I remember that at my sister’s wedding, the groom – who happened to be white – changed midway through the ceremony along with my sister into modern, but fairly traditional, Nigerian clothes.
Even though some family members found it amusing, there was never any undertone of the clothes being treated as a costume or “experience” for a white person to enjoy for a little bit and discard later. He was invited – both as a new family member and a guest – to engage our culture in this way.
If he had been obnoxious about it – treated it as exotic or weird or pretended he now understood what it means to be Nigerian and refused to wear Western clothes ever again – the experience would have been more appropriative.
But instead, he wore them from a place of respect.
That’s what cultural exchange can look like – engaging with a culture as a respectful and humble guest, invitation only.
The Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation, by Jarune Urujaren
The Harlem Shake is a syncopated dance form that first appeared on the New York hip-hop scene in the early 1980s. Here is what it looks like:
Rather than merely petition for the inclusion of each excluded group on a one-by-one basis (as I did in Whipping Girl, and as many others before me have done), I wanted to try to get at the root of why we tend to create double standards and hierarchies, and how we can learn to recognize and challenge them in a more general sense. And I wanted to offer possible solutions that will help to reduce exclusion and marginalization in all cases, whether in the straight-male-centric mainstream or within our own queer and feminist communities and movements.
Finally, here’s a spoken word piece about using PC (politically correct) language, by a fella named Guante:
The thing about political correctness is that it’s not about being perfect or censoring your emotions or always being nice to everyone. It’s just about not being a jackass.
And I know, you may not have anything against people with disabilities, or women, or the LGBTQ community or anyone, but using language like this—even if you don’t mean it to be offensive, directly contributes to a culture, that hurts people.