M.I.A. shitting on ignorant opinions
This isn’t a Nazi Swastika what so ever, as a JEW I can recognize this unlike some people.
Gonna quote straight from wikipedia here.
It is a symbol among the ancient Celts, Indians, and Greeks,as well as in later Buddhism,Jainism,Hinduism,and Nazism,among other cultures and religions.
The word swastika derives from the Sanskrit root ssu(“Good”),asti(“to be”),andka(making)The older term gammadion cross derives from its appearance, which is identical to four Greek gamma letters affixed to each other.
What I find interesting is that this is actually a very very good representation of what can happen when white people culturally appropriate something.
The Swastika, long before the Nazis came about and started brandishing their own bastardization of it, had a strong religious and cultural significance to a LOT of people.
It didn’t represent anything evil, it didn’t represent a dictatorship that perpetuated one of the most well known genocides taught today.
It only started having this horrible association in the 1920’s when the Nazi party appropriated it as for their logo.
White people, white supremacists, taking something with an already well established past and meaning; and placing their own over it.
Because of these people, swastikas that do not have anything to do with the Nazi party are demonized in most people’s eyes because they don’t know any better, because white people wiped out it’s original meaning in white culture.
People seriously need to learn some history.
THIS is the sort of damage that cultural appropriation can do in the long run.
Took less than 100 years to erase the original cultural significance and replace it with the appropriated version.
I know the history as a luck symbol. I know it held a lot of religious significance for hundreds of years.
I also know that this symbol sends people I know into panic attacks. This symbol has people I know rubbing at their arms, tracing numbers that were etched into them ages ago. This symbol fills me with a powerless rage because this symbol was hurled in my face when I was beaten.
It has religious significance, but to assert that ‘People seriously need to learn some history’? Kindly go fuck yourself. The assertion that people who were terrorized by people wearing swastikas shouldn’t view swastikas as anything less than a symbol of pure and utter evil strikes me as dangerously naive. It erases and invalidates people’s experiences with the symbol.
M.I.A. has every right to wear that symbol, but neither she nor it exists in a vacuum. We live in far too complicated a world to insist that her interpretation is the only valid one.
I have also had this symbol thrown in my face when threatened and intimidated by anti-Semitic violence. So I think the woman who wrote the original post is either selfish, naive, or stupid (or, most likely, all three) to say that westerners (including Jews who have been VICTIMIZED BY IT IN REAL LIFE) need to “educate themselves”.
I’m sorry that a cultural symbol with a positive meaning was twisted into something evil by the Nazis. But that symbol now represents a movement that WIPED OUT HALF MY RACE LESS THAN 100 YEARS AGO!!! And it’s still used to symbolize and justify bigotry and violence against us TODAY. Compared to that, not being able to wear glittery swastika makeup in the United States and other western countries is the epitome of “first world problems”.
The woman in that original post needs to learn some fucking compassion if she honestly thinks that her desire to wear glittery swastika makeup without being called out on it should override the visceral reaction westerners (ESPECIALLY JEWS) have to something that symbolizes GENOCIDE in OUR culture.
Just out of curiosity, how would you feel if you were told you couldn’t wear and use the Star of David because some group of people went and committed atrocities under that symbol. How would you feel if you were being told you could not display a part of your cultural identity because of the action of people who were not part of the thousands of years of history stealing the Star of David from you?
Because when you yell and scream at a Hindi, Jaina or Buddhist for wearing a swastika or manji that is exactly what you’re doing. It’s not about “sparkly jewelry” it is someone displaying their OWN cultural heritage. It is someone taking back their culture and their heritage. So if you’re going to scream at them about “compassion” maybe you should learn some yourself. No one deserves to have their heritage stolen from them, or kept from them. It’s time to allow people to reclaim their history and reclaim the swastika.
Just curious, would you have this much sympathy for a Southern White kid who wanted to “reclaim” the confederate flag? Or are White and Jewish people exempt from the right to “reclaim” symbols that are meaningful to them regardless of how offensive or hurtful it is to other groups?
Also, she wasn’t just expressing a desire to reclaim a benign cultural symbol. She also completely dismissed the feelings and experiences of people who are offended at the sight of a swastika (regardless of their personal history with little things like GENOCIDE AND RACIST VIOLENCE)
Because when you yell and scream at a Hindi, Jaina or Buddhist for wearing a swastika or manji that is exactly what you’re doing
Here’s the problem with that statement. Here in the United States (where I live), if someone is brandishing a swastika, 99.9% of the time they are doing so to express their seething hatred for Jewish people (and other “lesser” races, but mostly Jews). I have actually been THREATENED WITH PHYSICAL HARM AND PELTED WITH RACIAL SLURS by people proudly displaying this symbol (and not all of them were White skinheads). So, yeah, I have EVERY RIGHT to be wary of someone who lives in a western country and still thinks its a good idea to leave the house with one proudly drawn on their goddam forehead. Letting my guard down around someone decked out in the symbol that marked the annihilation of half my race could get me killed.
If I were traveling in an Asian country, I wouldn’t have such a visceral reaction because I know the symbol has a different meaning THERE. But in western countries, it is still widely used as a symbol of hate and genocide. And most Hindis, Bhuddists, etc who live in western countries are smart/decent enough to realize and respect this part of our history (even if it is a bit unfair to them).
So if you’re going to scream at them about “compassion” maybe you should learn some yourself.
Forgive me if I don’t shed tears for some smug kid who (presumably) grew up in a western country and yet has ZERO empathy for folks who are wary of the swastika because it is STILL USED as a symbol of the movement to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth.
If you love the swastika so much and want to see it “reclaimed” as a symbol of peace in the western world; perhaps you should focus your vitriol on the racist neo-nazis who are still using it instead of their victims. Just a thought.