Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by Laura Vanderbooben, Jul 23, 2014.
I'm really glad I'm not famous and expected to publicly take a stand on every issue.
Don't do that.
Those celebs in particular have co-opted and used blackness to their advantage the most. And when they're called out on problematic and racist behavior, they claim it can't be racism cause it comes from a place of "appreciation" or "love" for the "culture". People like Miley act vehement just about how many black friends or rap CDs she has, trying to prove even just a drop of authenticity in her minstrel show.
So it's not asking for much when there's an ongoing genocide of black people going on in the country they currently live for them to speak up. Which exposes the issue in cultural appropriation - people love the culture, not the people attached to it, proving you can love aspects of something by removing people's agency from it, while still holding prejudicial views on its people. All these celebs want to drink lean and twerk and get crunk and turnt and rap like black people, but literally can't be bothered when black men are being shot in the head in cold blood, pregnant black women are being choked and slammed into the ground by police and black children can't leave their homes cause their city is in a police state. They refuse to put their money where their mouth is since every single thing they said was just bullshit.
There's no stand to take. They're either for the extermination and oppression of black people - the people who own the culture they claim to love - or they're not. Silence is an endorsement of the former.
When and where do we draw the line that a particular group “owns” something culturally? I understood the issues with No Doubt’s 'Cowboys and Indian’s’ video, and even a bit with Iggy’s “Bounce,” despite knowing both were unintentional in their harm, but when it comes to things that have specifically been put “out there” for others to absorb, do you own it anymore?
Would twerking have become a ‘thing’ if Lady hadn’t written a song about it and featured it in several of her music videos? Or that it hadn’t already been used in a lot of other videos prior? And if you put it out there, present it as entertainment and not specifically a sacred part of your culture… is the person that then picks it up negatively appropriating? And in the age of the internet, where that “culture” is lightening fast and all about putting it out for the world to digest, share, and regurgitate through their own lens… who owns what exactly?
I’m not at all trying to discredit appropriation in a broad stroke because I do think it exists and was/is certainly an issue and has negative consequences, but I do think there are things that a group no longer owns when they put it out in the world.
I don't believe that, and I don't think you really do either.
Although I can't condone or completely agree with all that's said, a few good points have been made. Black artists have always had to been overshadowed when their lighter counterparts, who make the same music, are easily labeled "pop" and given this wide-ranging reach of audiences and attention. That's what makes Beyonce so compelling, how monumental she is, and even she is often given the label "r&b" when she's been pop ever since she wrote "Bills, Bills, Bills."
I don't think what's being said is that artists need to take a stand, but that each of those stars (including those in which I love) has borrowed and sampled the music and stylings of black people without having to bear the invisibility, which may or may not really matter, depending on your stance. I get that people don't really like talking about these things because we live in a global world where everyone borrows from everyone, which is very true. But if your culture, specifically, had constantly been imitated, mocked, stolen, or repackaged from for centuries all the while you were treated like shit or ignored in your own country by people whom claim to be the "true" citizens yet whose families had been there less than you, perhaps you too would be irritated and disturbed when it continually occurs on such a common basis.
At the same time, the only offensive thing to me about Taylor's video is its banality.
The funny part is that I agree Taylor's video is irksome racially. I just don't agree with TeenIdle's painting everyone with such black and white morality here, no pun intended.
You are brilliant.
According to reports, this was added by all ~170 major contemporary hits/pop radio stations in the US in under 24 hours. That's a new record. But only a few country stations have even played it once.
I believe it because participation doesn't require one to be willful or even intentional. Silence (whether because one agrees or doesn't view it as a big issue) enables the existence of racism. By virtue, all white people are inherently privileged in a society found on white supremacist beliefs. All white people need to make an active effort to recognize their privilege and try to stop white supremacy, acknowledging many of their universal truths to simply be lies rooted in anti-blackness. The romanticization of European features as ideal beauty standards, the whitewashing of global history and the othering and savaging of non-white bodies is something all white people must dispel and reject if they do not want to be participants in a rampant system of racism.
Re: MrMannacroix's post on the last page, appropriation is a tool of supremacy. There's way to appreciate cultures without appropriating them and belittling them. Simply look at Kylie's "Chiggy Wiggy" or PCD's "Jai Ho" versus "Bounce" or "Come And Get It'.
In Chiggy Wiggy, Kylie does not costume herself. She does not depict Indian people as some tribal or savage people in barren lands. She simply incorporates a kind of music she enjoys (with help from Indian producer A. R. Rahman) and does not rely on caricatures. There's some costuming in Jai Ho, but the power dynamics are different between Nicole Scherzinger as a Filipina and Hawaiian woman and A. R. Rahman as an Indian man than it would be with any white or white-passing woman.
When there's a real authenticity and respect for the people in someone's work, it simply shows, as inarticulate as that sounds. The artist won't rely on caricatures to get their point across. Someone like Iggy may not hate Indian people, but it's obvious that all she knows about them is caricatures, that Indian people are basically bangles and fun music and elephants and colored powder. And when you're more content with your knowledge of a group of people being simply caricatures, you're likely to be also content with the disenfranchisement of those people, as well.
If someone didn't view "twerking" as a "black thing", they wouldn't personify it in caricatures of black people like Miley does. If Taylor didn't think twerking was a "black thing" and that she wasn't using blackness for her profit, she wouldn't portray twerking as a big black ass to shake for her bewilderment.
I like that you gave 'Chiggy Wiggy' the OK.
Jesus, where does this crap come from?
They're entertainers. They can give two fucks about black people and Ferguson. Literally, who cares. It has nothing to do them. Stop placing your imaginary boundaries of oppression on them and acting like they're supposed to do more than just make disposable pop music.
I really don't understand this whole 'Taylor's video is racist' argument people are making...? What, exactly, about the video is racist? People performing dance? The individuals performing their dances obviously don't deem anything in the video to be racist otherwise they wouldn't have taken part in it. Taylor herself is not being racist as all she's doing is attempting to join in the various dances, although badly, but that's the whole joke of the video - that she knows she can't dance very well.
I honestly don't see why this video has caused such an uproar. The internet can be such a dark, dark place for people...
She's No.1 on iTunes UK, the first time she's been there. Slay a trifle.
What's the point of this forum or website at all then? It's only 'disposable pop music' after all...
I still can't get behind this as a Taylor Swift song, but I admit, I use. Shake it off, woohoohoo!
I think you're asking a bit much from people who sign up to be extras in a music video for Taylor Swift. They have no control over the finished product or how the whole thing comes off. And it does come off as awkward, if not necessarily racist.
I have to give it to Taylor, the song is great. She still comes off as one of the most UN-likeable people in music though.
The video is a little try hard and uncomfortably awkward.
The horses comment had me in stitches too, I can totally see it.
This is why I find TeenIdle's posts to be completely ridiculous, equating those with no opinion or not shouting out about it to be for fucking extermination?
I just re-watched the Shake It Off music video and it really is terrible. The little dance fails are so forced and joyless.
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