Capitalist antiracists have an obsession with cultural appropriation, by which they mean stealing things from other cultures. For one of many insane examples, they say white folks should not have dreadlocks (really, I can't make this up)—even though the Celts had dreads two thousand years ago. I don't know whether antiracists think it's okay to use chopsticks.
I was reminded of this when I referred to K. Tempest Bradford, aka ktempest , aka the Angry Black Woman, as the Angry Bougie Woman on Google+. I didn't expect her to see it, but I wasn't surprised when she and her friends noticed and talked about it. @nkjemisin, aka nojojojo , tweeted:
@tinytempest @rosefox Not that I want him 2 talk more, but I wish he'd at least use bougie properly, since he's appropriating.
Guilty, girlfriend. "Bougie" is totally appropriated.
From the motherfucking French.
By Karl Motherfucking Marx.
(Or, more likely, by people who studied the social classes long before Marx. Life's too short to google that now.)
Here's one of the many things that the Anti-racism Cult doesn't get: Appropriation is just another word for progress.
Here's my favorite photo of the most appropriating motherfucker I know. It's Geronimo, taken while he and his people were free.
Notice his appropriated jacket? Eurpean jackets make a lot of sense in the Southwest. Rifle? Totally fucking appropriated 'cause it's useful. Notice that he didn't appropriate pants? They're too damn warm most of the year. Footgear? Nice soft moccasins that're comfortable to walk in—why would he want white folks' boots? I'm tempted to ask Emma to make me a breechcloth like his to complete the appropriating circle, though for footgear, I prefer to appropriate sandals.
Now, by definition, bougie black folks appropriate all kinds of Asian, American Indian, and Euro shit, as well as shit from many different African cultures. That's what the upper classes do.
As for "bougie," I'm not surprised N. K. Jemisin doesn't know that my generation used it. I was startled when I learned how old "groovy" was. Slang, like sex, is always assumed to have been invented by the kids who just found out about it.
I don't mean to be harsh by calling these folks bourgeois, only precise:
K. Tempest Bradford graduated from New York University, the second most expensive private university in the US. It's not surprising that she would pick up their values. She tweeted, "I went to a fancy private school and grew up middle class, so I'm totally bougie." Yes, that's pretty much Class 101. (Also, Kimberley? The next time I need a bougie girl's name for a story, I'm so appropriating that.)
Nora Jemisin is a graduate of Tulane, an expensive private school. Some people overcome the sense of entitlement that upper class schools teach, but Jemisin is the only person I've seen seriously dis folks by saying they live in "flyover country." She then gave a half-assed apology acknowledging her "inner snob", probably because she realized that in the terms of liberal capitalists, she's all kinds of classist. The liberal capitalist concern about "classism" seems to me to be related to the theory of noblesse oblige: you toss the working class a few bones of respect in the hope they won't revolt.
Well. Appropriation. It's okay by me. Someday, the working class will appropriate everything that bougie folks currently think they have a right to.