know who use the term "black community" are, frankly, black people.

I don't want to linger in hatred.

I want to know why everyone insists on pummeling it down the throats of "white people", which I would like to add that the "white community" is made up of a melting pot of several different races, creeds, heritages and ethnicities,that they are awful, horrible people who should swallow the faults of popular culture? Why? Because I am white does this make me related to Katy Perry? She sucks, we all know she does, and unfortunately ... Quite unfortunately... the only people I know who use the term "black community" are, frankly, black people.

Women don't necessarily

Women don't necessarily escape the idea that women are to be persecuted as a group for the actions of one white woman. It happens all the time, whereas it doesn't happen to white men. White women are often singled out as individuals and forced to represent the entire gender with their actions, whether white or not.

Women don't necessarily

Women don't necessarily escape the idea that women are to be persecuted as a group for the actions of one white woman. It happens all the time, whereas it doesn't happen to white men. White women are often singled out as individuals and forced to represent the entire gender with their actions, whether white or not.

this is a very white comment.

this is a very white comment.

you have the entire world at your fingertips with google and yet you expect people of color to explain to you this stuff? lol
what kind of white entitlement...

this is a very white comment.

this is a very white comment.

you have the entire world at your fingertips with google and yet you expect people of color to explain to you this stuff? lol
what kind of white entitlement...

cultural appropriation

Cool idea and all and trust me when i say i am glad someone with a soap box keep this in the public eye. But i think that its not a matter of people turning a blind eye to it. Its more that they are programmed to NOT get it. And as i keep saying repeatedly, i dont even believe its a planned concerted effort to do it. People write from their experiences and world view. Media and life experience shapes your world view, and western civilization has pretty much written the book on how to dominate that particular niche. I think this is why BET is such a horrible representation of being black. And definitely why mainstream media is 95% white.

One day when you are cruising around, take the time to take a good hard look at all the media you encounter. Posters, magazines, TV commercials, bill boards. What do you see 95% of the time? Smiling, pretty white faces. You have to really hunt to see anything else. In group shots they will toss in a few coloured and Asian faces because… racism. And because I am black I am only speaking from a black perspective.

As kids growing up, when we are forming our world view's, Television plays a huge role in our perception of reality. The things we are taught by our parents and guardians, teachers, and peers are reinforced by the media presented to us. If everything we are told by our parents is also what is presented on TV, it must be true right? And if it isn’t what we see everyday, it becomes a distortion that jars our expectations. Meaning, as a kid I can meet and play with little black John Jones and not think anything of it unless told I should. Yet if I went to a conference full of rocket scientists and was introduced to the black lead NASA engineer John Jones it would be jarring.

Imagine now being a black kid. Everyday you are being told you can be anything you want to. Except that your media is showing you that you cant be. You can be a rapper, or a sports figure or if you are a female, a pop star. As long as you look like a tanned version of a white girl. If it is news media, it is most likely going to be a black criminal type. In the 90’s this reality was reinforced by a whole whack of gangster movies and gangster rappers. So its what was on TV and what you saw in the streets. This is what you are destined to be since there was no other images to aspire to.

So as you get a little older and become more self aware, you look in the mirror and start to realize that there is really no place for you in the fantasy world that wrapped up your childhood naiveté.

As an analogy I will use the saying ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’. Well I can talk like the Romans. Dress like the Romans. Fight alongside the Romans. But at the end of the day, when a Roman looks at me. I am not a Roman. You know when I become a Roman? When the leaders of the Romans are seen walking with me and people like me. Acting completely and utterly natural around me. People like me being seen at all the right conventions. The right dinners. Doing the same jobs. Owning businesses. Then what I look like disappears and something else will be used to differentiate me besides how I look.

I am sure there are people that can articulate this better than I have but at the end of the day, no matter how this is disseminated, it is STILL this simple. Change some of the reality kids are exposed to and you will change the reality they aspire to.

cultural appropriation

Cool idea and all and trust me when i say i am glad someone with a soap box keep this in the public eye. But i think that its not a matter of people turning a blind eye to it. Its more that they are programmed to NOT get it. And as i keep saying repeatedly, i dont even believe its a planned concerted effort to do it. People write from their experiences and world view. Media and life experience shapes your world view, and western civilization has pretty much written the book on how to dominate that particular niche. I think this is why BET is such a horrible representation of being black. And definitely why mainstream media is 95% white.

One day when you are cruising around, take the time to take a good hard look at all the media you encounter. Posters, magazines, TV commercials, bill boards. What do you see 95% of the time? Smiling, pretty white faces. You have to really hunt to see anything else. In group shots they will toss in a few coloured and Asian faces because… racism. And because I am black I am only speaking from a black perspective.

As kids growing up, when we are forming our world view's, Television plays a huge role in our perception of reality. The things we are taught by our parents and guardians, teachers, and peers are reinforced by the media presented to us. If everything we are told by our parents is also what is presented on TV, it must be true right? And if it isn’t what we see everyday, it becomes a distortion that jars our expectations. Meaning, as a kid I can meet and play with little black John Jones and not think anything of it unless told I should. Yet if I went to a conference full of rocket scientists and was introduced to the black lead NASA engineer John Jones it would be jarring.

Imagine now being a black kid. Everyday you are being told you can be anything you want to. Except that your media is showing you that you cant be. You can be a rapper, or a sports figure or if you are a female, a pop star. As long as you look like a tanned version of a white girl. If it is news media, it is most likely going to be a black criminal type. In the 90’s this reality was reinforced by a whole whack of gangster movies and gangster rappers. So its what was on TV and what you saw in the streets. This is what you are destined to be since there was no other images to aspire to.

