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Megathread Cultural Appropriation and Cancel Culture Discussion

burn out

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I agree. I think there is an absence of objective assessment of some of the stuff being deemed inappropriate. I don't necessarily disagree with trying to stamp out certain stereotypes, but those should happen when there is demonstrable harm coming from them. The stereotype of Jewish people as greedy bankers for example has contributed to antisemitism and consequent attacks on the Jewish community. That's a stereotype worth addressing. Where there is no harm occurring though, those stereotypes just shouldn't merit the energy wasted on them.

It's worth remembering, stereotypes are a natural consequence of the way our minds categorize. We need to focus on when that's a problem and when it's not.

How do you recommend addressing stereotypes beyond pointing out that not everyone belonging to that particular group fits in with the stereotype? If by addressing you mean trying to silence or cancel anything that includes the stereotype or declaring the stereotype to be false when there is evidence that it is based on truth, I don't agree that that's a good idea.

Stereotypes can lead to violence but so can facts. We don't or shouldn't get rid of facts for that reason. Instead we need to remind each other that even if a stereotype is true we shouldn't over generalize because people are individuals and don't always fit into cookie cutter molds.

For example, in this case the stereotype of Jews as greedy bankers comes from the fact that Jews are over represented among greedy bankers and tend to be good at acquiring wealth in general. You can verify this through your own research if you want and you will see it is often the case that jews are heavily over represented on lists of most wealthy this or richest that. You'll even see Jews admit to this, for instance I had a jewish roommate at one time who told me that jews only care about money and his community looked down on him because his business ventures had failed and he was poor.

However, when I was in middle school my best friend was jewish and he wasn't greedy about money and his family was pretty down to earth as well, so clearly not all Jews fit into this stereotype.

It's like this with all stereotypes. They are almost always based on truth. Occasionally you might run into some false stereotypes, usually because they are either outdated or based on a misperception but that is the exception. The norm is that they are based on some truth.

I am Italian American and Italian characters in TV/movies are often based around either mobsters or chefs. It is true that there are Italian mobsters who have been very powerful in parts of Italy and it is true that Italians love good food. However my family has never been involved with any sort of organized crime to my knowledge, although my dad was at the same business dinner as a mafia captain at one time. I am starting to get off topic now but the point I am making is that in my view the way to reduce harm associated with the stereotype of Italians as mobsters is not to deny the existence or influence of Italian organized crime but rather to point out that the majority of Italians are not a part of it.

I think stereotypes are actually a positive thing, in that they represent a set of impressions we get from a group like a caricature. A caricature isn't supposed to look exactly how the subject of it looks, but rather is supposed to exaggerate the subject's unique features in order to show how that subject may appear in the minds of others or emphasize what stands out about them. I think it's actually very cool that we have the ability to do this and it takes skill to craft a good caricature just like it takes skill to observe people and then create a stereotypical character based on what you noticed. So much comedy involves this. Most of the characters on the Simpsons are stereotypes of one thing or another, which is what makes the removal of Apu seem to go against the core principles of what originally made the show funny.
 
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burn out

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I dont know enough to comment on the whole jews being greedy bankers thing to say if its a harmful and ultimately degrading look.

I read a bit and know there is a significant percentage of the banking industry that is successfully Jewish, is that a bad thing or is it just jealousy that causes this? No one is stopping non Jews from being good with money, the Jews don't owe non Jews who dont put in to the industry (or any jew who isn't in the banking industry either).

Well, to SJW types it is a problem. For them, it doesn't matter whether Jews got into high positions in the banking industry because they were better with money than other groups, they seem to think all races should be equally represented so if 13% of the population is black then 13% of bank owners should be black. There's also the fact that Jews aren't always the most honest and trustworthy people to do business with, who would never lie, cheat, steal or take advantage of legal loopholes in order to enrich themselves. People like Bernie Madoff and Lou Pearlman have always given Jews a bad name.
 

Xorkoth

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Forrest Gump is appropriate as a character. I think so anyway. Its because he was like that that he did what he did. How can a character not Forrest Gump live like he did?

If he was not appropriate it would mean Bubba Gump wasn't either.

