June 16, 2019

"So while in the past it might have been applauded and seen as almost an honor to have... your culture absorbed by some rarefied French fashion house..."

"... I think today people - you know, they don't see that as an honor. They see that as insult. They see it as, how dare you? Like, I own this. You don't."

Said Robin Givhan, quoted in "Mexico Calls Out Carolina Herrera For Appropriating Indigenous Groups' Patterns" (NPR).

No pictures there. (It's "radio.") Here are some pictures of the offending clothes at The Daily Beast. The fabrics will look very familiar. Herrera isn't the first designer to appropriate them. It's more like she's reappropriating the stuff of decades of hippiewear.

LATIN HOLIDAY Sunrise in Tulum The light of Lima Strolls in Mexico City The waves of José Ignacio Dancing in Buenos Aires The colors of Cartagena The Carolina Herrera Resort 2020 collection takes on the playful and colorful mood of a Latin holiday. Inspired by the House spirit of alegria de vivir that is synonymous with the resort season, this collection is about visceral reactions of delight—eclectic patterns, unexpected silhouettes, pulsating energy. This is my favorite collection that I have ever been a part of and I am so grateful to my amazing design team and the brilliant patternmakers and seamstresses who tirelessly brought it to life. And an especially huge thank you to the genius that is @tabithasimmons. These are just a few of the gorgeous images by @dariocatellani. Go to vogue.com to see the rest ❤️💙💚🧡💛
A post shared by W E S G O R D O N (@wesgordon) on

Vanessa Friedman at the NYT validates cultural appropriation (but not completely):

Indeed, in many ways that has been the designer formula: Take a smidgen of silhouette from here, a dash of decoration from there, sprinkle with a touch of art or architecture and voilà! — new collection....

When it comes to appropriation, anyway, most of the designer borrowing is not done with malice aforethought, though in its blithe usage it is clearly a hangover of an old colonial mentality. Ignorance is not an excuse; nor is history. (History is full of terrible precedent, now recognized for what it is.)...

The natural end result of this particular trend, after all, is that designers and the brands they work for become so worried about offending that they cease to look at the world outside, defining their aesthetic ever more narrowly. Their own experience becomes their sole creative fodder. And that serves neither them nor us. It does not lead to new ways of being in an ever-evolving world. It leads to stasis.

Fashion, more than most industries, was founded on the principle of cultural cross-pollination. Like most cross-pollination, it has produced astonishing, illuminating results. That it did so in a way that ill served some of those involved is unquestionable. That it needs to rethink its practices and systems so everyone has a seat at the table is also not in doubt...
ADDED: The commenters at the NYT are quite resistant to the charge of cultural appropriation. From the highest-ranked comments:
I'm getting terrified to speak, write, or dress. There was an article in the NYT yesterday that featured a picture of Gloria Steinem and all I could think was, she's wearing a Native American vest. That's cultural appropriation (unless it was a gift). Then I was in a meeting this morning and a white woman was wearing hoop earrings, and I thought, uh-oh, cultural appropriation. (Hoop earrings used to be my go-to accessory but I got rid of them all for fear of offending.) The ostensible purpose of all this was to raise awareness of marginalized and disenfranchised cultures that had historically been exploited, but all it has done is create a callout culture and frightening, punishing ideology of Salem proportions.
And let me give you another comment (because I was about to write a sentence very much like the first one you see here):
If cultures are not able to borrow from one another than that's basically the end of culture right there. Indigenous arts have always been heavily influenced by other cultures. Take, for example, Pueblo pottery. You can mark a distinct design change in Pueblo pottery from before and after contact with the Spanish, when for the first time the Pueblo began picturing living beings. The Navajo made only extremely basic weavings out of native fibers or cotton before the Spanish arrived because they didn't have access to wool. Each culture borrowed from the other. Perhaps its a symptom of the degradation of our cultural consciousness that we now have become so protective of identity that we condemn others for doing what has always been done since we first evolved - borrowing the best ideas from one another.


David Begley said...

How much for that dress?

stevew said...

