Showing respect for one’s neighbors by appropriating their culture at your convenience

DoVulcanTitsDefyLogic? posted this, with the caption:

My roommate’s response to this picture: “I bet some freshman from Brown put that up.”

Come to think of it, at Garfield Park, I did hear someone say, “Where are all the brown people at?” Was he talking about Brown University? I guess so!

[via DoVulcanTitsDefyLogic?]

54 Responses to “Showing respect for one’s neighbors by appropriating their culture at your convenience”

  1. Pedro says:

    There are a lot of people who share the same sentiment.

  2. 10 flavors of awesome.

  3. scum says:

    Stupid white have no culture so they destroy/corrupt other peoples.

  4. I always have mixed feelings about this beautiful event in SF. I think it’s a a good thing for all people to honor their loved ones, the time of darkness but it’s clear that this event is largely attended by non-MesoAmericans.

  5. rod says:

    so should certain groups be excluded from this public celebration based on their skin color or cultural background? should people who aren’t Chinese be banned from the Chinese New Year Festival? should St. Paddy’s be reserved for the Irish? ugh, racism sucks.

  6. Lyle Lanley says:

    My people invented the monorail. We are a generous people, and welcome you to come aboard our superior means of transportation.

  7. Ben says:

    white people?? in america?? surely you must be joking

  8. somJuan says:

    White people painting their faces white.

    We overheard one woman at Garfield Park ask the people in her group what the altars were all about — and she was dressed in costume and had her face painted!

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      Wow. People learning. How terrible.

      • someJuan says:

        It is terrible. It’s like showing up for a final exam without having studied and asking the person seated next to you for the answers.

        • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

          Except, of course, that it is nothing at all like that. It is not a final exam, it is a public festival in the park.

          • someJuan says:

            My point is that one should know, or have an understanding of, what one is attending — especially when they’re dressed up for it. However, I forgot for a moment of the type of people I’m talking about so my argument is moot.

          • Maricona says:

            it’s not a festival. it’s a ceremony.

          • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

            Maricona: Well, you’re definitely wrong about that.

            Maybe you WANT it to be a ceremony and not a festival, but that simply does not jibe with the reality.

        • codesmith says:

          I think maybe it’s a little more like dressing up in a suit or a dress and then going into a Catholic church and asking who’s the guy hanging on the wall. Really – so terrible?

  9. D.V. says:

    Umm,I actually saw a lot of the Mexican Community out there. And whats wrong with white people participating? I’m all for it! Everyone is welcomed

  10. zyzzyva says:

    Given that the celebration has origins that date back several thousand years to indigenous tribes, I think it’s safe to say that what a bunch of whiteys do in San Francisco is no further from “the truth” than what a bunch of Catholic Latinos do in Guadalajara. You don’t have to be white or privileged or “American” to appropriate other cultures, folks.

    • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

      Hear, hear.

    • charly says:

      But there is “truth” in the way it’s practiced prior to the “whiteys” showing up. The difference is that this is a living community with a distinct, living culture–one which is a bit more vital to the people who are part of it than the culture of mid 20s post-adolescence of much of the neighborhood. Just because the festival has traceable influences doesn’t mean that it’s fair game for whatever outsiders want it to be. Appropriation–in the Mission, today–is a matter of power dynamics that we’re part of, and you can’t opt out of it by pointing at some historical example to relativize your participation.

      Not saying that it should be totally exclusive, but people should have the maturity to show respect when they participate, rather than entitlement to the cultural spoils as just another kind of seasoning. Also not implying that you’re automatically an evil oppressor for living in the neighborhood if you’re not Latin…just be self-aware and okay with the fact that sometimes it’s better to observe cool shit rather than put it on as a costume.

  11. MrEricSir says:

    Next time I see a Chinese guy eating a hamburger I’m going to show him this poster and make fun of him for appropriating American culture.

  12. Alex says:

    Saw that yesterday. Someone wrote in “night of the living Gringos” underneath, and something about the bridge and tunnel crowd (what tunnel??). I laughed.

    Here’s the blurry picture I snapped.

  13. E says:

    The irony is epic.

  14. Chris says:

    Maybe if I take the event for what it is, an inauthentic American interpretation of a Meso-American holiday, and not the real thing, I could learn to enjoy it. Maybe.

    But people treating it like Mexican Halloween and using it as an excuse to walk down 24th with their face painted, drinking a 40. Yeah, not cute.

    • truth says:

      Pretty sure you’d have to go back thousands of years for the “authentic” experience. Are you this big of a bummer during Christmas?

      “Uh, yeah guys, come on, if you aren’t Christian why are you talking about Santa?”

      • Chris says:

        The experience I’m referring to is the way in which my family and friends from Mexico and El Salvador observed the holiday. What they’ve experienced, and how they celebrate and remember, doesn’t sync with what the Day of the Dead procession has become. I do feel one is more traditional, and the other is a recent, Americanized interpretation.

        Really, I think it’s amazing the hoops people’ll jump through to feel good about themselves after turning a day of remembrance into a sort of extension to Halloween.

        And you obviously don’t know me, because yeah, I AM this big of a bummer around Christmas.

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

        Truth: Hear, hear. And good analogy.

  15. Raul says:

    Dia de Los Muertos historically crosses racial boundaries. It’s a celebration that borrows from indigenous and Spanish religious traditions. Death knows no color. It’s the only inevitable end that we all truly share. I’m first generation mexican-american and am proud that San Francisco have taken a keen interest in celebrating this colorful day. The American take on death manifests itself in hushed tones, taboos, stoic, avoid the topic at all times…let’s laugh at “la flaca”, celebrate it, toast to those not with us, lament and laugh at the same time…celebrate the duality of life/death.

  16. Impor Hisky says:

    Can’t wait until you Frisconians decide to start celebrating “Tomb Sweeping Day.”

  17. kusfwtf says:

    Remember when Becky was all bummed out about Thanksgiving? That was some powerful acting.

  18. MrEricSir says:

    Question for authenticity nerds: where did the face painting thing start? Seems like you don’t see that outside of the Mission.

    Gotta admit I like the look, whether it’s “authentic” or not.

  19. Dreeewww says:

    We assume 99% of the people reading this blog are not from the Mission. Skin color aside, we’re all a part of the gentrification of this neighborhood. No matter what you do as a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd wave transplant to the neighborhood, No matter what events or businesses you frequent, rest assured the Mission is going the same route as the rest of SF and every other sizable hip city. Local culture will be replaced by homogenous urban transplant culture.

  20. reality jones says:

    Who cares!? It’s a celebration/ceremony taking place in the United States of America. All are welcome to participate or not…get over yourselves.

  21. joey says:

    yeah;go tell a viking or celtic warrior(if one could)or maybe michaelangelo; davinci;that whites have no culture…

  22. TC says:

    One day, white people will rule the world.

  23. Moctezuma says:

    You don’t see these so-called illegals illegally stealing in white neighborhoods. They would be seen suspiciously mingling among any of those deadly quiet white areas.