A lesson from Tea Party activism…and dancing
Professor Jacobson recently noted that we just celebrated the 5th anniversary of the birth of America’s Tea Party movement.
He noted one of the best aspects about his involvement has been the people that he has met during his “insurrection”. As a citizen activist in California, involved with our local Tea Party since 2009, I wanted to chime in about another aspect I find heartening.
Our willingness to engage the opposition, especially online, via the networks we have created. Happily, our “Tea Party” attitude, pushing against progressive memes that divide us into victim groups, has spread.
For example, many of my friends in the dance community would never, ever call themselves conservative. They are not used to being called “racist” — a term tossed about with abandon when speaking about Tea Party activists.
So, a Salon article by Randa Jarrar that is part of “feminists of color” series came as a slap-in-the-face to many: Why I can’t stand white belly dancers
…But, here’s the thing. Arab women are not vessels for white women to pour themselves and lose themselves in; we are not bangles or eyeliner or tiny bells on hips. We are human beings. This dance form is originally ours, and does not exist so that white women can have a better sense of community; can gain a deeper sense of sisterhood with each other; can reclaim their bodies; can celebrate their sexualities; can perform for the female gaze. Just because a white woman doesn’t profit from her performance doesn’t mean she’s not appropriating a culture. And, ultimately, the question is this: Why does a white woman’s sisterhood, her self-reclamation, her celebration, have to happen on Arab women’s backs?
We have been following the growing tensions between white liberal feminists and non-white liberal feminists. This article is part of that dynamic. However, this represents the first time many of the dancers in my acquaintance were targeted for presumed racism.
I quipped, “I will pray for the author to learn to judge dancers by the content of their performances rather than by the color of their skins.” Taking a page from the “Rules for Tea Party Activists”, I encouraged dancers to add their observations and comments. As of this time, the article itself has over 1400, most of which are intelligent counters to the dribble offered as enlightened opinion in the main post.
One of the many people I have been privileged to meet during my own dance exploits is a beautiful performer and instructor, Faizeh. (You can see her commitment to her art here). Faizeh offers her perspective: Why I’m White and I’m Going to Keep Belly Dancing
Ultimately, the line between celebration and appropriation can be very fine, and this is a discussion that is good to have. However, insulting a entire group of people and making assumptions about the motives of every last one of them is not the way to engage this discussion. A good place to start is to examine one’s own racism.
I would argue that the term “appropriation” is the latest way to vilify “the other” and continue race-based victimhood. There is nothing you can sacrifice on the altar of “diversity” that will ever satisfy people like Jararr.
That more people are recognizing this fact is a good thing.
In conclusion: Race based feminism has jumped the shark, right over belly dancers.
Networking, organizing challenges to progressive inanity, and celebrating individualism is the continuing legacy of citizen activists. The next 5 years really promise to shake things up!
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When Arabs are not bragging about how much they gave the West (algebra, etc) they are complaining about how much the West stole from them.
I wish hey would make up their minds.
“I would argue that the term ‘appropriation’ is the latest way to vilify ‘the other’ and continue race-based victimhood.”
Not that new a tactic: Black racists have been using it for decades. For instance, whites are ‘stealing’ when they play jazz. I’m not sure if blacks are ‘stealing’ when they play Beethoven, but I suspect that politically correct black racist line is either that they are engaging in historically justified retribution (good) or they are ‘acting white’ (bad).
One of the best of our American traits, to my mind, has always been our joyous appropriation of stuff that we like or that works for us.
Our language is full of phrases we lifted from others. Our culture…even our cuisine…is a rich mix of EVERYTHING we found worthwhile.
If you want to keep it for yourself, you best keep it out of America, and keep Americans out of your lil’ enclave.
Oh, and give us back our cell phones on your way out, along with the word-processor you write your bigoted screeds on, hunny.
LMAO. Race whores give up their smartphones? Surely you jest!
i have to agree with parts of her argument . Western women look stupid playing Geisha or Navajo or any jungle bunny writhing.
All except Tarzan & Jane of course.
We should stick to Gogo dancing in cages .
I’ll leave it to you to explain to the millions of little girls across the world who take ballet why they look stupid.
Post script: You don’t have to repeatedly remind us why you were banned from the Guardian.
‘Little Girls’ are not big fat or everly sexualised western women . Ballet thins out the heifers pretty quick , mostly by 9 years of age.
Some say there is a deportment angle in fat girls doing barre . i say don’t let them out on the floor attempting leaps especially in seismic unstable California.
So your problem is with big, fat women being sexualized? Is it the fat or the sexualization that makes them look stupid?
All leftist effort is inherently antagonistic and oppositional. They must have targets to attack, bogeymen against which they may contrast their superiority and goodness. But when the target numbers get low, they always -always- end up feeding on one another. They may come to rule but never for long.
In that respect, the Left are like the Shiites: they are only empowered by antipathy, division or anger.
I really hope that Randa Jarrar does not belly dance. Now that would be misappropriating and mocking the tradition!
