Anonymous asked:

But what's wrong with appropriating other people's culture? I wouldn't mind if they appropried mine. I'm not American but let's use this example: a lot of people imitate everything American people do, and I see no harm in that. I'm brazilian and once I saw people from argentina doing an imitation of how our carnival was like and I just thought " hum... ok? Cool". Don't take this ask as an attack, I really want to understand your point of view.

thisisnotchina answered:

please read the faqs and our tags on cultural appropriation. this is not simply the act of “imitating” a culture but rather a system of racialized violence against marginalized groups. i don’t know much about south american politics but note also that there is a huge difference between neighboring or nearby nations, which may already share cultural influence, imitating each other or incorporating each other’s cultural practices, and cultural appropriation as a legacy of the history of euro-american imperialism throughout the world. there’s a difference between, say, japan and korea incorporating chinese cultural practices (which, as we’ve spoken about numerous times here, is a result of china’s historical influence throughout east asia) and european/american appropriation of chinese objects which goes hand-in-hand with the history of colonialism (of hong kong, shanghai, macau), the opium wars, the chinese exclusion acts in both the united states and canada, etc. this is why i frequently say i want to move past the “cultural appropriation” critique because people reduce it to “imitating” a culture when really it’s about political, economic, and social inequalities and the ways in which cultures become devalued and commoditized (not just imitated).