So as you get a little older and become more self aware, you look in the mirror and start to realize that there is really no place for you in the fantasy world that wrapped up your childhood naiveté.

As an analogy I will use the saying ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’. Well I can talk like the Romans. Dress like the Romans. Fight alongside the Romans. But at the end of the day, when a Roman looks at me. I am not a Roman. You know when I become a Roman? When the leaders of the Romans are seen walking with me and people like me. Acting completely and utterly natural around me. People like me being seen at all the right conventions. The right dinners. Doing the same jobs. Owning businesses. Then what I look like disappears and something else will be used to differentiate me besides how I look.

I am sure there are people that can articulate this better than I have but at the end of the day, no matter how this is disseminated, it is STILL this simple. Change some of the reality kids are exposed to and you will change the reality they aspire to.

QFT!

Don't worry. You articulated this just fine.

QFT!

Don't worry. You articulated this just fine.

If we want to end racism,

If we want to end racism, part of that means ending this idea that white people should perpetually feel some sort of horrible guilt, or that it's okay for others to appropriate European culture, but it's not okay for those of European descent to appropriate elements from other cultures. I do not mean to suggest that we should ignore the history of violence or the continuing racial issues that plague our society, but we should be focusing on real race issues, like wage inequality and police bias and how we can actually fix them, not suggesting that Miley Cyrus is a violent racist for dancing however she likes or suggesting that every white person in the world should feel as though they pulled the trigger in Ferguson.
In fact I see things like Cyrus' incorporation of black culture very differently: I would suggest it represents the continuing lack of differentiation between racial subcultures. As such it is a sign of positive progress.

If we want to end racism,

If we want to end racism, part of that means ending this idea that white people should perpetually feel some sort of horrible guilt, or that it's okay for others to appropriate European culture, but it's not okay for those of European descent to appropriate elements from other cultures. I do not mean to suggest that we should ignore the history of violence or the continuing racial issues that plague our society, but we should be focusing on real race issues, like wage inequality and police bias and how we can actually fix them, not suggesting that Miley Cyrus is a violent racist for dancing however she likes or suggesting that every white person in the world should feel as though they pulled the trigger in Ferguson.
In fact I see things like Cyrus' incorporation of black culture very differently: I would suggest it represents the continuing lack of differentiation between racial subcultures. As such it is a sign of positive progress.

How is anyone appropriating

<p>How is anyone appropriating European culture? European culture is the "STANDARD." It is embedded systematically in our psyches and has been pushed upon the colonized for hundreds of years so how exactly is that appropriation? It is not voluntary. It has been shoved down our throats and the throats of our ancestors when they were ripped of their own culture and shoved out of their native lands. </p>

<p>Furthermore, "suggesting that Miley is a violent racist for dancing however she likes or suggesting that every white person in the world should feel as though they pulled the trigger in Ferguson." I'm sorry but you really missed the whole point of Peet's work. No one is suggesting that Miley or Katy Perry or Iggy are "violent racists," only that they are oblivious to the implications of their actions. In fact, you're stepping back and basically saying "well not all white people are racist." No, of course not. The term "whiteness" refers to the system in place that has oppressed people of color. <strong>And just because you are not racist, does not mean that you do not enjoy the privileges that the system grants you.</strong></p>

<p>In addition, your suggestion to focus instead on wage inequality and police brutality can not fully be addressed unless we have conversations about this first. How can we move forward on other key issues if we cannot even have a legitimate conversation about race relations and cultural appropriation?</p>

How is anyone appropriating

How is anyone appropriating European culture? European culture is the "STANDARD." It is embedded systematically in our psyches and has been pushed upon the colonized for hundreds of years so how exactly is that appropriation? It is not voluntary. It has been shoved down our throats and the throats of our ancestors when they were ripped of their own culture and shoved out of their native lands.

Furthermore, "suggesting that Miley is a violent racist for dancing however she likes or suggesting that every white person in the world should feel as though they pulled the trigger in Ferguson." I'm sorry but you really missed the whole point of Peet's work. No one is suggesting that Miley or Katy Perry or Iggy are "violent racists," only that they are oblivious to the implications of their actions. In fact, you're stepping back and basically saying "well not all white people are racist." No, of course not. The term "whiteness" refers to the system in place that has oppressed people of color. And just because you are not racist, does not mean that you do not enjoy the privileges that the system grants you.

In addition, your suggestion to focus instead on wage inequality and police brutality can not fully be addressed unless we have conversations about this first. How can we move forward on other key issues if we cannot even have a legitimate conversation about race relations and cultural appropriation?

I think maybe though that

I think maybe though that European, and especially British, culture is not the standard. Not anymore. It certainly was until maybe the late 1900s, but American culture has supplanted it as the 'default' now. And they are distinct and different cultures, very much so I think. American culture is sort of the default now it seems where ever you go, and everything else is just "antiquated" or "quaint" or "foreign" or some other term, but I think you know what I mean. While that may seem like a petty argument, I do really think that there is a distinct difference worth recognizing.

I don't have a response for the other parts of your post because I agree with what you're saying about how many people aren't 'violently racist' or in my opinion, consciously thinking about how they are appropriating cultures or harming groups, but instead are just doing it without any sort of critical self-reflection because it's just so normalized to them.

I think maybe though that

I think maybe though that European, and especially British, culture is not the standard. Not anymore. It certainly was until maybe the late 1900s, but American culture has supplanted it as the 'default' now. And they are distinct and different cultures, very much so I think. American culture is sort of the default now it seems where ever you go, and everything else is just "antiquated" or "quaint" or "foreign" or some other term, but I think you know what I mean. While that may seem like a petty argument, I do really think that there is a distinct difference worth recognizing.