They are characters. Characters don't just represent a type of person or are all inclusive of any disability or whatever, they are individuals who are in a story for the sake of that story only. So is Music from the Sia film. Apparently Music was outrageous as an autistic character as was "too autistic"? I doubt an actor needs to be autistic to play a character that is autistic.

Movies are there to provoke an emotional response, dont get any and the film will flop .

They are characters, without them there is no movie industry.

What would be bad and is what is likely to happen, a collapse of industry- worst case scenario and all.

Canceling Forrest Gump? Yeah that's going way too far. The point of the movie was not to laugh at him (as I think someone suggested), if you think that, you've missed the whole point of the movie. Forrest is a noble, dignified character in that movie, in fact the message of the movie is that mentally handicapped people can be successful and worthwhile people. I didn't realize anyone was calling for canceling that movie, that's insane.

I agree it's gone too far. I listened to a segment on an NPR broadcast where they were trying to suggest that a non-Indian person posting Indian recipes was racist and that we need to eliminate our "casually racist food behaviors". Food is for sharing, and food culture is a melting pot, as is America. If I post a recipe I enjoy and admire, I am not being a bigot just because it isn't a recipe of Swedish origin (being that I am ancestrally Swedish, though American - what is American food anyway? it's an amalgamation of all of the cultures who brought their food to America). Same thing for music.

Cultural appropriate is when someone steals something from another culture and profits or benefits from it at the expense of the culture they stole it from. Adopting aspects of another culture is what people do, it shows respect for the other culture if someone borrows from their food, or music, or whatever. it is a celebration and appreciation of that culture.
 

Burnt Offerings

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How do you recommend addressing stereotypes beyond pointing out that not everyone belonging to that particular group fits in with the stereotype? If by addressing you mean trying to silence or cancel anything that includes the stereotype or declaring the stereotype to be false when there is evidence that it is based on truth, I don't agree that that's a good idea.

You challenge stereotypes by exposing the contradictions in a person's argument or worldview and challenging their assumptions.

To take a well known, dramatic example related to antisemitism: before the Nazis came to power in Germany, the large majority of wealthy people in Germany, and the majority of people involved in finance capital, were Germans, not Jews. So why were Jews blamed for the economic problems in Germany? Why did that stereotype have currency?

On a related note, you can also provide context for a stereotype by delving into the (more often than not, dark) history of various stereotypes related to various minority groups. To go back to the Jewish example, you could point out their association with usurious practices at the behest of Christian kingdoms they lived in for thousands of years. But that can often come across as a sanctimonious lecture, and people will shut down at that point and you won't get through to anyone. There are better ways to make your point in subtle ways and possibly raise doubt in another person's mind, assuming that they're arguing in good faith.
 

Burnt Offerings

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The claim of, "there's truth to stereotypes"

Obviously that's true. You can investigate all kinds of various stereotypes related to various minority groups, and go back in time and say, yeah, there's truth to it because of x y and z. But so what?

How would even that admission, that yes there are "real reason" (mediated through history, culture, economics or whatever else) that a certain ethnic or religious group is associated with a positive or negative characteristic, I'm still just going to do what I always do, treat that person with the respect they're accorded as a human being, not as a stand in for some idealized or fetishized stereotype,

What exactly is the benefit of the stereotype? So lets say, purely for the sake of argument, we have "good data" that says that yes, Mexicans are lazy. Uh, ok? I'm sorry but I'm not going to say, welp, that settles it, Mexicans are lazy now! No, I'm just going to keep doing my best to judge people as individuals, based on the content of their character, and not based on some abstract "stereotype".

Stereotypes can be fun but they also negate the potentiality which resides in every person imo
 

✿Dai₷y✿

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You challenge stereotypes by exposing the contradictions in a person's argument or worldview and challenging their assumptions.

To take a well known, dramatic example related to antisemitism: before the Nazis came to power in Germany, the large majority of wealthy people in Germany, and the majority of people involved in finance capital, were Germans, not Jews. So why were Jews blamed for the economic problems in Germany? Why did that stereotype have currency?