If it is argued that this is wrong, or bad, or to be prohibited, I see no end to the fight. What articles of clothing or food are designed and created without influence from others and other cultures?

Danno said...

NPR, covering first world problems for the nation's elite.

rhhardin said...

You can find Japanese hams on youtube talking in morse code to each other in English.

tcrosse said...

You can find Japanese hams on youtube talking in morse code to each other in English.

Is there a morse code for Japanese characters? For Cyrillic letters?

traditionalguy said...

The Stuck on Stupid Morality Police are showing off their power of elite smears again. ALL good things come from cross-cultural border towns in which each borrows the best from the others. Pretending that is a theft is insanity.

The Oberlin College Case Jurors has rung a loud bell. That intense level of weaponized insanity is not going to be tacitly allowed to hurt innocent people anymore.

rhhardin said...

Galambosianism is the way to go.

"The most peculiar thing about the whole Galambosian concept was the impossibility of finding out anything about it. Galambos’ disciples were not at liberty to disseminate his philosophy without paying a royalty to their leader—who could not even waive payment, since primary property was an absolute good and could not be given away. You were stuck with it whether you wanted it or not, throughout eternity. Consequently, all the converts were those proselytized by Galambos himself—a time-consuming and self-restricting process, it being physically impossible to convert more than a handful of people at a time."

rhhardin said...

The Japanese use romanji (latinized letters sounding out the word) for morse, I think, if they want to speak morse code Japanese.

whitney said...

So the problem is not that the dress is hideous

nucint said...

The most successful Latina fashion designer is accused of appropriating.... Latina cultural heritage.

rhhardin said...

Cyrillic I think has its own morse, more or less corresponding to the transliterated English character where available and an unused morse symbol for extra letters.

C R Krieger said...

If I vacation in Mexico should I not purchase local clothing to wear, for fear of cultural appropriation?  Should I, while on this vacation, only eat at McDonalds and KFC?  How far does this go?

Regards  —  Cliff

rehajm said...

Imitation is a sincere form of flattery. If you don’t like it go suck eggs.

rehajm said...

I’m surprised media hasn’t backed off the appropriation game. It hurts Liz Warren. Must be in Hillary’s camp.

tim in vermont said...

So they took a vote in Mexico on this issue? This person speaks for them why?

Bob Boyd said...

Its much easier and more convenient, for those so inclined, to offer oneself as a moral authority these days. You used to have to study for years, but now you can just start shrieking. Its a real time saver.

tim in vermont said...

Maybe it's like reserved plaid. If they are using a precise pattern, I see the point.

Big Mike said...

Carolina Herrera is not a Parisian fashion house. She was born in Venezuela and her business is located in New York. Are these colors and swirling skirts not worn in Venezuela? Or is it her culture too?

Birkel said...

What's the point of diversity in a world where cultural appropriation is a negative thing?

Those two fetishes are at cross purposes.

rhhardin said...

Mexicans dress for each other.

iowan2 said...

The cross pollination is a great analogy. Then the thought diffuses into a word salad attempting to save the stupid idea that there are any pure cultures to appropriate from.

We've been listening to Michener's Hawaii. A people that don't exist without cultural appropriation.
Michener goes into depth, identifying a culture and then contrasting it with another culture, just a few miles apart.
Of course we have the same thing in America.
Hipsters appropriated my blue jeans I wore everyday doing chores when I was 5 in 1961 (and I must have appropriated them from the goldrush miners) Which, as I search for the history of blue jeans, learn were invented by an immigrant from Germany, appropriating a fabric from France.
NOT amazing that doing 90 seconds of research, exposes the idiocy of my intellectual betters that earn a living telling me how to behave

Big Mike said...

Guys, remember. If you go to Cancun on vacation do not buy an embroidered guayabera shirt in a local shop. No cultural appropriation!

rhhardin said...