I don't have a response for the other parts of your post because I agree with what you're saying about how many people aren't 'violently racist' or in my opinion, consciously thinking about how they are appropriating cultures or harming groups, but instead are just doing it without any sort of critical self-reflection because it's just so normalized to them.

"European culture" is not a

"European culture" is not a thing, any more than "Native American culture" is. There are a whole bunch of European cultureS plural.

The standard culture of which you speak is Colonialist culture, and it is not the same as any European culture, nor is it an amalgamation of all of them. Sadly, European cultures are being erased or have been erased. (One way you can help erase them is by talking about European culture as a monolith, same way as you can help destroy American Indian cultures by talking about them as if Iroquois culture and Cheyenne culture are the same thing.)

European cultures are being appropriated all the time. Irish culture is frequently appropriated. One excellent reason to stand against cultural appropriation is that nobody should endure the mockery and defamation of the American St. Patrick's Day celebrations, and that's where this stuff is going. Italian culture is appropriated. One of the most heinous examples of appropriation of a European culture is the theft of Norse cultural iconography by neo-nazis.

Because Colonial culture now classifies my people as "white" (a concept from Colonial culture, and nowhere else) I am not particularly harmed when people who are not Scots wear the traditional regalia of Scots people, or otherwise appropriate that culture. But it is sort of off that there's a fellow of Chinese descent wearing kilts 'cause he thinks they're cool, and is wrongly wearing clan identifiers that would mark him as a Campbell.

An ugly thing that often happens in discussions of cultural appropriation is people telling Europeans to stick to their own cultures, while simultaneously denying that those people have any culture besides Colonialist culture. Gets worse when people fail to recognize elements of traditional European cultures as what they are, and call them appropriation because they resemble elements of traditional cultures belonging to people of colour. We want to erase Colonial culture and return to our own traditional cultures, not continue to destroy traditional European cultures and force all 'white' people to identify with and remain in Colonial culture as 'their own.'

There is great violence behind the appropriation of European cultures, it's just older.

"European culture" is not a

"European culture" is not a thing, any more than "Native American culture" is. There are a whole bunch of European cultureS plural.

The standard culture of which you speak is Colonialist culture, and it is not the same as any European culture, nor is it an amalgamation of all of them. Sadly, European cultures are being erased or have been erased. (One way you can help erase them is by talking about European culture as a monolith, same way as you can help destroy American Indian cultures by talking about them as if Iroquois culture and Cheyenne culture are the same thing.)

European cultures are being appropriated all the time. Irish culture is frequently appropriated. One excellent reason to stand against cultural appropriation is that nobody should endure the mockery and defamation of the American St. Patrick's Day celebrations, and that's where this stuff is going. Italian culture is appropriated. One of the most heinous examples of appropriation of a European culture is the theft of Norse cultural iconography by neo-nazis.

Because Colonial culture now classifies my people as "white" (a concept from Colonial culture, and nowhere else) I am not particularly harmed when people who are not Scots wear the traditional regalia of Scots people, or otherwise appropriate that culture. But it is sort of off that there's a fellow of Chinese descent wearing kilts 'cause he thinks they're cool, and is wrongly wearing clan identifiers that would mark him as a Campbell.

An ugly thing that often happens in discussions of cultural appropriation is people telling Europeans to stick to their own cultures, while simultaneously denying that those people have any culture besides Colonialist culture. Gets worse when people fail to recognize elements of traditional European cultures as what they are, and call them appropriation because they resemble elements of traditional cultures belonging to people of colour. We want to erase Colonial culture and return to our own traditional cultures, not continue to destroy traditional European cultures and force all 'white' people to identify with and remain in Colonial culture as 'their own.'

There is great violence behind the appropriation of European cultures, it's just older.

If you want to end racism...

If you want to end racism, then you need to stop pretending that racism is only incidents like Ferguson.

You also need to stop getting defensive at the mere mention of racism that may be more subtle. Nobody wants to make you feel guilty - they just want you to be more educated.

Racism can be overt or it can be subtle. We are all racist a little bit by nature of the society we grew up in. The more mature will acknowledge it when pointed out and learn from it and change our behaviours in rhe future.

Only then will we end racism. We certainly won't if we pretend we're not even a little bit racist just because we are against the events in Ferguson. And we certainly won't if we cry "stop making me feel guilty" every time someone says "look at what white people do that's kind of racist."

If you want to end racism...

If you want to end racism, then you need to stop pretending that racism is only incidents like Ferguson.

You also need to stop getting defensive at the mere mention of racism that may be more subtle. Nobody wants to make you feel guilty - they just want you to be more educated.

Racism can be overt or it can be subtle. We are all racist a little bit by nature of the society we grew up in. The more mature will acknowledge it when pointed out and learn from it and change our behaviours in rhe future.

Only then will we end racism. We certainly won't if we pretend we're not even a little bit racist just because we are against the events in Ferguson. And we certainly won't if we cry "stop making me feel guilty" every time someone says "look at what white people do that's kind of racist."

I would seriously like to

I would seriously like to know who is 'appropriating European culture?' Any examples outside of minorities forced to assimilate? Any examples outside of colonialism? What is European culture, in an American context, anyway?

Also, the exact same things that white artists appropriate are also the things minorities are ridiculed, shamed, and denigrated for. So, how is cultural theft and the profits from that okay but being yourself, if you're a minority, not? How does erasure = progress? And make no mistake, this is erasure. If progress means white people get to co-opt entire aspects of culture that is not theirs while the same cultures they appropriate don't have the complete freedom to express themselves, in many spaces, I don't want any part of that.

I would seriously like to

I would seriously like to know who is 'appropriating European culture?' Any examples outside of minorities forced to assimilate? Any examples outside of colonialism? What is European culture, in an American context, anyway?

