Thursday, June 09, 2005

Stolen Culture

**Disclaimer** For those who are uncomfortable or easily offended about race based issues stop now. Remember, I said I'd talk about anything. This qualifies as anything.

With that said, this is something that i used to talk about with good friends back at Mizzou alot.

I was at a bar today (Thurs. June 9) watching a band. All of a sudden, when the band played a certain song this white lady got up and started dancing. The bar had no dance floor. First off, it's hard to call it dancing. Looked more like she was having convulsions. She pretty much typified the stereotype that White people have no rhythm. She didn't. I was dying laughing. I couldn't stop watching her...sort of like a train wreck or an accident on the side of the road.

All of a sudden she comes over to dance with me. I'm thinking, either she saw me dancing or she wanted to dance with the only black person around. Anyways, i oblidge her for a few moments, but even I couldn't figure out what she was doing and sat down. Later on she came up to me and gave me a fist pound. But not the kind where you pound down on each other's fists. She gave me the straight forward pound. This brings me to my point...

From white guys driving Beamers and Lexuses blasting Tupac and 50 Cent, to preppy white guys wearing FUBU, now to middle aged white women giving me the hand pund, when will Black culture stop being assimilated into the mainstream? How can a race of people who's so deviled in the media and public eye, start most of the trends of the country? It seems like everyone wants to be "black" but no one wants to be Black. I don't get it. They love us that much to take our styles, saying and things of that nature, but there are no reparations (a subject for another blog) to be given to pick the people up.

It's sort of bothersome when white culture assimilates aspects of black culture, yet demonizes them at the same time. The media does not like hip hop, a part of black culture, yet makes tons of money from it. It seems that everything black people today do to show their uniqueness, whether it be dress, speech, writing, etc., gets taken and becomes a part of the dominant culture.

My question to you is, is this a good thing? What other cultures out there are assimilated into the dominant caucocentric (I just made up a word like Don King) American world? Drop some knowledge on me. I'm here to learn. By the way, I want my fist pound back.

11 Comments:

Blogger lauren said...

I love hearing your perspective...as a white girl, I've never felt comfortable acting like I have black culture, because I don't. It really bothers me when white people do, especially to be humorous...it's never funny to mimic something you don't really understand. But, I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing.
First of all,it expresses an intrigue for the culture, which may be the start of respect for it, because paying attention and even copying something at least teaches you about it. Also, I've known white people that acted just like they were black, and might as well have been, because that was their culture. So, for them, it's not about mimicking anyone, or trying to be anything besides what they know.
You ask when black culture will stop being assimilated into mainstream, like it’s a bad thing. But isn’t true equality dependent on complete understanding and respect for each other? I see the lady’s fist pound as her trying to show you she respects you…just like you showed understanding of her bad rhythm, laughed a little, and humored her by dancing for a second.
…also gets me thinking about whether a homogeneous race is a good thing….

8:57 AM  
Blogger headliner said...

Man, I’m supposed to be working hard, now I gotta stop and reply to your message. First thoughts off the top of my head:

From white guys driving Beamers and Lexuses blasting Tupac and 50 Cent, to preppy white guys wearing FUBU, now to middle aged white women giving me the hand pund,

I doesn’t bother me too much, well the FUBU does a little, but I’ll allow a little leeway here, plus I know a some of serious white hip-hop fans, plus they probably aren’t blasting Pac’s positive stuff or his poetry, and 50 ain’t standing up for much positive.

when will Black culture stop being assimilated into the mainstream?

I think black culture is more intrinsically a part of the fabric of American culture then we think. I believe generally a lot things associated with black culture were always admired by the masses, but due to social pressures most couldn’t admit it, are had to follow underground. It’s weird, now Americans can be more open about embracing different cultures (unless your black, then you can only embrace black culture or your acting white, have you heard that one). And any time there is profit to made, assimilation will occur, by choice or not.

How can a race of people who's so deviled in the media and public eye, start most of the trends of the country?

Trick question, do we really start most of the trends, I’m not totally sold on that. And as far as being deviled, just become a black conservative. Then people love you. You get white folks to come listen to you preach, get big book deals, get on the federal bench, get to be on TV. In fact if I were to come out and say I’m a black conservative right now, and say black people need to be like me work hard, use proper speech, go to good schools, dress preppy, I would probably have a book deal and be working for Fox News by the 4th of July.

It seems like everyone wants to be "black" but no one wants to be Black. I don't get it. They love us that much to take our styles, saying and things of that nature,

This does befuddle me, just look at what is cool in Hollywood for women now. Full lips, tanning (darker skin), nice butts, curvaceous bodies, fake hair implants, sassy lingo, all things thought of as negative traits for black women to have by the popular culture years ago.

but there are no reparations (a subject for another blog) to be given to pick the people up.