Fashion house clothes should only be worn by gays.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

There is one kind of Western approach to other cultures that we all (supposedly) now regard as wrong: outright conquest, on the assumption that what we have is better. If "we" pick up some of "their" ways--food, clothing, dance--that is solely to enrich "our" lives. A more sophisticated view is that the West is probably unique in its proven ability to "synthesize" things that are different, and even arguably opposites--like the virtues of the pagans and the virtues of the Christians. If we are the great synthesizers, why can't we synthesize everything? The Hegelian idea is that the new thing in the West will be a combination of different old things, which will probably still be more or less recognizable. Generally speaking, the new thing is an improvement, almost as if history magically causes bad things to drop away, and saves good things. Are non-Western people, or people who claim to speak for them from Western vantage points, going to object to being absorbed into something bigger and arguably better? Is any of this subject to evidence, i.e. what is actually better?

Quaestor said...

The Japanese use romanji (latinized letters sounding out the word) for morse, I think, if they want to speak morse code Japanese.

The Imperial Japanese foreign ministry's PURPLE encryption system and the IJN's JN25 system both used romaji because of its convenience in code key transmission.

Equipment Maintenance said...

Why do people listen to these SJW's when they blather on about something like "cultural appropriation"? They're crazy, and you'll never satisfy them. Don't try. Don't care.

rhhardin said...

The important thing is that it's click bait for both sides.

The NYT could fall into the MSNBC/CNN ratings hole otherwise.

rhhardin said...

Boom! huge lightning crash, and power off. I get the generator set up and running, everything cool, 12ga extension cords run, and the power comes back on. Well it serves as a 15 minute generator test.

Fernandinande said...

"Indigenous Groups"

The three types of groups are :

- Indigenous: they form from deep inside Mexico

- Metamorphic: they start forming in Mexico and change shape as they move to the US.

- Sedentary: most activity ceases by the 2nd generation.

Fernandinande said...

Vanessa Friedman at the NYT validates cultural appropriation (but not completely):

I'm sure the marginal validation is a relief to many readers of whatever, but "appropriation" is the wrong word: nothing is appropriated because nothing is taken: nobody is deprived of their silly "indigenous patterns" because someone else uses them.

google: "the action of taking something for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission."

1 : to take exclusive possession of common benefit
2 : to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use
3 : to take or make use of without authority or right

rhhardin said...

The economic term is non-rivalrous, for stuff you take that the owner still has too.

AMDG said...

Just another cudgel for the fascists to use so they can spread their misery.

Are SJW’s the most miserable people on earth? They seem completely befereft if any joy.

Nowmit8s time to return to my King Pao burrito.

Wince said...

I bought a blanket in Mexico that looked like that dress. I had to get rid of it because it made me sneeze.

Here's a scene from the black girls road movie "Girl's Trip" that mocks latin culture and fashion. Not so much in that they want their friend to dress sexier, but the background music and "makin' tamales and shit" references.

Fernandinande said...

"Inside Japan’s Chicano Subculture" | NYT

Kevin said...

What happens when people realize immigration is the ultimate cultural appropriation?

Francisco D said...

I told my wife that I need to be more culturally appropriate in my wardrobe.

She said, "It looks like you will go with the Norwegian color palette, browns and beiges only."

The sacrifices I make to be politically correct.

Roger Sweeny said...

The solution is simple: Everyone must wear a uniform, like on Star Trek.

wildswan said...

From the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, Europeans and Americans, even artists and revolutionaries, wore suits, bluejeans or khaki Army clothes and the rest of the world wore colorful indigenous clothes or colorful Army uniforms decorated with medals. After the mid-twentieth century, Europeans and Americans, led by artists and revolutionaries, began wearing colorful, indigenous clothes while the world turned to suits, blue jeans and khaki. So cultural appropriation is a two-way street but at the moment we have the better of the bargain.

Roger Sweeny said...

Is it cultural appropriation to develop technology using quantum physics if you aren't a western European?

Or even to use it? Is a cell phone cultural appropriation?

tcrosse said...

It's cultural appropriation to be outraged on behalf of a group to which one does not belong.

Gahrie said...

I want everyone in Mexico to stop wearing Jeans and T-Shirts and to stop drinking Coca-Cola....they're appropriating my culture.

John Cunningham said...

Ok Givhan, whites and Europeans must stop using indigenous designs. All minorities then must quit using electrucity

Leslie Graves said...

