A white woman was placed on a curation team at the AA Smithsonian museum

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DiscoShark

Member
Oct 26, 2017
248
White people cannot be experts on black cultural EXPERIENCES. Fuck history, you can open a book and read history. She cannot speak to cultural experiences with authority over a black person with similar credentials.
We don't bat an eye if the local curator for the Holocaust museum isn't a native Jew, or if a person looking to study Christian theology is an atheist. Being black doesn't give you an inherent native born Ta-Nehisi-esque handle on the various cultural and social trends that have lead to this very moment. We wouldn't even be having this discussion if the person in question was literally born in Nigeria and had 0 connection to the traditional black cultural EXPERIENCE as it exists in America because they'd have fulfilled our notions of what a person leading this type of exhibit "should" look like instead.

Being black doesn't mean that they fit all the criteria that you seem to think disqualify this person from leading this exhibit, it doesn't mean you've faced adversity, have lived the struggle, or can emotionally engage with this subject as a result of personal experiences* and these things don't make you any more qualified (this is a buzzword in this thread, I'm sorry) to be running this exhibit in this instance.

Yet we wouldn't even be questioning these things if the person in question had grown up with a silver spoon in their mouth, in the heart of suburbia, listening to rock music all their days so long as they were a few shades darker.
 

Benita

Banned
Aug 27, 2018
862
I didn't miss it, it's just a bad point. Minorities aren't telling people "call yourself an ally", they are saying "be an ally", do something. You don't take it on and off like a hat, you either are or aren't and if you are you don't have to announce it.
Nah, you definitely missed my point.
 

BabyMurloc

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,196
How much in common do public libraries have with the smithsonian tho? I’m not getting why libraries keep being brought uo
The lines of work are pretty similar, along with archives they all work in preserving and propagating culture and knowledge. This particular person's involvement in hip hop history started with a job I'm quite familiar with: just going through shit and putting it in an ordered catalogue with descriptions. Cataloguing, in modern terms metadata, is at the heart of everything.
 

Lord of Ostia

Member
Oct 27, 2017
13,972
How much in common do public libraries have with the smithsonian tho? I’m not getting why libraries keep being brought up
The library and museum professions are very intertwined. Libraries often house archives and exhibits like this, and librarians often work in museums and museum curation, and vice-versa.

Libraries are far more broad then just public libraries as well. Academic libraries, special libraries, etc.
 

Jersey_Tom

Member
Dec 2, 2017
2,831
The smithsonian is a white institution.
You're trying to have it both ways here.

First you're bringing up the name of the museum as part of your larger argument that apparently no white staff should be allowed to work there.

Then you're saying that the entire thing is a white institution. An institution that from this page previously posted by Avitus is run by a predominantly black board who came to the decision that of the apparent candidates for the position Burnside was the best fit for the exhibit. So which is it? Either it's a white institution and the entire thing is a farce to begin with or it's a legitimate place devoted to history and culture of African Americans.

I'm just not exactly sure what you're expecting here. This is apparently Burnside's life's work. As far as we know she wasn't propped up at the expense of equally qualified candidates and there wasn't a racial motivation for her appointment, which in and of itself would have been against the law. More qualified people than any of us signed off on her being there. Your main issue seems to be she can't speak towards the black experience herself, which I don't think is disqualifying because her job isn't to talk about her own experiences, it's to exhibit the experience of others. To relate to the best of her ability the stories of the pioneers of hip-hop, which in many ways is related through those individuals' own words within the museum, either written or recorded.

Your logic of what precludes people from being able to work in this museum falls desperately short of being something that could equally be applied to other museums devoted to specific events or people.
 

Sho_Nuff82

Member
Nov 14, 2017
6,464
people on twitter calling Chuck D an uncle tom for backing her which is... whew
I mean, this is the reality of the situation. People who don't know shit about hip hop flipping out that a white woman might know more than them. I bet if you actually had a conversation with her you'd learn a fuck ton you didn't know before.
 