Nuther time for this one

It's sort of bothersome when white culture assimilates aspects of black culture, yet demonizes them at the same time. The media does not like hip hop, a part of black culture, yet makes tons of money from it.

Agree with the first statement, but popular hip-hop has ventured way too far into materialistic, misogynistic, fantasy gangsta land. I don’t blame other people for not liking hip-hop now, I do blame them for associating all young black Americans with the stupid caricatures our most popular hip-hop artist portray.

It seems that everything black people today do to show their uniqueness, whether it be dress, speech, writing, etc., gets taken and becomes a part of the dominant culture.

I disagree with this actually; the problem is the unique things are also ignored by supposed gatekeepers of black culture also. It is out there, we just have to find it ourselves, and BET damn sure won’t let us know what is going on.

Lauren, I liked what you said also, and you mostly likely understand the importance of observing and learning about different cultures. And you also bring up a good question, I’m put it in my words (I’m good for that), is there even a black culture in America anymore, if so should we feel an obligation to that culture and, is living in any homogeneous culture based on race a good idea?

3:16 PM  
Blogger The Underdog said...

I can get comments for this, but not Howard Dean?

First off, big ups to b< Lauren >b for writing. That's what i'm looking for. A diverse group of opinions, whether they agree with me or not. Keep checking P.K. and create your own posts if you'd like.

Now, to the topic at hand. While i do agree that initation is one of the best forms of flattery, it can also be taken as a joke too. I'll always wonder in situations like the one i was in, if whether she was shoeing me respect by using the pound, or was it to show her friends how cool she was? That's something i guess i'll never know.

Second, my statements were definitely not directed to those of one culture who happen to be down for another. God knows i listen to a lot of pop and stuff that is probably stereotypically white. That's just what i grew up on. I know a lot of white guys who listen to rap and actually feel what the lyrics are saying. I'm basically talking about those who do it because it's popular. Of course, who's to say that some black folks don't do that too.

I like your point about the homogenous culture. I'm not a huge fan of the concept. While i am definitely not a seperationist, i do understand the value of having ones own culture. Something that may make them somewhat different than the masses. I like to understand different cultures, but not necessarily live them.

To the headliner: You think Fox will come knocking if we wanted to start a talk show hosted by two black conservatives. I can put on the front for awhile. Get published and take Ruppert's cash.

I do believe minorities do start a lot of trends in this country. From fashion, to lingo, to body types like you mentioned. I really think it was a mid-nineties phenonmenon that white and asian women started getting some bootie. Correct me if i'm wrong on that Lauren, as i use you to speak for all white people :)

Talking to headliner's last comment. I think there is still a black culture there. It's slowly shrinking though. With every mounting death of a young black youth, the culture will slowly slip away from the future generations. Even white culture is slowly receeding, albeit at a snail's pace. I think the ones who still have a true culture are Hispanics and Asians. Now they've kept it real.

Just random thoughts. I look forward to more comments.

7:43 PM  
Blogger lauren said...

lol, "I really think it was a mid-nineties phenonmenon that white and asian women started getting some bootie." I guess that is true, but I am reminded of the Victorian dresses with the huge buttresses!

As far as black culture slipping away, I think it has to for our culture to be as equal as we want it to be. White culture has to go away, too, and asian and hispanic...because once a group can be catagorized, they can be discriminated against...

12:54 PM  
Blogger The Underdog said...

Good points Lauren, which brings me back to one of your thoughts. What's better, mono or multi culturalism?

11:44 AM  
Blogger DucatiMike said...

We have a un-politicaly correct name for white people who try to be black...

W*gg*rs.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

I notice nobody has posted on this blog in about 2 years, but I just happened to run across it and thought it was possible that maybe every few months you look back at it, if not no matter anyway.
I've noticed that your blog is racially motivated in it's issues, lots of the points made and discussed are about white-black- and other races relations in the U.S. Your post above about the fact that white people are "stealing" your culture by "imitating" you, through listening to what you clearly consider "black" music, and mannerisms is in itself racist. That aside, you mention that you feel apparently that the blacks in America deserve "reparations" not only because of slavery, but also for stealing your culture, and that not only the artists responsible for the music but in fact all blacks deserve money for the artists work. Weird.
Let me come to my point about racism, racism is just a form of discrimination. Discrimination is created when one group is selected as being different, and therefore more or less worthy of something, or given something extra. Reparations like "affirmative action" and welfare are fuelling racism and creating it more than any confederate flags or "rednecks" shouting out windows ever could.
It's the government telling us that blacks are different from rights when it comes to the law. Hate crimes, scholarships, grants, affirmative action, etc. It's these things that create racism in the U.S today, the reparations from us to you, for things that we didn't do and you didn't experience.
If you would like to discuss this feel free to e-mail me, supg81@hotmail.com

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