What I'd like someone to study is the possibility that some cultural artifacts are easier for other cultures to assimilate (or appropriate), and to try to figure out what makes some of them easier to assimilate, if in fact some of them do cross over more easily.

Here are just some of the things that cross cultural borders.

1. Food items, ways of preparing food and what to serve, to whom, and when
2. Fabric designs, clothing designs and ideas about what to where and when
3. Styles of government (monarchy, oligopoly, republic, democracy)
4. Organized crime, how to do it, how to manage a gang and what activities to get involved in
5. Ways to make your nails, skin and face look appealing and what counts as looking appealing
6. How to interact with the older generation and the younger generation (for example, the Swedes engage in Swedish death cleaning while many Americans think it is just fine to die leaving your survivors with a ton of your stuff to deal with)

I'd be curious to know what makes a cultural idea or artifact something that easily jumps into another culture, or harder.

Temujin said...

Cultural appropriation is a looney concept, and one that could only be thrown at people in today's idiocracy. Nothing, no one, has or does anything that has not been a part of another culture at some point, in some way, however minute the influence. Who determines how much is allowed and which groups are hands-off, while others are fine to appropriate? Who do we go to for permission to use the phrase 'Mazel Tov'? Who do we ask for permission to wear a Fedora? Or to serve up Kibbeh Nayyeh?

The concept is as ridiculous as choosing daily pronouns or selecting which gender you think you subscribe to on any given month. College degrees in the social sciences today should be laughed at. Mocked. Ridiculed.

I can guarantee you they will be years from now. This should not even garner column space.

JaimeRoberto said...

Celebrate Diversity! But not too much.

MacMacConnell said...

Should we demand Black men not wear pants? Suits? Ties? Should anyone wear a button down collar shirt who has never played a chukar of polo? These people are fucking morons.

Big Mike said...

If they try to make me give up margaritas on grounds of cultural appropriation THERE. WILL. BE. BLOOD!

n.n said...

Celebrate Diversity! But not too much.

They have a confused understanding of diversity, that progresses to little more than a color judgment. In fact, the only viable model in their judgment is to keep people of different color (not limited to skin) separate and equal.

AndyN said...

Were Mexicans dying their clothing in those types of patterns prior to European conquest? I can't seem to find an answer to that anywhere, although I'm probably just googling the wrong question. If they weren't isn't she really appropriating Spanish culture? Or would that be re-appropriating her own culture from Mexico, since Europe is all one country now?

hstad said...

"....Cultural appropriation is a looney concept, and one that could only be thrown at people in today's idiocracy...." Not surprised at this lunacy, just look at Congress' lates "Slavery Reparations" move.

“Reparations are not the answer...…. Slavery has been a universal institution for thousands of years, as far back as you can trace human history. But the situation is portrayed as if slavery is something that happened to one race of people in one country, when in fact the spread of it was worldwide and included people from all ethnicity in almost every country on Earth….”

Politicians and Activists (like Obama), mostly on the Left, manufacture grievances and win over voting groups with promises of policies that won't work and often do enormous damage.

hstad said...

Sorry forgot to give the 'Paragraph on Reparations' attribute to Thomas Sowell! My Bad!

Mary Beth said...

In a way, the cultural appropriate claim is like what racism accusations have become. You're assuming you know what is in the mind of the other person. Using an ethnic fabric pattern in fashion is not the same as dressing as a caricature of that ethnicity for Halloween. If it's not obviously an intent to mock, our assumption should be that it's done out of appreciation.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

hey World! Jacob Davis/Levi Strauss want their jeans back

buwaya said...

This is stupid. This stuff is Spanish, or generically hispanic. If there is Mexican in it it is the slightest tinge.

Everyone is mad.

rcocean said...

What's hilarious is that most Americans can't tell the Difference between Mexican Culture, Central American Culture, and the rest of South America. Nor do they understand how the evil Spaniards appropriated Native cultures, merged it with their own, and created the different national cultures.

Some wag once wrote that Americans with do anything with Latin Americans except read about them.