Also, the exact same things that white artists appropriate are also the things minorities are ridiculed, shamed, and denigrated for. So, how is cultural theft and the profits from that okay but being yourself, if you're a minority, not? How does erasure = progress? And make no mistake, this is erasure. If progress means white people get to co-opt entire aspects of culture that is not theirs while the same cultures they appropriate don't have the complete freedom to express themselves, in many spaces, I don't want any part of that.

Look inside to the beginning

It is not the work itself that causes feelings of guilt but the person themselves who react to their own inner guilt on the subjects at hand. Guilt is a useless feeling as it doesn't provoke change on the park of the individual receiving a message. Being caught up in the duality of black and white worldview like being attacked and being defended or being right or wrong is not going to provide any dialogue for internal reflection and contemplation on issues that affect a global population with each their own subjective point of view.

The exhibition made no statements that the aforementioned artists are beings that are racist. No, these are your interpretations. They merely "suggest" an inappropriate use of cultural symbols within the context of the visual American history in red (perhaps symbolizing blood).

Good on you for wanting to end racism but your comment shows your intention doesn't negate your current worldview when you said " In fact I see things like Cyrus' incorporation of black culture very differently: I would suggest it represents the continuing lack of differentiation between racial subcultures."

This is a position that defends white patriarchy. If you think there is a lack of differentiation between "racial subculturals" then you may be ignorant of them. This is precisely the problem the work hopes to shed light on. It's this "color blindness' which people who have been cultured and/or born with white skin that changes their consciousness on issues that affect their daily lives.

Lastly, do you really think non-white people appropriate European culture ? The European imperialists have been colonizing, killing, enslaving and forcing their culture on the rest of the world for over 500 years ! Learn your history. White people have not only stolen land and lives but want to take culturally significant symbols that contain the embedded language and spirit of civilizations on the brink of extinction (to various degrees) to use for the white peoples culture of fashion and material nihilism. No thank you.

Don't ask a white person if Miley Cyrus's cultural appropriation is a "sign of progress". Ask the people who are affected and are speaking out against it. You may learn something...someday.

'We must recognize the relationship between top-down propaganda and the bias that we carry. Fighting prejudices in society and in our selves is a key part of the search for justice.'

Blessings.

Look inside to the beginning

It is not the work itself that causes feelings of guilt but the person themselves who react to their own inner guilt on the subjects at hand. Guilt is a useless feeling as it doesn't provoke change on the park of the individual receiving a message. Being caught up in the duality of black and white worldview like being attacked and being defended or being right or wrong is not going to provide any dialogue for internal reflection and contemplation on issues that affect a global population with each their own subjective point of view.

The exhibition made no statements that the aforementioned artists are beings that are racist. No, these are your interpretations. They merely "suggest" an inappropriate use of cultural symbols within the context of the visual American history in red (perhaps symbolizing blood).

Good on you for wanting to end racism but your comment shows your intention doesn't negate your current worldview when you said " In fact I see things like Cyrus' incorporation of black culture very differently: I would suggest it represents the continuing lack of differentiation between racial subcultures."

This is a position that defends white patriarchy. If you think there is a lack of differentiation between "racial subculturals" then you may be ignorant of them. This is precisely the problem the work hopes to shed light on. It's this "color blindness' which people who have been cultured and/or born with white skin that changes their consciousness on issues that affect their daily lives.

Lastly, do you really think non-white people appropriate European culture ? The European imperialists have been colonizing, killing, enslaving and forcing their culture on the rest of the world for over 500 years ! Learn your history. White people have not only stolen land and lives but want to take culturally significant symbols that contain the embedded language and spirit of civilizations on the brink of extinction (to various degrees) to use for the white peoples culture of fashion and material nihilism. No thank you.

Don't ask a white person if Miley Cyrus's cultural appropriation is a "sign of progress". Ask the people who are affected and are speaking out against it. You may learn something...someday.

'We must recognize the relationship between top-down propaganda and the bias that we carry. Fighting prejudices in society and in our selves is a key part of the search for justice.'

Blessings.

Look inside to the beginning

It is not the work itself that causes feelings of guilt but the person themselves who react to their own inner guilt on the subjects at hand. Guilt is a useless feeling as it doesn't provoke change on the park of the individual receiving a message. Being caught up in the duality of black and white worldview like being attacked and being defended or being right or wrong is not going to provide any dialogue for internal reflection and contemplation on issues that affect a global population with each their own subjective point of view.

The exhibition made no statements that the aforementioned artists are beings that are racist. No, these are your interpretations. They merely "suggest" an inappropriate use of cultural symbols within the context of the visual American history in red (perhaps symbolizing blood).

Good on you for wanting to end racism but your comment shows your intention doesn't negate your current worldview when you said " In fact I see things like Cyrus' incorporation of black culture very differently: I would suggest it represents the continuing lack of differentiation between racial subcultures."

This is a position that defends white patriarchy. If you think there is a lack of differentiation between "racial subculturals" then you may be ignorant of them. This is precisely the problem the work hopes to shed light on. It's this "color blindness' which people who have been cultured and/or born with white skin that changes their consciousness on issues that affect their daily lives.

Lastly, do you really think non-white people appropriate European culture ? The European imperialists have been colonizing, killing, enslaving and forcing their culture on the rest of the world for over 500 years ! Learn your history. White people have not only stolen land and lives but want to take culturally significant symbols that contain the embedded language and spirit of civilizations on the brink of extinction (to various degrees) to use for the white peoples culture of fashion and material nihilism. No thank you.

Don't ask a white person if Miley Cyrus's cultural appropriation is a "sign of progress". Ask the people who are affected and are speaking out against it. You may learn something...someday.