On a related note, you can also provide context for a stereotype by delving into the (more often than not, dark) history of various stereotypes related to various minority groups. To go back to the Jewish example, you could point out their association with usurious practices at the behest of Christian kingdoms they lived in for thousands of years. But that can often come across as a sanctimonious lecture, and people will shut down at that point and you won't get through to anyone. There are better ways to make your point in subtle ways and possibly raise doubt in another person's mind, assuming that they're arguing in good faith.


I dont challenge stereotypes as a general rule. For starters, it won't do anything anyway as they form naturally and adapt/change with passing of time equally as naturally. Forcing a change of stereotype upon others can just create a malicious undercurrent of angst that doesn't end well.

Generally accepting a stereotype is usually a collection of known features both favourable and unfavourable is important just as much as accepting the majority of people in the stereotype do not have all these features..

No one can force others to just accept the favourable and not all else, it doesnt work.
 

Burnt Offerings

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It depends. Sometimes people will portray a group of other people as exhibiting some kind of negative characteristic in a way that's serious, and that kind of thing does deserve some kind of push back.

A "stereotype" is pretty banal, though, it's not real hate although I can see how some might find it offensive.

I definitely don't support "forcing" people to use different words
 

burn out

Bluelighter
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Ok the quotes got so messed up I deleted my original post and was going to repost it with proper quotes but you responded in the interim. I apologize for this mess.

The claim of, "there's truth to stereotypes"

Obviously that's true. You can investigate all kinds of various stereotypes related to various minority groups, and go back in time and say, yeah, there's truth to it because of x y and z. But so what?

How would even that admission, that yes there are "real reason" (mediated through history, culture, economics or whatever else) that a certain ethnic or religious group is associated with a positive or negative characteristic, I'm still just going to do what I always do, treat that person with the respect they're accorded as a human being, not as a stand in for some idealized or fetishized stereotype,

What exactly is the benefit of the stereotype? So lets say, purely for the sake of argument, we have "good data" that says that yes, Mexicans are lazy. Uh, ok? I'm sorry but I'm not going to say, welp, that settles it, Mexicans are lazy now! No, I'm just going to keep doing my best to judge people as individuals, based on the content of their character, and not based on some abstract "stereotype".

Stereotypes can be fun but they also negate the potentiality which resides in every person imo

That's what I was saying. I was arguing that rather than trying to prove stereotypes are untrue, which you seem to acknowledge cannot be done in all cases, instead we should remind people to be careful not to over generalize and that despite whatever qualities a particular group may possess an excess of, there is still likely to be wide variation among the individuals belonging to that group.

For example, even if you know the data indicates that Mexicans on average are lazier than other groups and your neighbor, Juan happens to be Mexican, you shouldn't just assume he is lazy. Get to know him. Treat him as an individual like you would anyone else and that will tell you a lot more about him than trying to guess what he's like based on the fact that he's Mexican.

I think this is a worthwhile point because I have seen it happen in the discussing about stereotypes where people get so caught up being against stereotypes that they essentially make the argument that generalizing is wrong or bad, which is absurd because they generalize themselves all the time. They even make generalizations about stereotypes and the people who believe them. Instead we need to understand that there is nothing inherently bad about generalizing, however we need to be careful not to over generalize, especially in regard to groups of people because everyone is a unique individual and although it is true that different groups possess their own unique characteristics, what is true in a broad sense is not necessarily true in a narrow sense and there are always going to be people who are opposite the norms of whatever group(s) they belong to.

Edit: realized I didn't address your question of what the benefit of a stereotype was. Aside from the humor/psychological mirror type benefits, it can also fall under the umbrella of understanding cultural differences.

To once again use the lazy Mexican example, let's say a Japanese business owner is thinking about opening a factory in Mexico where real estate is cheap. However, he is obsessed with efficiency and expects his employees to work 60 hour weeks with few vacation days. When looking into the location of his factory, he comes across the studies on Mexicans and laziness. He finds out that on average Mexicans work fewer hours, fewer days per year, take more breaks and request more vacation days than other other nation on earth. After reading this, he realizes that Mexico might not be the best place for his new factory.

Many businesses have failed because they didn't understand the local culture in which they were trying to expand to. According to some people, this understanding of cultural differences would constitute "negative stereotyping". However, I think this example illustrates how it can be beneficial.
 
