The Philosophy of BTS: K-Pop, Pop Art, and the Art of Capitalism
Heidi Samuelson

I thought it was good up until you got to the appropriation parts. There’s a difference between appreciation and appropriation, and I think you’ve confused the two in some areas. You seem to know that there’s a difference, but you implied that all music is appropriating some culture or subculture, regardless of anything. That’s frankly ridiculous. BTS isn’t ‘appropriating’, even though they’ve made some culturally-insensitive errors in the past. They genuinely love and appreciate hip-hop and rap cultures, and use those influences in their music. They’re not using it to exploit anyone, which is what appropriation does. No, they may not have all of the cultural knowledge linked to some of it, but that does not mean it’s exploitative.

Also, specifically about using the N word — people outside of the US don’t really “get” the issue with it because it did not happen in their country or their culture. You HAVE to remember that before assuming that they mean it in the same ways that it’s used here, especially the offensive ways. Having a purely ethnocentric view is not helpful in understanding people outside of your own culture. You have to explain why it’s insensitive to Americans, explain the slave trade and civil rights movement, and then the fact that the internet makes those things front and center to all corners of the world. Now, that is, but it wasn’t something you could just easily find 20 years ago online with people’s current issues and opinions about the subject. It must be remembered that not everyone in the world knows about every aspect of the culture of another country. It was explained to RM, and he likely has taught the other guys that it’s wrong.

And despite your message at the end, that is a completely legitimate argument that people wearing dreads or braids are not appropriating anything — they have literally existed for thousands of years in nearly every culture in the world. Just because people might have issues with it in some instances in the US doesn’t mean that it’s suddenly appropriation everywhere in the world. That’s just nonsense. The US does not rule the world, and it’s culture should not supercede everyone else’s. I’m speaking as an American.

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