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S02.E17: Strictly 4 My ...


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Vivek is getting a little too comfortable at Hawkins, sparking a heated debate over whether Vivek has crossed the line into cultural appropriation. Zoey does a service project to style a high school student for her prom.

Airdate: July 10, 2019

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I think Cultural Appropriation is more of a power move than a real concern. I sure "Black Rappers" don't mind "White People" listening to their music because they know that only "White People" actually pay for music. It is hard for people to be tolerant of other people's differences if those people are not allowed to know or experience what those differences are.

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8 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I sure "Black Rappers" don't mind "White People" listening to their music because they know that only "White People" actually pay for music.

WTF?

I'm here for Zoe realizing how self-absorbed she can be, and customer service is crucial to the kind of career she wants to have. I'm glad she actually asked her client what she wanted - what a novel idea in a client-facing business!

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2 hours ago, Superclam said:

?

I know it's been widely known since the 90s that white actually spend more on rap music. It's a real thing. But, not only. That's a mass generalization. 

Just like all these things people get hung up about these days, it's all about context. Like some people love calling Bruno Mars a culture vulture but he has never claimed he created the style of music he does, shouts out the pioneers of the style of music he does, is always appreciative of the love black people and grew up on the music he loves. That does not a culture vulture make.

People like that white girl yes julz chick (it's fine if you don't know her, you don't need to) walking around thinking it's cool to walk around with the word n**** on her shirt and trying to sound down just because she's a chick black dudes in the industry is very much a culture vulture.

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3 hours ago, Racj82 said:

Just like all these things people get hung up about these days, it's all about context. Like some people love calling Bruno Mars a culture vulture but he has never claimed he created the style of music he does, shouts out the pioneers of the style of music he does, is always appreciative of the love black people and grew up on the music he loves. That does not a culture vulture make.

One can do all that and still be a culture vulture.

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1 hour ago, Dee said:

One can do all that and still be a culture vulture.

I judge by actions and intent. If one has never done anything to betray their words then I accept their words. Which is my Bruno point.

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40 minutes ago, Racj82 said:

I judge by actions and intent. If one has never done anything to betray their words then I accept their words. Which is my Bruno point.

Bruno can give all the shoutouts he wants, at the end of the day he will achieve more fame and make more money than the artists he admires simply because he is a non-black person of color performing black-specific musical styles. A fact he is well aware of.

Gwen Stefani using the harajuku girls as accessories isn't much different than Bruno pimping out his background singers/dancers during this decidedly more 'urban' phase of his career.

It's just like Adele winning an album of the year Grammy then immediately engaging in a rambling mea culpa to Beyonce.

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This episode was super complex and touched on a lot of subjects if only in a superficial way. The subject might be too nuanced for a discussion on the internet, but here are some points I thought the show had scraped against.

Things they allude to or touched on inside of show:

Episode title: Strictly 4 My…  (the N-Word, various spellings, abbreviations and pronunciations)
Black/Rap Music: If somebody yells the N-word in a crowd. Do we have to figure out the race of the person who said it before we can determine if we should be offended or not? That seems more like an affectation, rather than an offense.
Black Dancing/Celebration
Black culture is Pop culture.
Black Slang/Ebonics
Dominoes is from the Song dynasty China and the modern version of dominoes is from 18th century Italy. Can this be claimed as black culture?
Appreciation of different Body Types/Being Thick/Big Butts
Hairstyles:   Was the scene where they had the waves competition, cultural appropriation? Black people trying to make their hair straight and wavy like a white person's hair? The black students said "cornrows" braids (box or boxer braids) were cultural appropriation, why would this be different? The way Vivek is constantly brushing his hair. Nomi is braiding Ana's hair in "cornrows" braids (box or boxer braids). Having braids with beads in it.
Fashion:       FUBU "For Us, By Us"
The Internet: Making Viral videos showing you doing supposedly black behavior. Emojis (Can they really be appropriated, since the different shades were added to make them more inclusive?) Can you use the wrong shade? Not mentioned in the show, but noticed by me: Memes: Why are so many reaction memes of black people?
Video Games: Can you play as a character from a different race? (The characters I play are almost always women, even though I am a man.)
Black Emotions  Passive aggressive behavior. The hair flip diss. 
Black Names
Black Tattoos

