[ExI] order of the arrow

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Sun Jul 12 23:40:38 UTC 2020



> On Behalf Of John Clark via extropy-chat
Subject: Re: [ExI] order of the arrow


On Sun, Jul 12, 2020 at 3:37 PM spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> > wrote:


>>… The Boy Scouts of America are now being criticized for cultural appropriation for our century-old Scouting honor society known as Order of the Arrow.  Apparently Native Americans somehow own flint arrows as cultural private property. 


>…You can't win. If you embrace a culture that is not your own then you're evil because you've culturally appropriated it. If you don't embrace a culture that is not your own then you're evil because you're ignoring another culture that has made important contributions to human civilization. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.


John K Clark 



John, we have been there before.  We are there now with the scouts.


Since this is about cultural appropriation, motive and attitude counts.  Consider good people who have done things that would now be considered major no-nos, such as Jerry Lewis.  He did unflattering caricatures of Japanese goofballs, but consider that the USA was fresh from a horrifying war with Japan.  I would overlook it, particularly considering that Lewis dedicated his life to raising funds for scientific research for muscular dystrophy.  He was a big player in the Muscular Dystrophy Association for fiiiiiifty fiiiive yeeeears.


Lewis was the kind of guy who could get on the phone with his Hollywood buddies, talk them into coming out and donating a song and dance, tell a few jokes, people would call in pledges and donate to the research.  In my view, if Jerry Lewis did anything wrong in his life, his philanthropy washes it cleaner than clean.


In Boy Scouts, the Native American is revered, because they knew how to live off the land and survive harsh conditions, born experts in the skills we teach the scouts (in the scout version of the American Native they knew these things (and they had the whole father to son passing of wisdom thing going bigtime.))  


We have “Indian” ceremonies, sure we do.  Of course we exaggerate the noble and ignore the savage aspects of native culture.  Ja, so is that a crime?  Of course we understand that our version of an “Indian” ceremony is really based on the intentionally-distorted and Euro-centric writings of Zane Gray and Rudyard Kipling.  We know none of these legends are historically accurate and we know none of them are based on actual Native American views or actual ancient Indian culture.  We get that.  I don’t consider it cultural appropriation to have an Order of the Arrow, or any of the other stuff we do.



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