Want to get in on a growth industry? Learn about the exciting field of WCI – White Crime Identification. Academic credentials help, but all you really need is a Twitter account and a well-developed sense of outrage. If you can explain why even the slightest problem in the world is caused by something white people have done, are doing or may do in future, you can have a career in WCI. And the hours are great.
Just ask Northeastern University professor Liz Bucar. Writing in Religion and Politics, Bucar says religious appropriation is just one more crime attributable to “whiteness.”
See, “we are in a very important cultural moment of awareness to systemic racial injustice,” the very important Bucar says. “We are primed to see racial borrowing as likely ethically fraught. And this is a good thing.”
So why not use that good thing to find more bad things white folks do?
Religious appropriation is accessorizing with the cool, exotic bits of non Judeo-Christian religions (usually Eastern, but Native American nature fetish stuff probably counts too, and Bucar mentions a Catholic pilgrimage.) “It is a method to get the spiritual benefits of religions without losing individual autonomy,” Bucar says. “What is spiritual but not religious if not a commitment to borrow religious practices while remaining an outsider to religious communities, a situation ripe for appropriation?”
Er, “I’m spiritual, but not religious,” may be lazy, vapid and ultimately stupid, but does it really rise – or descend – to the level of race issue? Bucar is a WCI professional, silly. If she says it’s race, who are you to argue?
As you might guess, the real villains here are white girls. (White chicks ruin everything, amIright?) Who else is Bucar talking about when she singles out yoga or the “solidarity hijab of the #HeadscarfForHarmony campaign?” She quotes Kayla Renée Wheeler, an angry sounding “scholar of Black Islam and Muslim fashion,” as calling white girls in hijabs “erasure” and virtue signaling.
As for yoga, it was “was too Eastern, too foreign, and frankly too connected to bodies of color to become mainstream for white Americans. For yoga to become mainstream it was scrubbed of its devotional meanings and presented in spaces that are comfortable for white people.”
Bucar relates the chilling story (she calls it “powerful” but we all can’t be that courageous),of Putcha, a “South Asian scholar” who, in a Texas yoga studio, was subjected to a white woman who “used a pun, ‘Namastay together,’ which offended Putcha as a desi woman.” A pun!
Who wouldn’t be offended by that pun? C'mon, Putcha hand up.
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