Tag Archives: cultural appropriation

Students blast Steve Martin’s King Tut skit as “racist”

Special snowflakes with special demands need to take a chill pill. I bet these students are a BLAST during Thanksgiving dinner.

From NY Post: ComedianSteve Martin’s famous portrayal of King Tut on “Saturday Night Live” has suddenly come under fire by students at an ultra-liberal college in Oregon.

Students in a humanities class at Reed College blasted the inclusion of the ancient skit in their coursework, branding it a vile example of cultural appropriation — as they demanded that it be removed entirely.

“That’s like somebody … making a song just littered with the n-word everywhere,” a member of Reedies Against Racism told the student newspaper, according to The Atlantic.

The student called the performance, which includes African-Americans clad in faux ancient Egyptian attire, as racist. “The gold face of the saxophone dancer leaving its tomb is an exhibition of blackface,” the incensed student told The Atlantic.

In the skit, which Martin created in 1978, he performs a goofy song, “King Tut,” meant to satirize a Tutankhamun exhibit touring the US from 1976 to 1979, and to assail the commercialization of Egyptian culture.

Freshmen taking Humanities 110, which is designed for students “to engage in original, open-ended, critical inquiry,” said they should not be forced to take the required course until different coursework is offered.

Members of RAR, which was created to mourn the deaths of blacks at the hands of police nationwide, say Hum 110 is all about oppression. “We believe that the first lesson that freshmen should learn about Hum 110 is that it perpetuates white supremacy—by centering ‘whiteness’ as the only required class at Reed,” according to a RAR statement provided to all new freshmen.

Hum 110 “feels like a cruel test for students of color,” one leader said on public radio, according to the mag. “It traumatized my peers.”

Reed Professor Lucía Martínez Valdivia, who identifies herself as a gay mixed-race woman, wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post on her experiences with the protesters.

“The right to speak freely is not the same as the right to rob others of their voices,” she wrote. “Some colleagues, including people of color, immigrants and those without tenure, found it impossible to work under these conditions.

“The signs intimidated faculty into silence, just as intended,” wrote Martínez Valdivia, who said she has suffered from a “lack of sleep, nausea, loss of appetite, inability to focus.”

The school has reportedly been trying to revise its course to address RAR’s concerns, but students have stopped showing up to meetings designed to do so, according to the Washington Examiner.

In the “SNL” skit, Martin said he thought the boy king exhibit was “a national disgrace the way we have commercialized it with trinkets and toys, T-shirts and posters.”

“Now, if I’d known they’d line up just to see you, I’d trade in all my money and bought me a museum. (King Tut) buried with a donkey (Funky Tut) He’s my favorite honky!” he and his band sang.

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Transracial Florida man born white claims he is actually Filipino

adam wheeler

Filipino Ja Du…pursuing his happiness in his own way

Move over Rachel Dolezal, there’s a new “transracial” in town!

From Daily Mail: A Florida man who was born white is now claiming that he is actually ‘transracial’ and Filipino.

Adam Wheeler, who now goes as Ja Du, considers himself to be from the Philippines and drives around in a Tuk Tuk in Tampa – a vehicle used for public transit in the country.

‘Whenever I’m around the music, around the food, I feel like I’m in my own skin,’ he said to WTSP. I’d watch the history channel sometimes for hours you know whenever it came to that and you know nothing else intrigued me more but things about Filipino culture.’

‘Ja Du’ has embraced most aspects of the adopted culture that he is attempting to adopt as his own. ‘My family knows about my transsexuality but they don’t know anything about this,’ said Ja Du who did not elaborate.

Ja Du has even created a Facebook page and community for other people who believe that they are not the race that they have lived with.

When pressed about cultural appropriation, or the adopting of other cultures and claiming them as their own, he replied: ‘I believe people will [take advantage] just like other people have taken advantage of their identity to get their way, but the difference between me and them is that I don’t want that. I think that we all have the freedoms to pursue happiness in our own ways.’

Psychologist Dr. Stacey Scheckner wants to make sure that the intention behind the choice to be a different race is a genuine one but she feels it’s okay if it doesn’t bring harm.