'We must recognize the relationship between top-down propaganda and the bias that we carry. Fighting prejudices in society and in our selves is a key part of the search for justice.'

Blessings.

Look inside to the beginning

It is not the work itself that causes feelings of guilt but the person themselves who react to their own inner guilt on the subjects at hand. Guilt is a useless feeling as it doesn't provoke change on the park of the individual receiving a message. Being caught up in the duality of black and white worldview like being attacked and being defended or being right or wrong is not going to provide any dialogue for internal reflection and contemplation on issues that affect a global population with each their own subjective point of view.

The exhibition made no statements that the aforementioned artists are beings that are racist. No, these are your interpretations. They merely "suggest" an inappropriate use of cultural symbols within the context of the visual American history in red (perhaps symbolizing blood).

Good on you for wanting to end racism but your comment shows your intention doesn't negate your current worldview when you said " In fact I see things like Cyrus' incorporation of black culture very differently: I would suggest it represents the continuing lack of differentiation between racial subcultures."

This is a position that defends white patriarchy. If you think there is a lack of differentiation between "racial subculturals" then you may be ignorant of them. This is precisely the problem the work hopes to shed light on. It's this "color blindness' which people who have been cultured and/or born with white skin that changes their consciousness on issues that affect their daily lives.

Lastly, do you really think non-white people appropriate European culture ? The European imperialists have been colonizing, killing, enslaving and forcing their culture on the rest of the world for over 500 years ! Learn your history. White people have not only stolen land and lives but want to take culturally significant symbols that contain the embedded language and spirit of civilizations on the brink of extinction (to various degrees) to use for the white peoples culture of fashion and material nihilism. No thank you.

Don't ask a white person if Miley Cyrus's cultural appropriation is a "sign of progress". Ask the people who are affected and are speaking out against it. You may learn something...someday.

'We must recognize the relationship between top-down propaganda and the bias that we carry. Fighting prejudices in society and in our selves is a key part of the search for justice.'

Blessings.

It's not about white guilt it's about white privilege

It saddens me that so many commenters and readers here just take away the idea of "I shouldn't be made to feel white guilt" or "other races do it too".

The point isn't white guilt, it's that ignoring racial context is a choice only white people are able to make. Which isn't a subjective statement it's clear fact.

The ability to say "it's just a cool outfit/song whatever" and ignore the appropriation and cultural context is a privilege that people of a minority race or culture simply don't have. Both because they have direct lived experience of having their racial or cultural signifiers define their identities and because they can't participate neutrally in "cultural tourism" without having to answer for the cultural significance of the outfit/song etc.

It's not about forcing guilt, but recognition and understanding. It's not about feeling bad that you're white, it's about being aware of your choices and maybe, in the future, spreading awareness, using your privilege to make more room for people of colour or simply thinking a little harder than "cool hat - what, it's a tribal symbol? - meh I'll just wear it as a cool hat".

It's not about white guilt it's about white privilege

It saddens me that so many commenters and readers here just take away the idea of "I shouldn't be made to feel white guilt" or "other races do it too".

The point isn't white guilt, it's that ignoring racial context is a choice only white people are able to make. Which isn't a subjective statement it's clear fact.

The ability to say "it's just a cool outfit/song whatever" and ignore the appropriation and cultural context is a privilege that people of a minority race or culture simply don't have. Both because they have direct lived experience of having their racial or cultural signifiers define their identities and because they can't participate neutrally in "cultural tourism" without having to answer for the cultural significance of the outfit/song etc.

It's not about forcing guilt, but recognition and understanding. It's not about feeling bad that you're white, it's about being aware of your choices and maybe, in the future, spreading awareness, using your privilege to make more room for people of colour or simply thinking a little harder than "cool hat - what, it's a tribal symbol? - meh I'll just wear it as a cool hat".

That's how it is here. I'm

That's how it is here. I'm surprised there's any comments at all. These type of submissions often go with little to no comments - no discourse. But if people are feeling accused or guilty that day... This happens.

That's how it is here. I'm

That's how it is here. I'm surprised there's any comments at all. These type of submissions often go with little to no comments - no discourse. But if people are feeling accused or guilty that day... This happens.

It definitely illustrates the issue with cultural appropriation

...although maybe not in the way the artist intended. Miley Cyrus has about as much to do with Ferguson police as Will Smith has to do with West Oakland gangbangers, which is to say not much at all beyond sharing skin color. This is my issue with cultural appropriation theory, beyond its parochialness, conservatism, and quixotic attempt to impose barriers on who can interact with what culture. It essentially blames all members of a group for the crimes of others in that group, and equates a person wearing an outfit with genocide and murder. I'm not going to argue that people can't get offended by cultural appropriation or that it is a great idea to mimic and imitate cultures you are not a part of, but I think it is a red herring.

It definitely illustrates the issue with cultural appropriation

...although maybe not in the way the artist intended. Miley Cyrus has about as much to do with Ferguson police as Will Smith has to do with West Oakland gangbangers, which is to say not much at all beyond sharing skin color. This is my issue with cultural appropriation theory, beyond its parochialness, conservatism, and quixotic attempt to impose barriers on who can interact with what culture. It essentially blames all members of a group for the crimes of others in that group, and equates a person wearing an outfit with genocide and murder. I'm not going to argue that people can't get offended by cultural appropriation or that it is a great idea to mimic and imitate cultures you are not a part of, but I think it is a red herring.

Wow, all the white people

Wow, all the white people with feelings commenting on this need to grow a clue.

Wow, all the white people

Wow, all the white people with feelings commenting on this need to grow a clue.

It's a great idea but...

Yes, it's a great idea! ...But, then I actually looked at the art.