Deepwater

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,867
You're trying to have it both ways here.

First you're bringing up the name of the museum as part of your larger argument that apparently no white staff should be allowed to work there.

Then you're saying that the entire thing is a white institution. An institution that from this page previously posted by Avitus is run by a predominantly black board who came to the decision that of the apparent candidates for the position Burnside was the best fit for the exhibit. So which is it? Either it's a white institution and the entire thing is a farce to begin with or it's a legitimate place devoted to history and culture of African Americans.

I'm just not exactly sure what you're expecting here. This is apparently Burnside's life's work. As far as we know she wasn't propped up at the expense of equally qualified candidates and there wasn't a racial motivation for her appointment, which in and of itself would have been against the law. More qualified people than any of us signed off on her being there. Your main issue seems to be she can't speak towards the black experience herself, which I don't think is disqualifying because her job isn't to talk about her own experiences, it's to exhibit the experience of others. To relate to the best of her ability the stories of the pioneers of hip-hop, which in many ways is related through those individuals' own words within the museum, either written or recorded.

Your logic of what precludes people from being able to work in this museum falls desperately short of being something that could equally be applied to other museums devoted to specific events or people.
Your entire argument is bunk because I never said white people couldnt work there. Nor is that my actual position. You wasted all those words for nothing
 

RedMercury

Member
Dec 24, 2017
8,260
Nah, you definitely missed my point.
Well why so often do white people get scolded by minorities with "if you wanna be an ally...."?
I didn't miss it, it's just a bad point. Minorities aren't telling people "call yourself an ally", they are saying "be an ally", do something. You don't take it on and off like a hat, you either are or aren't and if you are you don't have to announce it.
Alright, tell me what I missed.
 

Yasuke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,014
Almost made a thread on this yesterday.

It’s stupid, and there’s no excuse for it. That they hired her and weren’t at all prepared to handle scrutiny for it in 2018 is utterly ridiculous as well.

I don’t care how qualified she is, it is mind-blowing that we can’t hire people to curate an exhibit about their own culture.

Ok I laughed

But really, do you actually have to be black to understand hip-hop? Seems like that would have some pretty broad implications.
She can’t even tell folks what NWA stands for. I don’t wanna hear it.

All jokes aside, this isn’t about “understanding hip-hop”. It’s about a job that’s tailor made for an African-American being given to someone else, and the optics of that.
 
Oct 31, 2017
4,296

Loudninja

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,246
So we at the point that some black people approve of this so its must be ok!I am so tired of this argument

Its the same argument every single time against minorities it never fails.

Its like we are never qualify for our own culture.
 
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Deepthought_

Banned
May 15, 2018
1,992
So we at the point that blacks approve of this so its ok!

Its the same argument every single time against minorities it never fails.
I don’t approve of this pls don’t lump us all together

Knowing this history about emmit till and other horrible things white women have done to the black community I am totally not ok with this
 

Jersey_Tom

Member
Dec 2, 2017
2,831
Your entire argument is bunk because I never said white people couldnt work there. Nor is that my actual position. You wasted all those words for nothing
Then what is your position? She's not allowed to have any sort of leadership position? She's not allowed to curate an exhibit that has apparently been her life's work solely because she's not black?

If that's the case, then my point still stands. Your logic is fakakta based on what museums are.
 

Deepwater

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,867
We don't bat an eye if the local curator for the Holocaust museum isn't a native Jew, or if a person looking to study Christian theology is an atheist. Being black doesn't give you an inherent native born Ta-Nehisi-esque handle on the various cultural and social trends that have lead to this very moment. We wouldn't even be having this discussion if the person in question was literally born in Nigeria and had 0 connection to the traditional black cultural EXPERIENCE as it exists in America because they'd have fulfilled our notions of what a person leading this type of exhibit "should" look like instead.