‘If someone feels that they feel at home with a certain religion, a certain race, a certain culture, I think that if that’s who they really feel inside life is about finding out who you are. The more knowledge you have of yourself, the happier you can be,’ she said. ‘And, as long as it’s not hurting yourself or anyone else, I don’t see a problem with that.’

Rachel Dolezal was an infamous case in the transracial discussion as of late. She was the former president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of NAACP but when it was revealed that she was a white woman, she was forced to step down.

She had been altering her hair and darkening her skin with makeup to present herself as a blacker woman.

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Actor Andrew Garfield States That He’s Gay ‘Without the Physical Act’

andrew garfield

Um, no. Doesn’t work that way.

From Yahoo: Andrew Garfield is facing some major backlash following comments he made on Monday, in which he said, “I am a gay man right now, just without the physical act.”

The 33-year-old actor, who is currently starring as Prior Walter in a London production of Angels in America, opened up about how he prepared for his role as a gay man during a Q&A panel.

“As far as I know, I am not a gay man,” the actor said, according to Gay Times Magazine. “Maybe I’ll have an awakening later in my life, which I’m sure will be wonderful and I’ll get to explore that part of the garden, but right now I’m secluded to my area.”

Garfield went on to explain that he was concerned that he didn’t have a right “to play this wonderful gay role,” since he does not identify as gay, and said that performing the part was about “doing honor, doing justice and knowing my herstory.”

In detailing the ways in which he has been preparing for the iconic part, Garfield mentioned that he has been dedicating a lot of time to watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, and explained that, every Sunday, he would “have eight friends over, and we would just watch Ru.”

“This is my life outside of this play,” Garfield explained. “I am a gay man right now, just without the physical act—that’s all.”

While the intent behind Garfield’s off-handed remarks is up for debate, many were offended by the statement, arguing that the star was suggesting that watching Drag Race was the extent of gay culture. The argument was also made that Garfield’s comments reflected an attitude of cultural appropriation and historical ignorance.

Actor Scott Evans responded to the actors comments on Twitter, writing, “Ur a talented guy,but seem to be completely oblivious to what is coming out of ur mouth.”

Another user wrote that Garfield “has a very limited view of what being gay ACTUALLY is.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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Rachel Dolezal speaks out: ‘I am not a fraud’

rachel dolezal

Rachel Dolezal: Her label is too complicated…

I have a label for her: delusional.

From MyNorthwest.com: Nearly two years after the world discovered that the head of Spokane’s NAACP was not a black woman, but a white woman passing as African-American, Rachel Dolezal maintains she is not a fraud.

“I have an authentic identity,” Dolezal told KIRO Radio’s Jason and Burns Show. “Even though I was born to white parents, I have an authentic cultural and philosophical, political identity, and that is described as ‘black’ within the terms we have in our society right now.”

“If there was a more complex label allowed, I would describe myself as trans black … born into a white category and identifying as black, maybe even Pan-African, pro black, bisexual, activist, artist, other,” she said. “I really am a human being. I am a mom. I am a woman. The last thing that describes or defines me is a fraud.”

That’s a sentiment delivered in Dolezal’s recently-released book, “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World.” What readers will likely find is that there is more to the story behind Dolezal than reported. For example, Gerald Hankerson, NAACP president of the Alaska Oregon Washington state area is quoted on the back cover:

The storm of vitriol Rachel received in the national spotlight was as cruel as it was undeserved. Her deep compassion for others shines through every chapter of her life and has clearly motivated her truly outstanding advocacy work.

Albert Wilkerson Jr., the man who Dolezal describes as her non-biological father, wrote the forward. He describes how her “vibe felt black” and how he was unaware of Dolezal’s white parents, but it didn’t matter to him. He cared more about her social justice work.

But not everyone is as accepting as Hankerson and Wilkerson, as Jason and Burns found out when they interviewed Dolezal, pressing her on issues of fraud and comparing trans-racial experiences to that of the transgender community.

Rachel Dolezal: Early life

Dolezal briefed Jason and Burns on her life story, starting when she was very young and she did not feel white. By the time she was 8 years old, she learned to repress her non-white feelings.

