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MFA to re-open kimono controversy

Keiko reports the Museum of Fine Arts will hold a panel discussion next month on lessons learned from last year's "Kimono Wednesdays" controversy, in which Asian-American protesters charged letting white people try on a kimono was racist cultural appropriation - an accusation met by Japanese and Japanese-American counter-protesters, who saw the event as an introduction to Japanese culture.

She posts a statement by the MFA on the lengthy negotiations that led to the Feb. 7 event - which is free but for which you have to reserve tickets.

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There are times when I read about this story and think... "Maybe Trump has a point"...and then I remember every clock is right twice a day. On this one issue he has a point. Political correctness has gone way to far. This is Fonzi jumping the shark. This whole saga is just one embarrassing orgasm of ultra liberal minutia.

Perhaps they can team up with the South African guy in England, on a Rhodes scholarship, complaining about the racism of the very guy funding his education.

They can all piss off to some Island and leave the rest of us in peace.

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This is one subject that, to my knowledge, Donald Trump has not bloviated about. Did I miss something?

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Yes, he has expounded on the topic of ultra sensitive political correctness, but not this particular case.

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Get out of my safe space.

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Oh look, someone bellyaching about so-called political correctness, instead of simply exercising his sovereign right to turn his head and ignore it. Yawn indeed. Physician, heal thyself.

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IMAGE(https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2016/01/toles01062016.jpg&w=1484)

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the whole world is against 'women and minorities'.

Especially the secret cabal of White Men [ominous thunder and lightning]!

Espeeeciallllly when they're wearing their kimonos!

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Try "privilege blinded".

Then again, you've given us plenty of evidence of your blinded foolishness and complete divorce from reality in other posts.

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to belittle men? I ask, because you do it all the time.

Political Correctness has nothing to do with protecting so called minorities and women from being oppressed by presumably men.

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Just clueless trolls and idiots, gender independent.

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Sure, except this actually effected people - why should you ignore it if you wanted to actually experience the exhibit how the Government of Japan envisioned it ?

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you mean it made them cry 'racism' for no reason, then you should ignore it because the complaint is bullshit.

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Your reply doesn't make sense - the protester got offended and got the MFA to change the exhibit. Why should someone ignore this if they wanted to see the exhibit in the way it was meant to be seen?

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Perhaps they can team up with the South African guy in England, on a Rhodes scholarship, complaining about the racism of the very guy funding his education.

They can all piss off to some Island and leave the rest of us in peace.

Great Britain IS an island.

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So the UK works for me.

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Okey dokey.

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Non-Japanese complained an exhibit was appropriation of Japanese culture, when Japanese said it wasn't. The MFA caved without pointing out the inappropriateness of non-Japanese claiming to speak for Japanese (a form of appropriation.)

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Who made you Judge Judy and executioner?

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When the Japanese government specifically had the kimono in question made for just this purpose? When actual Japanese and Japanese Americans came out in majority favoring the exhibit ?

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When actual Japanese and Japanese Americans came out in majority favoring the exhibit ?

Care to share your polling data?

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Based on your posts here, I don't think you are on the same reading level as everyone else here when it comes to this issue.

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It's true, I do have a learning disability. It doesn't stop me from trying to understand other points of view, even ones I don't agree with fully, or at all.

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The spokesperson for any and all Asians?

And, yes, telling people that they should be upset is not only patronizing, it is a form of cultural appropriation.

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Who did I tell that they should be upset? When did I ever appoint myself anything?

I tried to explain the situation from the POV of the people that protested. I saw their point, even if the situation was complicated and popular opinion was against them. They have the right to their own feelings.

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In the link inside the link there's a discussion where one protest organizer argues, roughly, that "ethnicity is non-existent in America because race flattens ethnicity"

I sort of understand the argument; but I'm not sure I agree it's appropriate (1) within the context of "cultural appropriation", since at a very gross level "cultural appropriation" would seem to require the context of ethnicity and (2) they don't seem to take into account the context of the MFA itself.

Just as a bunch of white people (okay, maybe not just white people) in the US is not the same as a bunch of Japanese nationals in Japan (i.e. this exhibit toured Japan); so too a mob in Detroit killing Vincent Chen because they think he's Japanese, is not the same as people going to the MFA. People going to the MFA self-select and are, I suspect, more likely to understand (or at least try to understand) ethnicity/culture. To some degree, that's the point of the MFA. They had a months-long samurai series in 2013, with tons of context. Making generalizations about US culture makes me uncomfortable.

Also, not sure how this fits in; but I feel the painting La Japonaise is more a statement of French culture and/or colonialism and French obsession with the "Orient" at a certain period in their history; than it is a statement about Japan. It's a pretty awful (IMHO) kimono. And it's a Monet, for pete's sake. I'm not viewing the Water Lilies for tips on gardening. Though I suppose the argument could be made, if there were a pond as part of the display ... eh.

Maybe I've internalized more context and am projecting more onto the exhibit than was available at the MFA and maybe that's the context the protesters wanted the MFA to provide. Not sure. But, in any case, I kind of didn't understand the brouhaha.

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Apparently uchikake kimonos are supposed to like this. And apparently a lot of skilled Japanese kimono makers made it for NHK (Japanese Public TV, essentially).

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The makers of the replica uchikake were at Takarazuka, a stage management company that has a large costume department.

