I am really trying hard here to have a civil and intellectual conversation here. There is a difference between complaining and discussing. I am not bullshitting about anything, please feel free to address any of my points that are so called "bullshit". I'm also not sure exactly what logic you are talking about I have no answer for. I hope the rest of this post clears up any misunderstandings.
Your examples show that you have a lack of understanding what cultural appropriation is, what I have been advocating for. I respect that you have an opinion on the matter, I really do. This is not a "boo, you're a white guy, you're evil" thread. This is about discussing a spectrum of different topics and they fit in the idea of cultural appropriation.
By most definitions Cultural Appropriation is when a dominant culture takes for themselves culturally important or elevated aspects of a subordinate culture without permission. To understand the concept of Cultural Appropriation you must be able to understand the difference in power dynamics between a dominant and subordinate culture. This is not to say that white people are bad, or to attribute any negative trait to individuals of the white race. It is merely a study of the factually based historical interaction between whites as a dominant culture and those they oppressed. This is why in most context's cultural appropriation is attributed most commonly to whites. Simply put, in the past 300+ years white Europeans have been the dominant culture. That said, cultural appropriation does not have a hostile intent. It is a tool to understand and analyze issues, there is no need to be so defensive about it. You are the one making it out to be an attack. Identifying possible cultural appropriation is not attacking white people, the fact you are claiming it as persecution is what leads to a breakdown of dialogue on the subject.
The history of Native Americans in the U.S. is a great example of power dynamics between a dominant and subordinate culture. They had their land taken away by force, or swindled from them. They were killed, terrorized, relocated from their homes, and their resources and livelihoods were destroyed. The treaties they made with the U.S. government were broken and violated time after time.They were treated as subhuman, as little more than wild beasts. Once placed on reservations the oppression of their people continued. Their culture was purposely and deliberately dismantled. They were intentionally forced to assimilate the dominant white culture. Native Americans were stripped of their language, religion, and traditions. Boarding Schools were set up to "civilize" their children and remove the traces of their "savage" nature. This small paragraph cannot do justice to the tragedy and oppression Native Americans endured at the hands of the dominant white culture. This is factually speaking, not an emotional appeal. I am not trying to demonize white culture, but merely to put into context the power structure I am trying to highlight here. To see models and drunken idiots now flaunting the very same aspects of Native American culture that they were told they had to deny in order to fit in with American society is beyond insulting.
Black girls being princesses-which is defended to an incredible degree, and I defend myself
What do black girls being princesses have to do with cultural appropriation? Is the idea of being a princess unique and culturally important to a particular culture? Have there never been princesses in historic black culture before?
Anyone besides Christians celebrating Christmas, and anyone making money off of it.
Christmas is a blending of numerous pagan traditions with Christian ones. Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 25th, not because that is when Jesus was born, but because that was the timing of Pagan holidays celebrating the birth of the sun. Most biblical and historical scholars agree it is highly unlikely that Jesus was born in December. Christmas was built upon already existing Pagan holidays celebrating death and rebirth around the Winter Solstice. Roman feasts for Saturn, and the birth of the Sun were also based at this time. Christmas trees and wreaths have their origins in cultures predating Christianity, as well as yule logs. The church knowingly and intentionally adopted pagan traditions into their celebration of Christmas. It should also be noted that Christmas was not even celebrated by the church until nearly 300 years after Christ's death and it was nearly 500 years until it was mandated to be observed throughout the empire. Almost nothing of modern Christmas traditions comes from the Bible, even the sharing of gifts is nowhere to be found in the Bible. The very idea of celebrating Christmas is not biblical in origin.
Moreover Christians are the dominant culture in America, not a subordinate culture.
Dragonball Z, Naruto, One Piece, most anime
Are media produced specifically for entertainment and profit. They are original works created by their authors with the intent to share with anyone who wishes to watch/read/buy them. They are not held to an elevated cultural status, and are specifically made to be shared. The permission has been granted by the author for this culture to be exchanged.
Disney. Most Disney movies would be cultural appropriation.
Once again media. Stories are typically created for entertainment purposes and are meant to be shared. Most Disney stories are based on works that come from white European culture anyways. Fiction is almost always ignored when discussing cultural appropriation.
Black people with any European features.