“I felt like I had been born wrong,” she said. “I had something wrong with me and I had to atone for that whether it was in the religious sphere I was in; sometimes it was labeled as being demon possessed, or just even dancing to music was not OK as a girl. I really repressed my entire childhood. When I got to college I was still, in many ways, repressed and heavily socially conditioned and brainwashed into believing race was biological.

Things began to change when she attended college in Mississippi, she said. She thinks it was then that many people began to feel as if she was light-skinned, but African American.

“The way that I moved in the very racially polarized Mississippi culture, people were, ‘Well, she can’t be white if she is comfortable in this environment,’ or is doing with x, y, z; fighting for civil rights,” Dolezal said. “…so people started assuming that I was black. And I let that assumption be and carry. But I didn’t assert or feel personal agency to name my identity until after my divorce.”

Her identity was put on hold again, Dolezal explained, when she was married after college. Her husband had no interest in black culture. Her religious upbringing kicked in and she submitted to her husband. But at 26, she was divorced. She took on four jobs, raised her kids, started therapy to deal with sexual and childhood abuses, and the PTSD it left behind. She continued on as a black woman and met her non-biological father. And eventually she became involved in the Spokane NAACP.

Some of her community has faded away, and others close to her have stuck around through the hard times. “When this all happened they had whatever reaction they felt,” Dolezal recalled. “Some people were bothered and felt a sense of betrayal that I hadn’t disclosed everything to them. Those relationships I lost. Other people were not bothered by it … Those relationships with people who knew me better than the surface, who knew me more than a casual relationship, they lasted.”

And since the fallout in 2015, Dolezal has found support in other corners of the world. People have reached out to her.

“In the public eye, I think I am on a little bit of an island, but I hear from people every day who feel the way I feel; in the same direction, in the opposite direction across the color line,” she said. “An Asian man who feels white and has done surgery to his eyes to transition; a white man who feels Mexican and has done surgery to his nose and has altered his appearance and is living in Mexico; a black woman who feels white and has altered her appearance. I hear from people all the time who have a sense of plural identity, but are handling it in a very private way … I think people are scared. They don’t want to be mocked and shamed or ridiculed into isolation or be treated the way I have been treated.”

“I don’t see myself as a victim,” Dolezal said. “I do feel like I’m a survivor … I’ve survived a number of things throughout life and I’m doing my best to make it through another round of challenges right now.”

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Lena Dunham thinks dining hall sushi amounts to cultural appropriation

From the land of the perpetually offended.

Dunham has a weakness for fast food...who knew?

Dunham has a weakness for fast food…who knew?

From NY Post: Actress Lena Dunham is standing — and eating — in solidarity with whiny students from her ultra-liberal alma mater, who protested this year that Oberlin College was “insensitive” for serving “culturally appropriated” food in its dining halls.

The “Girls” star — who graduated from the exclusive liberal arts school in 2008 — said students are indeed justified in picking a food fight, Food & Wine magazine reported.

“There are now big conversations at Oberlin, where I went to college, about cultural appropriation and whether the dining hall sushi and banh mi disrespect certain cuisines. 
The press reported it as, ‘How crazy are Oberlin kids?’ But to me, it was actually, ‘Right on,’” Dunham told the magazine.

Gastronomically correct students at the Ohio college protested in November that phony dining hall versions of the ethnic cuisine are a slap in the face to people from those countries.

“The undercooked rice and lack of fresh fish is disrespectful,” Tomoyo Joshi, a junior from Japan, wrote in the school paper, The Review. “When you’re cooking a country’s dish for other people, including ones who have never tried the original dish before, you’re also representing the meaning of the dish as well as its culture. So if people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative.

Diep Nguyen, a student from Vietnam, complained, “It was ridiculous … How could they just throw out something completely different and label it as another country’s traditional food?” Oberlin students followed up with a campus protest.

But most food served in America is “appropriated” — including everything from pizza to sausages, the Washington Post pointed out in December.

In the Food & Wine interview, Dunham also admits to having a weak spot for one classic American cuisine — fast food.“My parents didn’t let us eat fast food when I was young, but on long road trips I could get chicken nuggets. So I associate them with rebellion,” she said, adding she ate them on a recent vacation. “They were more disgusting than I remembered.”

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