My initial thought was just how terribly 'unsubtle' all of this is. Sure, the artist is trying to make a blunt point, but the all they're really doing is insulting the audience with some contorted visual messages.

I'm half Japanese, and while I understand many white Americans don't know about the Japanese American internment, wouldn't it be more powerful to have an image of that instead of the atomic bomb and an American flag raising- icons which do absolutely NOTHING to address a modern American's relationship to yellowface and cultural appropriation?

Similarly... Wouldn't it be so much more powerful to have an image of Robert Johnson, Bo Diddley or ANY real black music pioneers behind Elvis? Instead, looks like we get a police officer from a 'Rage Against the Machine album' cover. Nope, nothing.

And then, it hit me... It seems the artist is uncomfortable actually portraying people of color in this exhibition... in fact, THERE ARE NONE.

PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG. I know this the internet, and MAYBE the photo spread didn't include any art with POCs... but here's my question...

HOW CAN YOU MAKE A CULTURE INVISIBLE IF YOU NEVER INCLUDE THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Thank you.

It's a great idea but...

Yes, it's a great idea! ...But, then I actually looked at the art.

My initial thought was just how terribly 'unsubtle' all of this is. Sure, the artist is trying to make a blunt point, but the all they're really doing is insulting the audience with some contorted visual messages.

I'm half Japanese, and while I understand many white Americans don't know about the Japanese American internment, wouldn't it be more powerful to have an image of that instead of the atomic bomb and an American flag raising- icons which do absolutely NOTHING to address a modern American's relationship to yellowface and cultural appropriation?

Similarly... Wouldn't it be so much more powerful to have an image of Robert Johnson, Bo Diddley or ANY real black music pioneers behind Elvis? Instead, looks like we get a police officer from a 'Rage Against the Machine album' cover. Nope, nothing.

And then, it hit me... It seems the artist is uncomfortable actually portraying people of color in this exhibition... in fact, THERE ARE NONE.

PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG. I know this the internet, and MAYBE the photo spread didn't include any art with POCs... but here's my question...

HOW CAN YOU MAKE A CULTURE INVISIBLE IF YOU NEVER INCLUDE THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Thank you.

I agree. I think the intent

I agree. I think the intent behind this is great, but I don't see the connection between these artists appropriating other cultures and the images of violence in the background. I understand the idea-- that white people are able to ignore violence against other races and/or people in other countries-- but it's not clicking.

I agree. I think the intent

I agree. I think the intent behind this is great, but I don't see the connection between these artists appropriating other cultures and the images of violence in the background. I understand the idea-- that white people are able to ignore violence against other races and/or people in other countries-- but it's not clicking.

What's not clicking? I think

What's not clicking? I think you just explained it perfectly.

What's not clicking? I think

What's not clicking? I think you just explained it perfectly.

Here's my two cents

As someone who is half-Cherokee it really doesn't offend me when white hipsters or "New Age" hippies appropriate Native American iconography or cultural practices. It just lets me know that the parties involved are ignorant "trendy" douchebags for using such things without an appreciation or understanding of the cultural context. The use of smudges like sagebrush comes to mind. Hell, even tobacco use is an example though due to its addictive nature I don't really hold that against anyone.

Here's my two cents

As someone who is half-Cherokee it really doesn't offend me when white hipsters or "New Age" hippies appropriate Native American iconography or cultural practices. It just lets me know that the parties involved are ignorant "trendy" douchebags for using such things without an appreciation or understanding of the cultural context. The use of smudges like sagebrush comes to mind. Hell, even tobacco use is an example though due to its addictive nature I don't really hold that against anyone.

Here's my two cents

As someone who is half-Cherokee it really doesn't offend me when white hipsters or "New Age" hippies appropriate Native American iconography or cultural practices. It just lets me know that the parties involved are ignorant "trendy" douchebags for using such things without an appreciation or understanding of the cultural context. The use of smudges like sagebrush comes to mind. Hell, even tobacco use is an example though due to its addictive nature I don't really hold that against anyone.

Here's my two cents

As someone who is half-Cherokee it really doesn't offend me when white hipsters or "New Age" hippies appropriate Native American iconography or cultural practices. It just lets me know that the parties involved are ignorant "trendy" douchebags for using such things without an appreciation or understanding of the cultural context. The use of smudges like sagebrush comes to mind. Hell, even tobacco use is an example though due to its addictive nature I don't really hold that against anyone.

Art is subject to the

Art is subject to the confines of the finite in expression. You can't criticize a work of art on something that it isn't given the limiting nature of material expression.

Art is subject to the

Art is subject to the confines of the finite in expression. You can't criticize a work of art on something that it isn't given the limiting nature of material expression.

Great point. What you say

Great point. What you say reflects a similar thought I have - that the artist has not unpacked his, or wider, social, sexism when it comes to the subject of cultural appropriation. My feeling is that we are keen to exploit a culture of channeling scorn and debate around visible women, gladly ignoring the decision makers hidden behind them. It is very convenient to tear apart a twenty year old, much harder to attack the complex, conveniently faceless infrastructure of people of power who call the shots. This does not mean that I don't hold Cyrus et all responsible for the racism in their appropriation. My frustration is that we obsess and attack these disposable female figure heads and only them. Never their male managers, record execs etc who lead these campaigns and creations. It is ironic to me that the artist has perpetuated their invisibility.

Viewed thru this ^^ lens, it's hard for me to feel enthusiastic about this work, as it comes across as a lazy regurgitation of others' thinking. I appreciate that the artist has put himself in the lens somewhat but perhaps not meaningfully enough.

