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In defence of Lady Susan Hussey

Fishbone Jones

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I was referring to the "where are you really from" line.
Perhaps she was just questioning about her heritage? If you bumped into trudeau, in India, and didn't have a clue who he was, Im sure even the most racially pious of you, would wonder what the fuck was going on. Who he was and where he came from. Accordingly to the agenda, the thought is as bad as the spoken word. Ever had those thoughts? None of us were there. We don't know what the inflections and nuances were. What was the complete conversation? Who else heard it. Who do we trust with the truth? Did someone involved have an agenda? Why would they dress as something they aren't? Isn't that racial and cultural appropriation?

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She wears her hair like a Norseman.
 

dimsum

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Perhaps she was just questioning about her heritage? If you bumped into trudeau, in India, and didn't have a clue who he was, Im sure even the most racially pious of you, would wonder what the fuck was going on. Who he was and where he came from. Accordingly to the agenda, the thought is as bad as the spoken word. Ever had those thoughts? None of us were there. We don't know what the inflections and nuances were. What was the complete conversation? Who else heard it. Who do we trust with the truth? Did someone involved have an agenda? Why would they dress as something they aren't? Isn't that racial and cultural appropriation?

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She wears her hair like a Norseman.
The issue with "where are you really from" is literally (as in written, in this format) that with those words, you are saying that you aren't really from Canada (or UK, in her case) and from whatever country their ethnicity should be from. I have been asked that and more than once, when I had my passport on me while travelling, I pulled it out to show I was born in Canada. Therefore, where I'm from is "Canada".

To ask about heritage, one way would be "I'm just wondering what your family's heritage is...?" If they say "British", then leave it at that. If someone who is Caucasian in Quebec gets asked the same question and they reply "Quebec", would it be appropriate to say "no, where in France is your family from?" Probably not, because they may have been in Quebec for centuries.

Same with Black, East Indian, and Chinese communities in Europe and North America. At which point is it fine to say that a Canadian of Chinese heritage is no longer "Chinese-Canadian" but Canadian? Is it when their family was in the first group that arrived in the 1850s? That's 170-ish year ago, earlier than some other mass migrations into Canada.

As for the hair, it's also possible that her cultural/ethnic heritage has worn that hairstyle for thousands of years. Norsemen don't have a monopoly on dreadlock-like hairstyles - very likely that African groups have worn it prior to the time that Norsemen were even a group.
 

Jarnhamar

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I no longer feel comfortable using a canoe or kayak for fear of being called out.
A few years back I was somewhere and we did Yoga for group PT. We actually had someone complain that it was cultural appropriation.
 

dimsum

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A few years back I was somewhere and we did Yoga for group PT. We actually had someone complain that it was cultural appropriation.
Did they ask the ethnic/cultural group whether it was actually appropriation or not? Or is it "cultural appreciation" through sport? Should Caucasians call "cultural appropriation" over Asians, etc wearing jeans and playing hockey?

Otherwise, it might be a non-event like the Caucasian HS student who wore a Qipao (traditional Chinese dress) below:


The fact that Keziah wore it to a prom party and posed peace signs with her friends may indeed seem somewhat casual and inappropriate. Thus, her Chinese American critics viewed her behavior as a profanity to this cultural attire because, in their opinion, qipao should be worn with enough reverence, and it should only be worn by someone within their ethnic group. On the other side, Keziah claimed that her intention for wearing qipao was for appreciation rather than appropriation, explaining in an interview that “the people who are responding to this in a negative way don't fully understand the whole story and the reason I wore the dress in the first place. It’s important to be aware of intention, and my intention was to show my admiration for this culture” (qtd. in Greenbaum). So, is it necessary or even reasonable for all Chinese people to get so indignant just because an American girl who appreciates the beauty of the dress, as well as the culture behind it, wore it to her prom?

Surprisingly, and even ironically, across the Pacific Ocean, the Chinese public took a completely different stance from those Chinese Americans on Twitter. Most of us were quite supportive of Keziah and many, including myself, were pleased by her action. Many of us felt proud that our culture was recognized by a foreign girl and think it is essentially wrong to equate what Keziah did to cultural appropriation. In a New York Times article from 2018, Hong Kong-based cultural commentator Zhou Yijun said, “It’s ridiculous to criticize this as cultural appropriation. From the perspective of a Chinese person, if a foreign woman wears a qipao and thinks she looks pretty, then why shouldn’t she wear it?” (qtd. in Qin).

