Above the Veil and Appropriation

Various iterations of this post have been bumping around my drafts folder for a bit and after my last post where I complained a little about the popular use of ‘culture’ I feel like it is time to work the draft into a proper post. I want to talk a little about truth, teachings, culture, and appropriation.

This begins for me with W. E. B. DuBois and his observation about the nature of the color line. While he was keenly aware of its reality and the necessity to confront it in its many manifestations, he was also clear that the color line was something of a lie. Or, to quote Leonard Cohen, that it was “real, but it ain’t exactly there.” One of the most important challenges that we can mount against the color line is an assault on that reality and an effort to realize the “there” that is actually there.

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Truth and the Market

Otit de ja, o ku ta; owo l’w li nra eke. (When truth is offered for sale in the market, it finds no buyer; but lies are bought with cash in hand.)

(Yoruba saying, quoted and translated by J. D. Y. Peel, Religious Encounter and the Making of  the Yoruba)

Okay, let’s turn our attention away from the witches a little (not too far, mind you) and talk a little more about the market that is the world. We’ve talked about how unsettling this association between market, wealth, and home really is, but this quote highlights another axis of concern, truth and lies.

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