"It's a pretty awful (IMHO) kimono."

The uchikake that Camille wore was an actual kimono made in Japan. The belief is that it was from a kabuki performance at the Exposition universelle de 1867 in Paris. Being a stage kimono it would have differed aesthetically from garments worn by women.

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But, in any case, I kind of didn't understand the brouhaha.

Because it's extremely easy to tie yourself in knots and come to any arbitrary conclusion under the sun when you eschew morality, logic and empiricism in favor of the flavor-of-the-month newspeak from the lefty set.

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From your hatefully clueless denial in an earlier post on a different subject, one can very directly infer that you are very much an expert on eschewing morality, logic, and empiricism.

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It's also easy, too: people are either you, or they're hate-filled, ignorant, PRIVILEGED, and clueless.

I fully subscribe to this thinking. We must be best friends!

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You are the moron who denies that privilege exists.

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It does exist—and is proven by your ability to belittle others on the internet with words like "moron," with no fear of reprisal.

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Maybe I've internalized more context and am projecting more onto the exhibit than was available at the MFA and maybe that's the context the protesters wanted the MFA to provide.

This is the reason I agreed with some of the protestors' points, after viewing the exhibition for myself. Initially, that context was really missing. Even after modification, the exhibit still didn't have a great explanation of the French obsession and period that the painting was created in.

And the MFA's response to protestors' initial polite inquiries and concerns by email and phone was very underwhelming. They basically tried to sweep any concerns under the rug. Only after two different groups of protesters began showing up in person and on social media about their issues w/ the exhibit did the MFA finally do anything to actively respond to concerns.

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People are going out of their way to find things to be offended about. What a tiring life that must be.

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there's money to be made in shaking down institutions under threat of accusations of racism.

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Some white man has decreed that there isn't any actual racism anywhere.

So there must not be racism anywhere.

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and hasn't been for a good long while.

Then again, if you conveniently define racism as disagreement with whatever sacred cow ideology you've managed to concoct from the aether, then sure, everyone's a closet racist, and they're all racist against *you*.

You want racism? Go to any other country on this planet and in many you'll find people still carrying ID cards with their 'official ethnicity' stamped on it, and places where people are required to pledge allegiance to a specific bloodline of 'nobility,' and places where the schools your kids are or are not allowed to go to are determined solely by whether your family is considered ethnically French or ethnically English.

Here's a hint: you don't even have to go to some uncivilized hell-hole in the middle of Africa to find that stuff, and for two out of three, you needn't go farther than Quebec.

Then come back here, look me in the eye, and tell me with a straight and sober face that this country has its own special place in hell reserved for it.

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... then why are US police so much more willing to murder black people than white people?

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but the fact that black people as a group tend to be poor, live in high crime areas, and tend to have more per-capita confrontations with police could have something to do with it, which is an explanation that has the feature of not requiring every cop out there to have a secret desire to kill blacks especially.

Life is not a zero-sum game and not everything in this world is motivated by hate and the desire to knock someone else down.

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black people as a group tend to be poor, live in high crime areas, and tend to have more per-capita confrontations with police

has it occurred to you that these conditions exist BECAUSE institutional racism does, in fact, still exist in America?

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He's a Harvard economics prof. I couldn't find a published paper but he found in his research there you can account for apparent racial bias in police shootings with circumstances (ie: the simple numbers that blacks are more likely to end up in situations with police due to the nature of what some communities are like). It's actually as the lower end (non-fatal) of policing where there's more bias. I got that from an episode of The Glenn Show with Glenn Loury (economics prof at Brown) and John McWhorter last summer. Unfortunately I can't remember which episode - I was just trying to figure that out yesterday when I had a conversation with a friend about police shootings.
There's an article about a lecture Fryer recently gave at Bates College that will turn up in a search. Unfortunately it doesn't go into this aspect of the research much. I'm hoping he'll publish this year.

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By "institutional", he meant de jure discrimination, meaning of course that the law itself promotes or condones racism.

For example, one might argue that the harsher sentences for trafficking crack compared to powder cocaine is racism, but on the surface it is a color blind law, as there is nothing forcing or preventing any race from selling either product.

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I just started reading John McWhorter's Losing the Race and he points out that the Congressional Black Caucus supported the harsher sentencing because the crack cocaine trade was resulting in a lot of black deaths. He said the laws weren't designed to catch white users because "whites were not part of the murderous culture that was decimating blacks young and old in the inner cities." If you do a web search for "John McWhorter crack cocaine" you'll find a Baltimore Sun article that goes into his argument a bit.

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I think I am burned out on this issue -- and I bet Keiko will do an excellent job of reporting on what transpires. (Her coverage of this has topped any "legitimate" news sources).

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Thanks, Michael. I am planning to attend the MFA panel but I haven't decided if I will write about it. I feel like I've said everything I could possibly say about KW so it's hard to imagine what else I could say that would be new. But I guess it depends on whether the panel ends up being a rehash of the AARW/NAPAWF & Hyperallergic panels (given the same panelists) or if they actually discuss things that haven't already been talked about ad nauseum.

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... gone WAY beyond the call of duty on this. But I do hope you can tell us a little about what goes on.

(Spending most of MY time on an upcoming trip to Japan with my wife. It will be very different from our first trip -- because this time we have quite a few people to visit).

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