Yancey Ward said...

Goddamnit! And I was going to go to Taco Bell for lunch!

rcocean said...

It is interesting how the Liberals in NYT and WaPo love blacks but seem really incurious about Mexico and Latin America. When's the last time the NYT printed an in-depth analysis of Mexican politics? Do NPR or PBS have full time correspondents in Mexico City? They seem 10x more interested in Israel than in Mexico.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

maybe the 'cultural appropriation' beef is the pretext for a shakedown racket.
Wanna use our stuff? Gotta pay up, in some form of 'reparations'.

no one decries the 'cultural appropriation' of Western product-- it is only when the product of 'oppressed peoples' is borrowed/appreciated.

"but, maybe we can work something out, like brand-leasing-- let us shake you down and we will let you off the hook."

kinda...like Jesse J. and Nike. kinda

buwaya said...

Being as I am one of the last genuine representatives of the Spanish Empire, a proper scion of the actual imperialists, I am happy to offer my services, for a small fee, to assist any marketing effort involving "hispanic" culture.

I can certify, on behalf of the 600 million or thereabouts, that any such product, production, artistic or literary endeavor is "ok with us".

Hmm. I should incorporate and advertise maybe?

Henry said...

Vanessa Friedman seems to think we've arrived at the end of history.

it is clearly a hangover of an old colonial mentality.

History is full of terrible precedent, now recognized for what it is.

What strikes me about the dress pictured is that the full-hued stripe pattern looks like something mass produced in China that the locals sell to cruise ship tourists. It's clearly a hangover induced purchase.

Other items in the collection are actually less derivative and far more stylish.

buwaya said...

At least four of those outfits are straight out of Andalucia.
Sevillanas have been dancing, well, Sevillanas in them since Goya was a toddler.

Mexico? Bah. Copycats at best.

Since at least some of my ancestors were Andalucian, I am outraged by the misuse of my cultural heritage and I demand reparations. Personal checks will do.

buwaya said...

The stylish ones are actually Spanish. #2, 4, 5 and 8
Feel free to steal those. Women look excellent in them.
Just don't be too fat.

Two are generic Euro fashion.
One is a 60's mod thing with a Mexican pattern.
#1 is Hispano-Caribbean with a generic native weave pattern, not specifically Mexican

buwaya said...

The colonial mentality is that we imperialists brought our stuff to all these places.
And the locals still think these are hot stuff.
Well of course they do, its natural.

At least in the US the Mexican nationalists pretend to be Aztecs and make do with g-strings and feathers. You sort of have to go to that sort of thing to drop the colonial mentality.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

once "The Great Pushback" is in full-swing,

these SJW's/ProgLibDems will suffer the un(?)intended consequences

n.n said...

Pretty girl. The dress and accessories are becoming.

Earnest Prole said...

Without appropriation there can be no culture.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

What is your fee?
We would like to open. "Tapas N Tequila " joint and would like to provide our aggrieved customers assurance that our business has been approved by an Official Spanish representative.
Can you guarantee absolution? Are you sufficiently "non-white"
Do you offer a 'Certificate of Wokeness' ?
Will our Japanese chef be a problem?

Joe said...

How dare Robin Givhan appropriate imbecile culture!

Michael said...

Robin Givhan has straightened hair, a style appropriated from the white majority. She wears her bullshit hypocracy on her head. The fabric seems more Guatemalan than Mexican, but I suppose to Robin that is same same.

John henry said...

Big Mike,

There are about 10 commonly used definitions of "hispanic" and I definitely meet 3-4 of those and probably a few more.

So Can I wear my guayaberas? In Puerto Rico where they are common, though not as much as in the past?

I wonder how many women in Mexico or Venezuela wear colors like that normally? I suspect damn near none.

It's a costume not a dress.

John Henry

buwaya said...

I certainly would be open to starting a consulting arrangement with respect to your worthy endeavor!

I provide my 23andme genetic profile as part of the service, as well as genealogy going back five generations, as well as photocopies of my passport.

There are, of course, no official Spanish government representatives or procedures for this sort of thing, being as its all too silly even for them, but I am perfectly prepared to assert and defend the validity and cultural authenticity of my findings.