Great point. What you say

Great point. What you say reflects a similar thought I have - that the artist has not unpacked his, or wider, social, sexism when it comes to the subject of cultural appropriation. My feeling is that we are keen to exploit a culture of channeling scorn and debate around visible women, gladly ignoring the decision makers hidden behind them. It is very convenient to tear apart a twenty year old, much harder to attack the complex, conveniently faceless infrastructure of people of power who call the shots. This does not mean that I don't hold Cyrus et all responsible for the racism in their appropriation. My frustration is that we obsess and attack these disposable female figure heads and only them. Never their male managers, record execs etc who lead these campaigns and creations. It is ironic to me that the artist has perpetuated their invisibility.

Viewed thru this ^^ lens, it's hard for me to feel enthusiastic about this work, as it comes across as a lazy regurgitation of others' thinking. I appreciate that the artist has put himself in the lens somewhat but perhaps not meaningfully enough.

to the Elvis defenders

So what your saying is that it is 1 ok to steal things without compensation. 2 that smiling in the face of black people makes it ok that he never told white people that black people's issues are important while making bank on black ideas. Wow. The whole point is that while you enjoy the cool parts of black culture, black people are suffering. They wear headdresses and often cash in on minority scholarships of the people who sit full blooded in real ghettos. They paint thier faces like sugar skull while telling Mexicans to leave and that they don't belong in a country of immigrants. It's sick.

to the Elvis defenders

So what your saying is that it is 1 ok to steal things without compensation. 2 that smiling in the face of black people makes it ok that he never told white people that black people's issues are important while making bank on black ideas. Wow. The whole point is that while you enjoy the cool parts of black culture, black people are suffering. They wear headdresses and often cash in on minority scholarships of the people who sit full blooded in real ghettos. They paint thier faces like sugar skull while telling Mexicans to leave and that they don't belong in a country of immigrants. It's sick.

This is dumb

This art is all well conceived and kind of neat, but it's a pretty good example of how white guilt and cultural appropriation relies heavily on you believing that there's a connection between lady gaga wearing her weird little outfit, and queen Victoria. The message is basically, "first white people subjugated India, then we wore their clothes!". Well, lady gaga is not responsible for any of that, Elvis didn't beat black people with a club (that I know of), and it's ludicrous to expect us to feel like we all either directly profit from shit that happened decades ago by other people in a different time. Being born white is not original sin that any of us gave to make up for, and it's unreasonable to want people to subscribe to the same logic white supremacists use against black people

This is dumb

This art is all well conceived and kind of neat, but it's a pretty good example of how white guilt and cultural appropriation relies heavily on you believing that there's a connection between lady gaga wearing her weird little outfit, and queen Victoria. The message is basically, "first white people subjugated India, then we wore their clothes!". Well, lady gaga is not responsible for any of that, Elvis didn't beat black people with a club (that I know of), and it's ludicrous to expect us to feel like we all either directly profit from shit that happened decades ago by other people in a different time. Being born white is not original sin that any of us gave to make up for, and it's unreasonable to want people to subscribe to the same logic white supremacists use against black people

We do benefit

"it's ludicrous to expect us to feel like we all either directly profit from shit that happened decades ago by other people in a different time"

White people do, though. People in the comments above have very clearly and comprehensively explained how this is so. Suck it up, see the truth and move forward with your eyes open.

We do benefit

"it's ludicrous to expect us to feel like we all either directly profit from shit that happened decades ago by other people in a different time"

White people do, though. People in the comments above have very clearly and comprehensively explained how this is so. Suck it up, see the truth and move forward with your eyes open.

Dn't make it too easy; also, Elvis

Still processing the connections between foreground and background in these pieces; to make them as direct as some posters have suggested would, I suspect, make them useful teaching tools but narrow their impact as art. I like that they're jarring and don't have a tidy connection-- we're not little children, and we can do the hard work of thinking through the juxtapositions.

But about Elvis-- I agree with the posters who say he doesn't belong here. Presley's record on race is very well documented: in interviews and on stage, he consistentently acknowledged Black artists as his forbearers and superiors and gave credit where it was due. Otis Blackwell, the Black songwriter who composed many of his greatest songs was both well-compensated and widely acknowledged for his work. Presley hired Black back-up singers and support staff and would only stay in hotels where they could all be together. In terms of giving back, it is undeniably true that Elvis's conscious efforts to bring attention to B.B.King, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and other Black artists significantly broadened their fan base across the country in rock and roll's critical early years.

There's a difference between cultural appropriation and cross-fertilization. Elvis made his own music but spoke openly and with great respect of his influences. Years after writing "Fight the Power," Chuck D recanted his view that Elvis was racist; it would be cool if more people would do the same for this tremendous talent and apparently pretty good person.

Dn't make it too easy; also, Elvis

Still processing the connections between foreground and background in these pieces; to make them as direct as some posters have suggested would, I suspect, make them useful teaching tools but narrow their impact as art. I like that they're jarring and don't have a tidy connection-- we're not little children, and we can do the hard work of thinking through the juxtapositions.

But about Elvis-- I agree with the posters who say he doesn't belong here. Presley's record on race is very well documented: in interviews and on stage, he consistentently acknowledged Black artists as his forbearers and superiors and gave credit where it was due. Otis Blackwell, the Black songwriter who composed many of his greatest songs was both well-compensated and widely acknowledged for his work. Presley hired Black back-up singers and support staff and would only stay in hotels where they could all be together. In terms of giving back, it is undeniably true that Elvis's conscious efforts to bring attention to B.B.King, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and other Black artists significantly broadened their fan base across the country in rock and roll's critical early years.

