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Cultural Appropriation at Commencement?

Lots of discussion about cultural appropriation at Williams over the last few years.

cultural

Is this another example? Why or why not? The Taco Six would very much appreciate an answer . . .

Thanks to former faculty member Wendy Raymond for the photo.

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#1 Comment By dcat On June 6, 2016 @ 5:42 pm

The sun will rise, the sun will set, and Dave will have no sense of the absurdity of his false equivalences.

Do you think none of those people marching at Williams have a sense of Scotch-Irish identity? And is that somehow the same as mocking a heritage about which one only knows cliches?

#2 Comment By Dick Swart On June 6, 2016 @ 6:10 pm

A nice point, dcat.

Caricature* has helped frame our racial perceptions of Blacks, Irish, Italians, Germans, Scandinavians, Hispanics, Japanese, Chinese, throughout our history. (many references).

* striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.

Cliches are the short-hand of communication. The intent is usually not for a serious statement of purpose, beyond ridicule or false quick identification for humorous or denigrating purposes.

While it is hard to tell how immersed into the spirit of Scotland, the resettlement, and Appalachia the marching pipers may be, it is obvious the intent is not for humor but to honor a moment.

The Taco Six may have been a tad unthinking in their use of obvious stereotypes. Amateur and professional Mariaches wearing the same outfits play at fests for the enjoyment of the audiences.

#3 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On June 6, 2016 @ 10:25 pm

Do you think none of those people marching at Williams have a sense of Scotch-Irish identity?

There is nothing “Irish” about this group. You seem as poorly educated about Highlanders as the Taco Six (may have been!) about Mexico.

By the way, are the Taco Six OK with you as long as at least one of them is of Mexican heritage and/or knows as much about Mexico as the band here knows about Scotland?

And is that somehow the same as mocking a heritage about which one only knows cliches?

You are now a mind reader? Excellent! Without knowing any of the young women in the Taco Six, you know, for a fact, that they were “mocking” Mexico/Mexicans and that they don’t know anything beyond “cliches?” Impressive!

#4 Comment By sigh On June 7, 2016 @ 8:49 am

anyone have thoughts about the commencement speakers? Apparently, the blog that is 100% about Williams does not.

Kaneblog strikes again.

#5 Comment By John C. Drew, Ph.D. On June 8, 2016 @ 3:17 am

This group, the Berkshire Highlanders bagpipe band, is using Scottish bagpipes and their tartan is registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans. You can tell the bagpipes are Scottish because they have three drones, not two. I think it is implausible that all of these members are of Scottish decent. It looks like cultural appropriation to me.