Originally Posted by Glice
At the risk of either fanning the flames or putting words into knox 'cunt' knox's mouth, the problem is largely not where you identify culturally. There's plenty of people who identify with cultures outside of their ethnicity, and the subject is vastly more complex than being reduced to skin-colour, relating, as it does, to a multitude of socio-economic factors. No, the problem is that you constantly - and I'd say largely unwittingly - identify white culture in entirely negative terms. Personally, I identify quite heavily with people like Oum Kalsoum or Munir Bashir, and I've been working quite hard on learning maqams and so on. I'm well aware that my relationship to Arabic culture is largely due to its esoteric nature - it's largely absent to me, except as rendered through British Arabs and ex-pat Arabs in Britain. But while this privileging of one culture is fair game, doing so at the expense of cultures closer to me isn't. Your situation is necessarily different - you say you live in a heavily black area, so the saturation of 'black' culture (obviously, culture shouldn't really be identified by colour) is expected. But the negation, or the stereotyping of 'white' culture in negative terms, is what gets people's backs up - regardless of their ethnicity. There's a (likely just) moratorium on identifying 'black' culture negatively, but the upshot of this should never be that 'white' culture be rendered as something to be avoided.
perhaps my rhetoric is bit harsher then my experience.
I do not have an affinity with the "white" culture that I am supposed to be. I do not like it, I do not enjoy it, I do not naturally gravitate towards it. I-man is a Rastafari since creation, and I fall towards it like a stone falls to the earth, having nothing do with race. OF COURSE, rastafari is a black nationalist movement so I have been caught up in 'whiteness' being its antithesis.
In regards to Ethiopianism, I have fallen head over heals in love with Ethiopian culture as an expression of my deep Christianity. In fact, did you know that from my conversion to Ethiopian Christianity, I actually found an affinity with my European Christian roots that as an American I had no knowledge of? I LOVE cathedrals, I love the historiography of European Christianity, I love to get in touch with Orthodoxy and roots Catholocism, as they relate to the current way I express my faith through the vehicle of Ethiopian christianity, its foods, its calender, its rituals, its songs, its clothing, its mannerisms, etc etc.
I guess all y'all have been acting defensively, assuming that when I mash on white culture, I am mashing on y'all, which is not the case I assure y'all.
another fundamental difference, is that where you might like elements of Arab culture, I LIVE Rastafari and Ethiopian culture, it is more than mere fascination. I LIVE this culture. I AM a Rastafari. I am Tewahedo Orthodox. This is culture. These are MY culture. I am also of European ancestry and have white skin, this is my geno/phenotype, irrelevant to culture. Perhaps what is hard for y'all out in SYG to understand is how I could possibly and truly BE a part of a culture which generally treats folks like us as outsiders, and that is as much a mystery to me as you. I was openly accepted, and I am a functioning member of these communities, not as an outsider who infiltrated, but actually the opposite. Technically, I am infiltrating white-american culture