Let’s Talk About Cultural Appropriation & Misinformation
Don’t worry. It’s not what you think it is. I actually want to talk about how these things affect you. Yeah you! Well, not all of you…but my white followers. Because it does affect you. (Hey, imagine that. Your actions affect you!) [Not in the same ways it affects origin cultures. I mean, it doesn’t endanger your well-being and the survival of your living culture. But still…]
Some of you have mentioned to me before that you don’t mean any disrespect to other cultures by adopting their practices, that you’re actually trying to honor/connect with the culture. Hehe.
But really. I can’t count, on both my hands, the number of times that cultural appropriation and the affects of the mass information spread through the internet and in Pagan/Wiccan books has actually ruined someone’s chances of a cultural exchange with me, someone in my family, or someone in my community.
Do you know how often New Agers come rollin’ into powwows talking about totems and smudging? You don’t have to guess, because I’ll just tell you. A lot. It happens a lot. And it’s sad, because those people might actually want to learn about our culture, but the fact that they have these preconceived ideas about our practices and think that they already know what the fuck is going on means that that’s probably not going to happen.
Let’s face it, if someone thinks the world is flat, I’m not going to try to teach them geography. ‘Cause it ain’t gonna do them or me any damn good.
If you really want to learn about a culture, you’re going to have a better chance of it without buying into this mass misinformation thing that’s going on. It’s hard to find good information when every Pagan/Wiccan tumblr you stumble onto wants to teach you how to smudge, make dreamcatchers, and find your totem.
I know it feels like these posts and books are the best way to learn, because the information is readily available and you don’t have to snuggle up to and earn the trust of a culture to read them. But, in truth, posts and books like that are only making it harder for people who genuinely want to learn to keep a mind open enough to be taught by people who can actually teach them.
*Tagged where it needs to be seen.