Because black people are a traditionally subordinate culture submissive to dominant European culture they cannot appropriate white culture, that would be assimilation. Subservient groups like blacks and natives typically were encouraged or even forced to adopt the dominant culture in order to survive. This was not by choice or want, but out of necessity. Furthermore the dominant white culture wanted minorities to adopt traits more similar to themselves, therefore they gave permission for said minorities to use those aspects of culture.
A good chunk of Japan's culture
Another example of assimilation. Although we never controlled Japan, much of their interest in American culture stems from their loss to the U.S. in World War II. We helped rebuild and restructure their society and media post-WWII in an effort to promote democracy and American ideals. In the wake of defeating them in military conflict they were the subordinate culture, whereas we were the dominant one. Once again we are wanting them to become more like us, so they have the collective permission to adopt aspects of our culture.
The entire Roman Religion structure
Yes, given that the groups they conquered didn't want them to use their deities this is an example of cultural appropriation. However typically the goal of a religion is to spread it's influence and base of followers as far as possible. By adopting these deities into their pantheon they were also amplifying the reach of those religions and allowing the conquered groups to continue worshiping their deities of choice. Therefore it is likely that both sides agreed to the terms of the cultural exchange.
White people learning Asian Martial Arts
White culture did not steal Asian martial arts. Asian martial arts were once again an aspect of culture designed to be shared, and purposely taught to other cultures by Asians. Students of martial arts (in general) do not harm or disrespect the teachings. Most martial arts students have a deep respect for the art, and add to the culture, not take away from it. When an Asian martial arts practitioner decides to teach non-Asian students he is agreeing to the exchange.
A good chunk of comic characters
Fictional characters are not typically cultural appropriation. Characters with great cultural importance such as Thor for example may be considered, however the very nature of fictional storytelling or writing denotes that what is going on in the story is not real and therefore typically they are recognized as non-harmful and fair game.
1. What is the power dynamic between the two cultures? Are they on equal footing, or is one dominant over the other?
2. Is the subordinate culture intentionally and purposely sharing with the dominant culture? If they are making the exchange and offering their culture up to be shared then that is a different situation than taking without express permission.
3. Is it an elevated or important aspect of that culture, or is it a mundane or everyday facet of the culture?
4. Is it unique to the culture in question? Are there other cultures who can also claim that specific trait?
5. Is it harmful or disrespectful to the culture the cultural practice is being taken from.? Or is it being used respectfully and correctly?
Going back to your first post we actually agree on several issues. My point this whole time has been that cultural appropriation and cultural exchange both exist together, and some issues fall on one side of the spectrum and some fall on the other. Each situation needs to be analyzed differently for it's unique characteristics. The only reason I am even arguing this topic at this point is that a large number of people want to take the easy way out and claim it simply doesn't exist. Instead how about we accept that it does exist, bearing in mind that in most cases the sharing of cultural aspects is completely fine.
The same people that will complain endlessly about how a white person uses a redskin outfit, or dreadlocks, will say nothing when Idris Elba gets cast as Heimdall (according to the Norse pantheon, actually the palest of all Gods), when people wear viking helmets during NFL matches in Minnesota, when cowboy hats are worn around by people having fun, or any other example.
1. Vikings in real life never wore horned helmets( or at least there is no evidence to suggest they did). Viking helmets in real life were very plain, and hardly differentiated from other helmets of other cultures from the same time period. Furthermore viking helmets were practical, not ceremonial in function. They did not have an important cultural meaning, they were simply worn to protect from injury in battle.
2. I already addressed cowboy hats earlier in the thread so here.
"As for your question about cowboy hats I would say the answer is multi-faceted. Firstly a cowboy hat is a mundane piece of culture. It does not denote a level of cultural importance or honor similar to that of a headdress. Cowboy hats have always been free for anyone to buy. A Native American Headdress on the other hand needed to be earned in their culture and signified that they had earned a place of great respect within their tribe. Furthermore you have to understand that as a historically oppressed people who nearly had their culture purposefully destroyed Native Americans are on different footing than the typical dominant white culture. Native Americans still face very real and staggering issues of poverty, substance abuse, and racial bias to this day. Because their culture was nearly wiped out by the dominant culture in a forced and purposeful manner it becomes more insulting when important relics of said culture are then stolen and used in a way that takes away from their importance."