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cduggles

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It’s interesting that exposure to a stereotype actually affects performance:

Stereotype threat: exposure to a stereotype that relates to the self results in poorer performance (“girls are worse at math”, girl does worse on math test)

Stereotype boost: exposure to a positive stereotype that relates to the self results in better performance (“boys are better at math”, boy does better on math test)

Stereotype lift: exposure to a negative stereotype that does not relate to self results in better performance (“girls do worse in math”, boy does better)
 

burn out

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It depends. Sometimes people will portray a group of other people as exhibiting some kind of negative characteristic in a way that's serious, and that kind of thing does deserve some kind of push back.

A "stereotype" is pretty banal, though, it's not real hate although I can see how some might find it offensive.

I definitely don't support "forcing" people to use different words

I would agree that it depends but I also think it matters how true the claim is. Let's take white stereotypes, for example the stereotype that white people tend to commit mass shootings. After the Boulder Colorado mass shooting there was a lot of this sentiment in the media, most notable USA Today "race and inclusion" editor Hemal Jhaveri who tweeted "It's always an angry white man, always" after the incident and then deleted it when it turned out the culprit was a Syrian immigrant (and I should note she did lose her position over this tweet). In cases like this I would be in favor of pushback because I don't think the claim is true. I think we should look at the statistics and see who is really committing the mass shootings. It might even be that white people are over represented (and this actually totally depends on how you define mass shooting) but even then it's still a very small minority of white people over represented in only specific types of situations. But what I am saying is get the facts out there. It's not so much the negative portrayal or white people I am against, but the factually inaccurate negative portrayal.

I have read books by native American authors who portrayed white people in a very negative light but I didn't have a problem with it because they weren't presenting false information about white people. White people actually did the things they claimed that they did. One author in particular made fun of white people a lot and I found it very interesting to get his perspective on white culture and what he found so funny about it.
 

cduggles

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Some people deserve to be canceled:
the Oscar-winning producer was enraged that one of his assistants failed to get him a seat on a sold-out flight. In a fit of fury, he allegedly smashed an Apple computer monitor on the assistant's hand. The screen shattered, leaving the young man bleeding and in need of immediate medical attention. One person in the office at the time described the incident as sounding like a car crash: a cacophonous collision of metal, glass and limb. The wounded assistant headed to the emergency room, and Rudin called his lawyer, according to another staffer there that Halloween afternoon.


 

Bella Figura

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Michael Richards had a pretty extravagant fall from grace.

As for Apu, I can see how annoying it would be to be Indian and have people constantly reference it to you, or tell you to 'thank you come again' - I get something similar with another show based on their ethnic character, who is in fact a complete moron and people think it's hysterical to point out that we share superficial attributes. But not the main one he's stereotyped on. So it ends up making no sense to me. 'OH LOL YOU'RE JUST LIKE THAT GUY' nah not really. But whatever.

Do I think it needs to go? No, I have better things to worry about.

I grew up loving The Simpsons, despite the fact it was banned in my household because Bart didn't respect his father :D (guess it taught me a life lesson there).

I can see why they'd want someone of their own background to voice a character representing them, I mean, it seems fair at the very least - and The Simpsons audience exactly known for being cool with offensive material. The City Wok character in South Park is hilarious, but I wouldn't go around quoting him to Chinese people, because I understand the point of satire.

And I have met people from younger generations who think South Park just isn't funny, due to the generation gap when it comes to humour and what is considered overly offensive nowadays.

I guess I'm getting old.
 
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I get something similar with another show based on their ethnic character, who is in fact a complete moron and people think it's hysterical to point out that we share superficial attributes. But not the main one he's stereotyped on. So it ends up making no sense to me. 'OH LOL YOU'RE JUST LIKE THAT GUY' nah not really. But whatever.
Who?
 

Bella Figura

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Or you can answer my question about why you watch people with Tourette’s on YouTube?
Ok to answer your question - I find verbal tics fascinating, especially considering people with Tourette's will say highly offensive things they know society doesn't deem acceptable.

Full circle to the thread!
 
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