There's a difference between cultural appropriation and cross-fertilization. Elvis made his own music but spoke openly and with great respect of his influences. Years after writing "Fight the Power," Chuck D recanted his view that Elvis was racist; it would be cool if more people would do the same for this tremendous talent and apparently pretty good person.

context, isolation and the possibility of white maturity

When I see the images in the foreground (Elvis, Miley, etc) I don't think about the individuals themselves, whether they are/ were racist or not, etc- I think about what they come to represent as icons, endlessly replicated, without the accurate context, so easily become two-dimensional and irrelevant to anything, other than the impulse to CONSUME. To me, what the red images provide are a larger, more accurate, more bloody and disturbing historical (anyone heard of that word?) and cultural context for these isolated, iconic, ultimately meaningless images.

I think of the time that Apple began using the images of Gandhi and MLK to sell computers. Just seeing their faces, all out of context like that, not associated with the stands that they took and acts that they performed which were ultimately very inconvenient, problematic, and even dangerous to the status quo, and also the legions of people who stood with them, co-created the historical moment they found themselves the voices for, and participated in creating history intertwined with their more visible actions and voices. They both were assassinated- but the images of them dead would not sell computers.

And, so, my white brothers and sisters, from a fellow white person: to the issue of white guilt, and all the screwy stuff we say about reverse racism and reverse appropriation, just because we are ashamed and embarrassed that we have not had the means, the resources (and I don't mean money- money seems to be an impediment to the kind of resources I'm talking about) the education, the willpower, the fortitude, the integrity, the humility, the smarts and maybe the courage to educate ourselves as to the true legacy of the European conquest of this land and the subjugation of so many people (and the immense collateral damage, incidentally, that we white people have suffered at the level of our souls because we do not know how to come clean!)- this does not mean that you/ we are worthless as a person.

One unfortunate byproduct of white privilege seems to be a terribly fragile sense of self-worth that requires the agreement of the whole world to sustain it. It actually just means that you, we, have the opportunity to join the mahority of the world in the meaningful struggle to create a more livable and just world for everyone. It means we have the great fortune to learn what it feels like to make mistakes and apologize for them, to separate out being incapacitated by guilt from taking responsibility for privilege and power and learning to use it like an adult. To tweak a racist phrase I have heard, If you don't want to get shit for being a white person, stop acting like one.

context, isolation and the possibility of white maturity

When I see the images in the foreground (Elvis, Miley, etc) I don't think about the individuals themselves, whether they are/ were racist or not, etc- I think about what they come to represent as icons, endlessly replicated, without the accurate context, so easily become two-dimensional and irrelevant to anything, other than the impulse to CONSUME. To me, what the red images provide are a larger, more accurate, more bloody and disturbing historical (anyone heard of that word?) and cultural context for these isolated, iconic, ultimately meaningless images.

I think of the time that Apple began using the images of Gandhi and MLK to sell computers. Just seeing their faces, all out of context like that, not associated with the stands that they took and acts that they performed which were ultimately very inconvenient, problematic, and even dangerous to the status quo, and also the legions of people who stood with them, co-created the historical moment they found themselves the voices for, and participated in creating history intertwined with their more visible actions and voices. They both were assassinated- but the images of them dead would not sell computers.

And, so, my white brothers and sisters, from a fellow white person: to the issue of white guilt, and all the screwy stuff we say about reverse racism and reverse appropriation, just because we are ashamed and embarrassed that we have not had the means, the resources (and I don't mean money- money seems to be an impediment to the kind of resources I'm talking about) the education, the willpower, the fortitude, the integrity, the humility, the smarts and maybe the courage to educate ourselves as to the true legacy of the European conquest of this land and the subjugation of so many people (and the immense collateral damage, incidentally, that we white people have suffered at the level of our souls because we do not know how to come clean!)- this does not mean that you/ we are worthless as a person.

One unfortunate byproduct of white privilege seems to be a terribly fragile sense of self-worth that requires the agreement of the whole world to sustain it. It actually just means that you, we, have the opportunity to join the mahority of the world in the meaningful struggle to create a more livable and just world for everyone. It means we have the great fortune to learn what it feels like to make mistakes and apologize for them, to separate out being incapacitated by guilt from taking responsibility for privilege and power and learning to use it like an adult. To tweak a racist phrase I have heard, If you don't want to get shit for being a white person, stop acting like one.

*heavy sigh*

I really love this idea! It's a wonderful concept and I love it even more because the artist himself is white. Everyone seems to be thinking, "Not ALL white people," and while that may be true, they're missing the bigger picture. Yes, not all white people appropriate or do other intentionally racist things. However, racism is embedded in our minds and our history. White people have always had the upper hand and have been the dominant race. Even if a white person isn't consciously thinking something racist, the thoughts are still trapped in the back of our minds. Because of this, we don't think of appropriation as a bad thing. White culture is what is mainstream and common, so taking part of another culture has become "dressing up." We want to take the things from other cultures that we deem good enough but we ignore all of the terrible things we do through racism towards other cultures/races. And no, all of these stars may not be appropriating just to be racist, but they need to recognize that it is racist (as well as recognize any other prejudicial things they may be doing). I hope this makes sense.

*heavy sigh*

I really love this idea! It's a wonderful concept and I love it even more because the artist himself is white. Everyone seems to be thinking, "Not ALL white people," and while that may be true, they're missing the bigger picture. Yes, not all white people appropriate or do other intentionally racist things. However, racism is embedded in our minds and our history. White people have always had the upper hand and have been the dominant race. Even if a white person isn't consciously thinking something racist, the thoughts are still trapped in the back of our minds. Because of this, we don't think of appropriation as a bad thing. White culture is what is mainstream and common, so taking part of another culture has become "dressing up." We want to take the things from other cultures that we deem good enough but we ignore all of the terrible things we do through racism towards other cultures/races. And no, all of these stars may not be appropriating just to be racist, but they need to recognize that it is racist (as well as recognize any other prejudicial things they may be doing). I hope this makes sense.

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