Being black doesn't mean that they fit all the criteria that you seem to think disqualify this person from leading this exhibit, it doesn't mean you've faced adversity, have lived the struggle, or can emotionally engage with this subject as a result of personal experiences* and these things don't make you any more qualified (this is a buzzword in this thread, I'm sorry) to be running this exhibit in this instance.

Yet we wouldn't even be questioning these things if the person in question had grown up with a silver spoon in their mouth, in the heart of suburbia, listening to rock music all their days so long as they were a few shades darker.
You make a lot of assumptions

Then what is your position? She's not allowed to have any sort of leadership position? She's not allowed to curate an exhibit that has apparently been her life's work solely because she's not black?

If that's the case, then my point still stands. Your logic is fakakta based on what museums are.
This isn’t about being “allowed” or anything. I’m not calling for her firing. I never even said she was unqualified. My point was always that the original tweet was getting at. How did the decision happen and why was this person chosen / sought over a similarly qualified black person.

I don’t think she should be in charge of curating for this exhibit and yes I think it’s because she’s white but also because it’s the NMHAAC
 

Commedieu

Member
Nov 11, 2017
6,293
I mean, this is the reality of the situation. People who don't know shit about hip hop flipping out that a white woman might know more than them. I bet if you actually had a conversation with her you'd learn a fuck ton you didn't know before.
The people that hired her, had to know this was going to go down this way. Which seems that we are getting baited into some museum drama, which would be the first instance of such drama in quite some time. Hip Hop and cultural appropriation is a sensitive and current event.. people just read headlines.

shes qualified, for sure. Its just a sad state of affairs if no black people were qualified to work at the black museum under this subject. If thats the case, I'm not sure which play the museum goes for. Announce that?
 
Oct 28, 2017
237
I know y’all think “well take up with this negro I approve of” is the right approach but I assure you it’s not. Just makes you look even more stupid
It's not about approval. He's the person that made the decision.

Do you have something wrong with him? Is he unqualified for his position? Is that your supposition?

You can call me stupid, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't offer some sort of logical argument. He's an individual with decades of experience in academia, countless authored papers and books on black american history, culture, and social experiences...and is the director of this museum.

Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, you're questioning his judgement. His knowledge, perspective, and ideas. Wouldn't it be advantageous to see what his nuanced opinion on this topic is rather than to call a random human stupid for suggesting you email the person who can give you the answers?
 

woman

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,544
Atlanta
So which is it? Either it's a white institution and the entire thing is a farce to begin with or it's a legitimate place devoted to history and culture of African Americans.
You think you're making a point but you're not. Yes, the Smithsonian is a white institution. That doesn't mean they shouldn't do right by black people in their efforts in staffing a museum they created to preserve african american history and art.
 

Deepthought_

Banned
May 15, 2018
1,992
Imagine working to push hip hop culture at the smithsonian to be compared to Carolyn Bryant by someone on the Internet.
Goddamit ERA.
The point is she is a white women who is in a position of privilege compared to black people .

She should not be head of the Smithsonian of hip hop something black people created through adversity
 

Deepthought_

Banned
May 15, 2018
1,992
User Warned: Disingenuous post. There is no reason to compare Timothy Burnside to known racists.
Damn, you really comparing this chick to Carolyn Bryant fr tho?
I could compare her to other racist white women who have done horrible things to the black community

A white women or white man should not be the head of the Smithsonian

I think of a certain ice cube song that I would play post right now but I’m not sure how it would go over starts with cave then something something
 

Jersey_Tom

Member
Dec 2, 2017
2,831
You think you're making a point but you're not. Yes, the Smithsonian is a white institution. That doesn't mean they shouldn't do right by black people in their efforts in staffing a museum they created to preserve african american history and art.
This specific branch of the Smithsonian however is run by a predominantly black board. A board which had the most control over who would have curated the exhibit.

So the point being, if the entire thing because it's a subsidiary of the Smithsonian is going to be hand-waived as a white institution, then I'm not sure what people here who are against Burnside's position are mad about. The NMAAHC should thereby be considered a farce at which point, who gives a shit who runs what?
 
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