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The cultural appropriation merry-go-round

I'm not going to even pretend to attempt any kind of comprehensive linkage of the latest gigantic iteration of the "cultural appropriation in SF/F/fandom" discussion. metafandom has been where I've been finding most of it. (ETA: And rydra_wong has posted several immensely handy link roundups.)

Other than a couple of comments on friends' LJs that didn't amount to much more than "omg my head hurts," I have very deliberately said nothing whatsoever, anywhere, until this morning. It is Not About Me, in the sense of it's not about my feelings or any catharsis I might get out of it (and I actually have trouble wrapping my head around that reaction, but that's beside the point). I don't know, and have no influence with, any of the people making comments that I found offensive even from the sidelines. And the people sticking their necks out to engage them don't need me to validate their position. (Which is a good thing, since I can't. All I can do is recognize its validity, which is inherent.) I had a small comments back-and-forth with splash_the_cat the other day about how not worth it the whole hurtful mess seems to me, just so we Well-Meaning White Folk can borrow a clue or three. The cost/benefit analysis just doesn't add up.

In short, the only reason I could see for me to say anything was to beg for cookies. Which is not a good reason. I'm not keen on it looking like that's what I'm doing right now, but what I hope I'm doing is explaining what I'm doing this morning.

Which is visiting a number of posts I have found to be courageous and/or brilliant and/or insightful, and commenting as follows:

Thank you. It's not about me, it's not for me, and you have no obligation to care what I think. But thank you anyway.

It's an imperfect formula, which is why I'm attempting to explain it here. So if you are someone who has received one of those comments this morning, and have taken the time to come over here and see who the heck I am, this is the attempt.

It sprang out of comments on the most recent attempt I've seen from a white person struggling with the right way to do this, comments that pointed out there is a good reason: To tell people they are being heard.

jacquez hesitates to comment out of fear of looking stupid. I hesitated more out of fear of looking attention-grabby. Which I very well still might. But I want to recognize that I appreciate that these public thoughts are a gift. These people have no obligation whatsoever to share them. And even if they're not about me or intended for my benefit, I am receiving a gift. A simple thank-you is the least I should give in return.

ETA: And a variant, for those taking the time to address the Well-Meaning White Folk directly: Thank you for the gift. You have no obligation to share it, and I want you to know it's heard and appreciated. Also not perfect, but will have to do for now.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
I totally get the fear of looking attention-grabby on this. And I think I will be stealing your line, with attribution. *sigh*

Just had a long chat w/Tina about this last week, the sheer frustration of it all...
Jan. 30th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC)
I don't know if it's good enough to warrant stealing, but you're certainly welcome to it.
Jan. 30th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong has the best and most comprehensive round up of links on this imbroglio.
Jan. 30th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
*nods* She's linked pretty much everywhere, and rightfully so, so I didn't put it in this post, but probably should have.
Jan. 30th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, no problem. It was more informational for you, if you hadn't seen and we're looking for more information. Which, duh, as you said, she's been linked everywhere, so it was a poor assumption on my part. I blame Friday brain. :)

Jan. 30th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Friday brain is Friday. And still being squished by sinuses, in my case. Is all good.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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