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RangerRay

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Even though I am white, have ancestors who have been in Canada since after the American Revolution and the latest ancestors to immigrate here were my great grandparents, many people aren’t satisfied when I answer “Where are you from?” with “Canada”.

Edit to add: when I was in British Columbia, it was even worse. I was one of the few kids in school whose parents grew up in BC (my family has been in BC for over 100 years). Everyone assumed I was from elsewhere because they were from elsewhere (within Canada).
 
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FSTO

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The issue with "where are you really from" is literally (as in written, in this format) that with those words, you are saying that you aren't really from Canada (or UK, in her case) and from whatever country their ethnicity should be from. I have been asked that and more than once, when I had my passport on me while travelling, I pulled it out to show I was born in Canada. Therefore, where I'm from is "Canada".

There is a lot of assumptions in that statement. When I get asked where I’m from as a white guy, it’s where I’m from in Canada (SW Manitoba farm) and when I ask somebody in the CAF where they’re from (regardless of colour of skin) it’s because 99% are not working and living in the place they were born and raised.
Folks should not make assumptions, as in assuming the asker is questioning their legitimacy as a Canadian or that the person being questioned is assuming the questioner is a racist pig for just being curious.
 

dimsum

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There is a lot of assumptions in that statement. When I get asked where I’m from as a white guy, it’s where I’m from in Canada (SW Manitoba farm) and when I ask somebody in the CAF where they’re from (regardless of colour of skin) it’s because 99% are not working and living in the place they were born and raised.
Folks should not make assumptions, as in assuming the asker is questioning their legitimacy as a Canadian or that the person being questioned is assuming the questioner is a racist pig for just being curious.
We're agreeing. I'm just suggesting using a different choice of words.

To add, I have been told, to my face, that "I don't look like a Canadian" after showing them said passport with birthplace. That wasn't 20-30 years ago too - that was within the past 5-10.

So maybe I have a bit of a personal chip on my shoulder about this than most. Apologies if I come across that way.
 

FSTO

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So maybe I have a bit of a personal chip on my shoulder about this than most. Apologies if I come across that way.
No problem, I may have been a bit agressive as well.
Cheers!
 

mariomike

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From the perspective of a Chinese person, if a foreign woman wears a qipao and thinks she looks pretty, then why shouldn’t she wear it?

I think the the Qipao ( or Cheongsam ) is one of the most beautiful articles of feminine clothing I have ever seen.

Saw plenty of Gaijin women in Kyoto, Japan wearing rented Kimonos around Kiyomizu Temple and Yasaka Shrine. They were dressed by professionals before turning them lose in the streets.

I think ( hope ) as long as the Cipao or Cheongsam or Kimono was worn with respect and appreciation of the culture it represents, people understood foreign women wanting to experience wearing it, at least once in their lives.
 

Jarnhamar

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Did they ask the ethnic/cultural group whether it was actually appropriation or not?
1.3 billion people to check with, I'd say no. People were complaining about the PT so we tried to mix things up. Apparently there is a long standing discussion about yoga being appropriated from India.

I really like the example you gave, I think that sums up the appropriation situation perfectly. I can easily imagine someone from China, Japan, Africa, Newfound Land, appreciating someone taking an interest in their culture. It's the eternally outraged people who are more prone to offense.
 

Brad Sallows

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Well, at least she didn't work for Jews.

---

Newton Crosby:
Where are you from, anyway?
Ben Jabituya:
Bakersfield, originally.
Newton Crosby:
No, I mean your ancestors.
Ben Jabituya:
Oh, them. Pittsburgh.
 

Fishbone Jones

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As for the hair, it's also possible that her cultural/ethnic heritage has worn that hairstyle for thousands of years. Norsemen don't have a monopoly on dreadlock-like hairstyles - very likely that African groups have worn it prior to the time that Norsemen were even a group.
Thank you. I rest my case.
 

dimsum

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I think the the Qipao ( or Cheongsam ) is one of the most beautiful articles of feminine clothing I have ever seen.
The version that the HS student wore, and people associate with, isn't even that old. It's a mix of Chinese-style fabric and design, with a bit of Western-influenced tailoring.

