Once Aryan Skynet Goes Live It Doesn't Matter Who Pulled The Switch
Well, duh, ever heard of the caste system?
When politically correct commissars try to practice their political correction on yogis and yoginis, they are not happy about the response!
And that’s just it: yoga, over time, seems to be fostering a climate of official tolerance toward the world it inhabits that easily shades into political apathy — and moral relativism. Take almost any controversial topic, and raise it among yogis, and you will find a healthy core of opinion suggesting that the best opinion is to not have any opinion at all. For some yogis, social and political obliviousness is a deeply-held spiritual principle; for others, it’s simply an existential one: they come to yoga, they say, to “forget about the world” for an hour, or an entire day. They would rather not have to deal with the kinds of divisive political controversies that so often distract and agitate them outside the hermetically sealed bliss of their yoga studios.
So yogis aren’t the type to build shanty towns on college campuses to protest apartheid! Om God, Horrible! Sort of a sitdown strike against political correctness. Like, yeah, dude, like, racial equality is yer thing, and seeking the eternal is mine. But that’s not how the Commissars see it. The Commissars require universal enthusiastic white participation.
Oh, and doing yoga and chanting in Sanskrit is equivalent to engaging in minstrelsy and getting up in blackface! How dare you open minded white people learn yoga! Wait, weren’t liberals preaching the opposite about 50 to 100 years ago? Weren’t we supposed to learn from other cultures or something? Now that they are doing it, they are bad! White people cannot win with the politically correct commissars, ever! You’ll always always always be wrong!
There may be a deeper and more pernicious reason for yoga’s refusal to deal with race. And it strikes at the heart of the yogic enterprise: “Orientalism.” Whites in the West, whether they intend to or not, are reshaping and exploiting a deeply-rooted Eastern practice for their own commercial purposes, raising the hackles of groups like the Hindu-American Foundation, as well as conservative Hindus in India, who say they fear a loss of cultural authenticity and ownership. To date, American yogis have tended to dismiss such concerns as narrow and nationalistic. Yoga is for everyone, they say, and can’t be “owned” by anyone — even by its founders, apparently. This is a rather novel – and democratic-sounding — rationale for cultural appropriation, and for American yogis it seems to function as some kind of “get out of guilt” card when it comes to issues relating to race. How can we be racist when we are celebrating and promoting a non-White culture’s unique contribution to the world?
“Imitation,” it’s been said, “is the sincerest form of flattery.” But just like the minstrel shows that featured white comedians dressed in Black face singing old Negro spirituals and “talking Black” for White audiences, imitation in a racially unequal context is never value-free. Only in America, perhaps, does the sight of millions of Whites chanting and singing in Sanskrit and singing the praises of Shakti and Shiva seem so culturally unproblematic. Perhaps, rather than try to distance themselves from a seemingly isolated yoga event in Santa Barbara, yogis should take a good long look at themselves in the mirror – at their economic privilege and their assumptions about race and culture – and try to embrace their own hallowed yogic principle of ahimsa – “to do no harm.”
Whaaaa, White Americans doing yoga are racists! Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
But now that Stuey Lawrence has scolded the lily White yoga people for practicing minstrelsy and blackface and being indifferent to political correctness, now he’s telling them to repent and go teach yoga to black people! Go forth, ye Lotus Sitting White Angel Saviourettes and teach yoga to black people, because black people aren’t teaching it to themselves and need you to come and nurture them and bring yoga to them! Start letting them into your Jim Crow yoga classes! We integrated the lunch counter, let’s integrate the yoga studio! Wait, it’s already integrated. No one stops black people from learning yoga. I guess what Stuey is saying is that it’s not being put on enough of a silver platter for them. Open a yoga studio in the black ghetto, yeah! What a great idea!
What might that mean in practice? For one thing, instead of lampooning the experience of ethnic communities, why not take your hallowed mind-body practice directly to them? These are some of the most stressed-out communities in America and if yoga holds so much promise, surely these communities deserve better access to yoga’s presumed benefits. And what is Yoga Journal doing to nurture body and beauty standards beyond what one Black commentator has called the “bendy, skinny white girl model”? It may come as news to Journal editors living in their own narrow cultural enclave, but “big and beautiful” – and “of color” — are definitely “in” these days. And as so many industries have learned, it’s potentially a lucrative market, too. So let’s dispense with the pseudo-demographic justifications for keeping yoga modeling as racially “pure” as the Augusta Country Club.
So on the one hand, you racist white people suck. On the other hand, you should go teach your yoga to people of color, because somehow, some way, you are depriving black people of yoga. The things you like to do and are good at, your happiness is depriving black people!
What might that mean in practice? For one thing, instead of lampooning the experience of ethnic communities, why not take your hallowed mind-body practice directly to them? These are some of the most stressed-out communities in America and if yoga holds so much promise, surely these communities deserve better access to yoga’s presumed benefits. And what is Yoga Journal doing to nurture body and beauty standards beyond what one Black commentator has called the “bendy, skinny white girl model”? It may come as news to Journaleditors living in their own narrow cultural enclave, but “big and beautiful” – and “of color” — are definitely “in” these days. And as so many industries have learned, it’s potentially a lucrative market, too. So let’s dispense with the pseudo-demographic justifications for keeping yoga modeling as racially “pure” as the Augusta Country Club.
I live in a rural area, and there’s no fancy yoga studios around here. I’d have to drive an hour to find any decent yoga or martial arts schools. The top level yoga instructors could probably get more business in a white majority rural hick area than a black ghetto. And the fact is, black people tend to live in cities, so they already have way way way more access to the best yoga and martial arts and music schools than most Whites. But Stewart Lawrence thinks that it’s not being presented on a sufficiently silver platter to black people; those skinny bendy white women need to be like yoga missionaries to the ghetto! I doubt anyone is going to listen to Stuey, but what a piece of shit he is for this whole article anyway. Cultural and educational deprivation in the USA is real, but it’s mostly happening to White people. Black people live in the cities and don’t even take advantage of the tremendous opportunities of the cities. White kids are stuck in the sticks and some dream of taking kung fu from a grandmaster, or studying guitar from a master, or learning to speak Chinese or Turkish or Russian. But between high rent and affirmative action, it’s pretty hard for young whites to get established in cities. This is one thing the WN movement needs to do — mentor young White people who want to live in a city. Help them find the good stuff and avoid the bad stuff.
Lastly, Stewart says that Yoga Alliance needs to get some shoe polish on it’s face.
And lastly, it wouldn’t hurt if the Yoga Alliance, the industry’s informal trade association, adopted some affirmative action and diversity training guidelines, just like the rest of the world has.
Yoga doesn’t need to be “ghetto fabulous” – culturally sensitive, compassionately inclusive, and humble and corporately responsible would be fabulous enough.
I don’t think that 2013 has the kind of energy for political correctness that it had in 1993. White guilt has jumped the shark for the SWPL Hipster Racist yoga set.