My rates are flexible and dependent on the projected net income of the enterprise. Something on the order of 1% projected net, paid in advance of course.

Tapas are absolutely Spanish and fall within my purview without question. Tequila was invented when the relevant parts of Mexico were within Spanish Viceroyalty of New Spain, and moreover the first known producer was a Spanish Marquis, born in Asturias, so thats that. As for a Japanese chef, I can also assert that Japanese servants were common in at least some Spanish colonies, and are an authentic element in your plan. That is my first cut analysis.

John henry said...


Most people can't even define "hispanic" I'd bet that most people would tell you that Brazilians are Hispanic and that Philipinos are not.

More people in South America trace their heritage to Africa, Ireland, Italy or Germany than to Spain.

Are they "Hispanic"?

John Henry

John henry said...

I should have said immigrants or included the various Indian native cultures.

John Henry

John henry said...


Lots of Japanese were imported as labor to Peru.

Former prime minister Alberto fujimoris grandparents, for example.

Is he Hispanic?

John Henry

Seeing Red said...

It looks like a serape.

DEL BARCO: "Bigshot artists make their millions," he says, "while our indigenous communities continue to be cast aside and forgotten." But there is a model to make authentic fashion with respect for other cultures. For years, Mexico City designer Carla Fernandez has contracted with some of the artisans whose work was copied by Carolina Herrera's collection.

Never heard of her. Who’s fault is that? That’s Mexico’s fault, not CH.

Seeing Red said...

Guys, remember. If you go to Cancun on vacation do not buy an embroidered guayabera shirt in a local shop. No cultural appropriation!

And tell them why.

John henry said...

One curious aspect of the word hispanic is that under the official definition used by US government in the 90s, persons from Spain Were NOT HISPANIC.

So I'm not sure you should bet certifying hispanic food, Buwaya.

John Henry

Seeing Red said...

Some wag once wrote that Americans with do anything with Latin Americans except read about them.

If we started reading their papers, the Wall would have been built decades ago.

Fen said...

They see that as insult. They see it as, how dare you? Like, I own this. You don't.

What? Oh no, you didn't build that, you had help. :)

buwaya said...

Families and Tequila -

The first known licensed distiller of tequila was one Pedro Sanchez de Tagle, brother of the Marquis of Altamira. The connections are interesting, and global -


The contacts extend to the Pacific Ocean galleon trade. A branch of the family, the Perez de Tagles, with a different aristocratic title (Marquis of Salinas), were settled in the Philippines since the 18th century. Their descendants were often prominent in its history. The empire was a single, extensive thing, and people constantly moved from one part to another.

This is an American descendant of the Perez de Tagles - she could sell tequila indulgences. Note that the Perez de Tagles were part of the Mexican aristocracy and married into the line of the descendants of Montezuma. So theres that as well.


buwaya said...

The guayabera is a derivative of the Filipino barong, brought to Mexico in the days of the galleon trade, and distributed throughout the empire. The Philippines was in fact governed as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.

So the guayaberas and all similar garments are cultural appropriations from the Philippines.

John henry said...

The barong (I used to have a couple) is not the same as the guayabera.

Whether one is derive from the other.

Th barong is definitely Philipinos. But I never had a problem wearing them.

John Henry

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

wow thanks! We were worried you'd say "No way, Jose".

Dave in Tucson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave in Tucson said...

I thought ownership was a bourgeois concept used to oppress the masses?

narciso said...

check out the craziness a little past the borderline


narciso said...

here's an interesting detail, one of the leading holocaust denialists, in mexico, who thankfully has passed on, is apparently not blocked on youtube,

buwaya said...


Its a business plan!
Online and post-retirement.

libertariansafetyguy said...

The proper response to accusations of cultural appropriation is a polite, “Fuck off, I do what I want.”

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

if the model in the pic had a 'Frida Kahlo' moustache

maybe that would have made it all ok

she was regarded as an icon for Chicanos, the feminism movement and the LGBT movement,etc

veni vidi vici said...