Chinese traditional clothing is not that tight, and the style only started in the 1920s around the time of the Flapper dresses.
 

RangerRay

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Kinda funny how 200-300 years ago when Brits first started going India with the British East India Company. There was moral panic back in England when it was learned that young Englishmen in India were adopting local dress and customs, marrying Indian women and converting to Hinduism (i.e. “going native”). The same group that successfully got the British Empire to outlaw slavery (Wilberforce, et al. ) successfully lobbied the British government to “make India English”. That’s when the missionaries and hard colonialism started.

Nowadays, those young Englishmen in the British East India Company would be accused of cultural appropriation.
 

FSTO

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Similar to New France. The lads were going Native as well, and it was likely the Jesuit reports to the Cardinal that caused that practice to be curtailed as much as it could.
 

Blackadder1916

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Well, at least she didn't work for Jews.


And now for something completely different :rolleyes:

To go back to the OP and the 'defence' of the (now former) member of the Royal Household, the main premise of the author is (to sarcastically paraphrase her) that she's a set in her ways, old woman who should be excused because she was brought up that way in a different age. Horseshit.
In defence of Lady Susan Hussey . . .
Her sin, if there was one, was being old. Most pensioners are unfamiliar with the wonders of woke etiquette and its pitfalls. There are new strict rules governing what used to be called ‘making conversation’. In asking Ms Fulani where she ‘really’ came from, Susan Hussey was merely repeating what people like her and my late father used to say. . . . Yet it has been suggested that she should not have been ‘allowed out’ at all, and certainly forbidden social intercourse. Poor Susan is not alone in her plight. This whole business, in fact, draws attention to the twilight world now facing the upper crust British pensioner.


This is not some uneducated, uncultured, unsophisticated, stereotype Cockney charwoman (I'll admit some of my working class bias is showing). The Baroness Hussey is a child of nobility. While she may have not attended higher education as would have been normal for women of her generation and social circumstances, her exposure to the workings of government and social change over the 60 years that she was at the centre of British society would should have been an education in itself. Who gives a rat's ass that she is 83. That's younger than my grandmother (who raised me) was when she passed away forty or so years ago and unsurprisingly "Nan" was able to adapt to changing society. It's not as if there hadn't been changes during the 1960s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, and '10s as well as the couple of years in the '20s that should have served as examples to be followed. Even within the Royal Family, there were more than a few well publicized examples of how not to behave.

She’s 83. Raised to think a certain way as all the rest of us have been.

To call her a racist +**t was a bit much IMO.
In my experience there are racists everywhere - all races have them.

Yes, some language used in this thread has been somewhat over the top. But, regardless of her upbringing (or maybe because of her upbringing) she should have had the good manners to be a good host to a guest invited to the palace. That is, after all, the reason for her being there, to make sure that guests were well treated.
 

Good2Golf

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Let’s take the alleged transcript at face value…I think it progressed thusly using a stoplight scheme:

Lady SH: Where are you from?
Me: Sistah Space.
SH: No, where do you come from?
Me: We're based in Hackney.

SH: No, what part of Africa are you from?
Me: I don't know, they didn't leave any records.
SH: Well, you must know where you're from, I spent time in France. Where are you from?
Me: Here, the UK.
SH: No, but what nationality are you?
Me: I am born here and am British.

SH: No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?
Me: 'My people', lady, what is this?
SH: Oh I can see I am going to have a challenge getting you to say where you're from. When did you first come here?
Me: Lady! I am a British national, my parents came here in the 50s when...

SH: Oh, I knew we'd get there in the end, you're Caribbean!
Me: No lady, I am of African heritage, Caribbean descent and British nationality.
SH: Oh so you're from...

That’s some Prince Philip calibre ‘old school’ ignorance and societally-ingrained class racism getting into the red-deep red zone…
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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If I dress like I'm from Newfoundland I'd be expecting to be asked what part of Newfoundland I was from.....sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

NO ONE, no matter how outraged you are or are not, was privy to that conversation.

Therefore you are convicting, or aquitting, on hearsay.....grow up, get a life, and carry on with your wonderful day.
 
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