Something conceptually wrong here. When you steal or appropriate something, it is no longer where it was when you took it. As when the Greeks stole African culture from Egypt, there was no longer any Egyptian…. Or, no. Wait. The Egyptian culture was African until the Greeks stole it, after which it was only Egyptian, having lost its African component. That’s it. I’ve got it. After white women finish appropriating belly dancing, Arabs will only have the funky chicken. Hate when that happens.
Was on another blog where the usual snivelers were sniveling about whites appropriating the Maori haka.
Gave them the following link.
There’s another one, search youtube for haka funeral.
Well , that thing from the Mormon university was just sad.
The NZ Army haka was a special one for they lost their first female soldier . There is anger there because they did not spend the necessary money to IED proof their vehicle that they sent her out onto the afghani roads .
That is the thing , you have to know the subleties of cultural rituals or you. look a fool trying to replicate them.
“Appropriation” is when someone encounters something they’ve never seen before, and they think it is so awesome, they bring a copy back home to show everyone else.
That is what angers me so much about the crusade against it; they are saying people aren’t allowed to like things that aren’t like them. They are demanding that everybody hate them. It is the most insidious form of self-segregation I can imagine.
If “appropriating” things from other cultures is bad, let’s agree that Arabs shall henceforth never employ anything invented by any non-Arab people. Which would leave them with very little, because the whole “Arab” culture (aside from language) is built on plunder, while the main Arab contributions to the world have been arrogance and savagery.
Maybe Christians can get Constantinople back.
You think BYU is sad? Hell, high schools do it. I understand one high school in Texas had a kid from Tonga. So they decided to do the haka before games. Can’t get more authentic than that.
I’d heard the backstory about the NZ guys was that their lost comrade was a sniper…hence the guy in a ghillie suit preceding the cortege.
No other women in sight.
There’s always more that can be done. See the fate of the Shermans against German armor in WW II. Lousy gun, shitty armor.
The Long Lance vs. American torps.
Thing is, if the vehicles were effectively IED proof, nobody would bother with the IEDs. They’d try something else, something where there was a weakness. Guard one thousand items, the thousand and first is attacked.
Firstly though both Maoris & Tongans are In the Pacific there is quite a different ethnicity . Samoans are different again .
Tongans have a SipiTau warrior show of force . The haka. is distinctly a Maori word .the Papuans have a war dance also . it is thought the Maoris have more in common to the Melanesians than Polynesians.
The youtube vid i think you were referring was the 28/8/2013. funeral in Christchurch which was definitely for the 3 army personnel killed by IED which included the female soldier. My information on the vehicle type came from a member of the highest level Australian unit in afghanistan . The NZ government did not protect their soldiers to the degree they ought to have if they had spent the money to the extent that australia did in providing th best transport vehicles.
please also read ‘Humvees used byvictims were retired by US forces ‘ The New Zealand Herald 21/08/13
“Je ne suis pas et ne serais jamais une danseuse de ventre.” ~Nadia Gamal
Did Randa write that article using English?
This demonstrates how far our society has moved from the melting-pot concept. In the liberal mind, to maximize divisiveness, every group must be 100% distinct from every other group, and there should be no interaction or cross polination. See the outrage regarding Clarence Thomas having married a white woman.
A few years ago I found a bunch of old friends from Ukraine online. One of them, a Soviet ballet school graduate, was now doing belly dancing, which she described as American trance. Go figure.
accidental downtick .
At least she can eat now . Am i allowed to politically incorrect & declare that the Syrians have the best traditions . The girls would travel around collecting coins for performances which they would sew onto their belts . Not only did the best jingle the most they were wealthy the quickest & bought themselves into a good marriage.
Banned. First ran into the “haka” in reading a letter from somebody who’d been at the River Plate. Apparently, the sailors got it going prior to action stations. Or part of action stations.
Ref. Different dances. Not relevant wrt the subject of appropriation unless the kiwis have a no-appropriation clause and the Tongans are marketing theirs to all comers.
The youtube vid I see has only one hearse. Maybe you’re looking at another one.
As to the NZ army spending money….can’t spend what you don’t have. Look at Parliament. In the US, as one SecDef said, after buying the things made in congressmen’s districts–that the military may not need–the amount of procurement money left over was…I think he said “inadequate”.
Last I heard, the US was refitting damaged Humvees, and arming and armoring some of them. But they aren’t IED-proof unless the thing goes off at some distance. For mine-proof–nothing’s “proof” if the bomb is big enough–you need another vehicle entirely, MRAP.
Our DoD is currently giving away MRAP to local constabularies in order to destroy their budgets by maintenance costs or something. They’ll help when the boys do a dynamic entry at the wrong address trying to get an overdue library book back.
Complaints about cultural appropriation imply–nothing’s as devious as a planted axiom which, were somebody to actually think it, is silly as hell–that cultural thingies are like color televisions. When appropriated, they’re no longer where they were when they started.
You know what else is helpful? Looking at pictures of people who write nonsense. Such as Randa Jarrar. Look at her here:
Jabba the Hut hates white people.
Now THAT could be SOME belly-dancing, rat thar…
Shake the date palms, it would…
Seen above a Syrian urinal…..
“Randa Jarrar gives good shade”