Drag Herrera (isn't that a Spanish name?)!!

She's appropriated the el Cheapo blankets one buys at Southwestern rest stops, trading posts and gas stations for about $6/each.

If this is the standard, Farrah Fawcett's in trouble, since one of those selfsame cheapo blankets was hanging behind her in the famous "bathing suit poster everyone in the mid-late 1970s owned".

Givhan should be caned for propagating asininity like this type of criticism without calling it out for the nonsensical bullshit that it is. It's the fashion world / ethno-cultural-racial equivalent of those nitwit journalists ragging on Google to share its adrev with them because their lousy dinosaur platforms are all failing and they chose unwisely with their careers. "Learn to code", indeed.

Molly said...

I'm involved in (amateur choral) music. And I'm sick of this discussion/argument. Black singers are allowed to sing operas by Italians. White singers are allowed to sing black spirituals. Each performer brings his or her own culture/personal-background/musical skills to the performance. Tell me (no, don't really tell me) Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald can't perform Porgy and Bess because it was written by whites; Dvorak can't write a version of "going home" because it is a black spiritual, and Paul Robeson can't perform a version of going home because it is based on the Dvorak version; Leontyne Price can't perform Puccini because he is European; Miles Davis can't perform sketches of spain.

People who insist on this cultural apartheid are doing horrible damage to our culture.

effinayright said...

Old Zen Koan:

"If you meet the Buddha on the road, what should you do?

"Kill him."

New Zen Koan:

"If you meet a SJW on the campus, what should you do?"

"Kick her in the twat. HARD."

Unknown said...

But sackcloth and ashes are just so damned unflattering...

Michael McNeil said...

Most people can't even define "hispanic" I'd bet that most people would tell you that Brazilians are Hispanic and that Philipinos are not.

I doubt that “most people” would say that — but, nevertheless (whether or not Filipinos ought to be included in that category), Brazilians (and Portuguese) really by rights are Hispanic.

The term “Hispanic” (or Hispania) is ancient — referring not to the (relatively newfangled) nation (kingdom) of Spain — which dates only to the late 15th century AD (barely half a millennium) and didn't even exist as such during the entirety of the Middle Ages — but to the whole Iberian peninsula.

For instance, the famous Antikythera Mechanism of (probably) the late 2nd century BC — within a portion of the device containing references to certain ancient eclipses — bears inscribed upon it the regional place name (in Greek letters) ΙΣΠΑΝΙΑ — “Hispania.”

This from a millennium and a half before there was a nation of “Spain.” By later medieval times the Iberian peninsula had been politically divided into five kingdoms: Castile, Aragon, Portugal, Navarre, and Granada (the last, the last remnant of Muslim Andalucia). Thus, throughout the entire Middle Ages — a whole millennium after the fall of the Roman Empire in the West — all these countries were “Hispanic” but there still was no nation/kingdom of “Spain.”

Eventually, however, as it happened the rulers of Castile and Aragon (fortuitously of opposite sex) hit on the idea of marrying, and once married of unifying their formerly distinct domains under their new joint rule — creating de novo the new kingdom of “Spain” (whose newly invented name was basically a piece of brazen propaganda asserting a right to the entire Iberian peninsula).

Following its emergence, the new, still only semi-united realm — Aragon and Castile maintained separate legal systems and administrative institutions until the 18th century — undertook to make its propaganda a fait accompli. In a surge of imperialistic energy, the unified kingdom of Spain succeeded in absorbing Navarre and Granada, along with a great deal else elsewhere.

Despite “Spain's” best efforts, however, its local competitor Portugal determinedly resisted and remains to this day unconquered and unassimilated by its larger neighbor.

Given that historic reality, I say it's not right that Spain nonetheless ultimately win the centuries-old propaganda war by everybody and everything naively acquiesing that all “Hispanics” just must — as a matter of etymological logic — be Spaniards or their cultural and political successors. This is false “logic” — and the Portuguese and their cultural inheritors also anciently deserve the rubric “Hispanic.”

blnelson2 said...

Absurd. Hispanic "patterns"? Stripes?