#NotJustSAE What do a Racist Frat Party and the Asian Art Museum have in common?
Culture as Costume Cutouts!
Above left is from a racist “Border Patrol” fraternity party in Texas last month; above right is from the opening for the SEDUCTION show at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, also last month.
From the Daily Texan: Guests wear ponchos, sombreros and construction gear at ‘border patrol’ fraternity party, February 9, 2015 (click for Daily Texan article).
You might expect this kind of cultural appropriation from a fraternity, but . . .
. . . at a public museum serving one of the largest Asian populations in the US?
Culture as Frat Party Costume: Ponchos and sombreros at racist “Border Patrol” part at Phi Gamma Delta fraternity at UT Austin last month, via SFgate (Photo: Julia Brouillette/The Daily Texan).
Culture as Costume as ongoing practice: Screengrab of families playing “dress up” with Asian culture (pixellated here to protect the innocent), from Asian Art Museum’s flickr album of Maharaja Family Fun Day back in 2011 (click for more).
Orientalism is structural racism. Structural racism is racial bias that operates across institutions and society to produce systemic inequality. It is maintained through a culture that normalizes and replicates everyday racism. Whether at a frat house or a public museum, racial ideology is propagated through popular ideas and myths that perpetuate racial hierarchies.