Black Celebrity: Saying you are the "Jewish Oprah"
Charity: Going to Low Income Neighborhoods to paint faces (Your charity hasn't really improved their situation.) Doing Charity that makes you feel better rather than the people you are helping.
Black Behavior/Stereotypes:  Not allowing dogs to kiss (lick) them on the mouth. Constant use of foul language. Selling drugs (and that coming from a Hispanic person, I thought this was the funniest scene). Unlaced Sneakers. Black people arriving late to events. What about Beneficial vs. Negative Black Stereotypes?  
Black Food: white people food is bland. Alcoholic Drink choices.
Black Violence: Police Violence: Other Minorities have similar struggles that white people don't have, therefore minorities have more in common.
Minorities get a limited pass on cultural appropriation.
White people Blacksplaning the importance of Black Culture to Black people.
How relevant is Black culture. How hard did Black People work to create it.
Losing your culture due to Slavery. Losing your culture due to appropriation.
Changing your behavior to better fit into your community.
Staying true to yourself.

Other topics that remained outside of show:

Graffiti
Pants hanging down
Interracial dating/marriage   
Interracial adoption
Black Literature
Black Religion 
Black Family Dynamics
Black Politics and social issues
Does asserting cultural appropriation go against America's ideal of becoming a melting pot?

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I feel like I may have missed a beat, but how did Zoey get this job as a stylist and where was she working that she got all those outfits? I know she got the final one from her boyfriend's closet, but where was she?

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Oh and I don't want to tread too deep into these sensitive matters, but I did want to say that other than the fact that Nomi was lecturing Black people on how they should feel about Black appropriation (she should 100% be an ally and speak up about it in a room full of white people who don't get it, but what she was doing was sketchy), I didn't get the other things she got called out on. Nothing wrong with having majority black friends and, let's face it, the people you're constantly around do have an impact on your mannerisms, your speech, and your style. It's how life works. Vivek was clearly taking it way too far, but it was just weird to hear Nomi called out for being the only white girl in her friend group (although I guess Ana is white Latina? but you catch my drift).

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On 7/12/2019 at 11:08 AM, gesundheit said:

I feel like I may have missed a beat, but how did Zoey get this job as a stylist and where was she working that she got all those outfits?

OffScreen Productions, Ltd.  LOL

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Hoooo Booooy its cultural appropriation time! Its such a weird sensitive topic, because on the one hand its messed up when people use things that are significant to someones culture in a way thats rude or disrespectful, but on the other, it can also be rather rude to tell people they cant like the things they like because of their race like some kind of cultural gatekeepers. Its a really tough line to walk, and I appreciate that the show brought it up in a way thats actually decently complex and subtle, more than just having some white asshole wear dreds and be an asshole racist for the characters to shut down. I dont know how well they did, as a lot of it was kind of surface level, but I give them credit for making a real effort.

I hope this lesson on not being a selfish dick in an industry based around making other people happy actually sticks for Zoe.

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On 7/11/2019 at 1:52 AM, AnimeMania said:

I sure "Black Rappers" don't mind "White People" listening to their music because

There's a difference between appreciation and appropriation, though. Buying someone else's music (or going to their concert, etc), is one thing. PROFITING off it, is another.

I think that where the lines are drawn depends on historical context and a lot of other factors, but the concept of appropriation itself is not just about what you like. It's how you behave about that, and what you do about it.

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On 7/18/2019 at 11:50 PM, tennisgurl said:

it can also be rather rude to tell people they cant like the things they like because of their race like some kind of cultural gatekeepers.

A lot depends on what "things" are in question.  Using a derogatory term for a group, or wearing an item that the group gets flack for wearing (see dreds) is always appropriation.  

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