Zoning

How Zoning Laws & Charges of 'Cultural Appropriation' Shut Down a Widow's Yoga Business

Manatee County, Florida, won't let Renee Bierbaum teach yoga and meditation in her own backyard.

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Renee Bierbaum

Three years ago, tragedy struck Renee Bierbaum of Palmetto, Florida. Her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident, leaving her a widow with an 11-year-old son. Consumed by grief, she eventually found solace by practicing yoga—and decided to quit her job and become a full-time instructor.

"When he died, I realized the brevity of my life," she says in an interview with Reason.com. "I hated what I was doing."

Now Bierbaum is a certified yoga instructor and the proud owner of an expansive yoga pavilion in her backyard. Her business is on hold, however, because the county government won't let her teach yoga—on her own property—unless she coughs up $7,000 for a permit.

And that's just the beginning of her troubles. Even if she's able to pay, there's no guarantee the county government will actually let her proceed. According to zoning laws, the public has the right to weigh in on the matter of whether officials should grant Bierbaum her permit.

And as it turns out, a certain member of the public—a Native American activist who militantly believes Bierbaum is appropriating his culture—is determined to stop her from realizing her vision.

Sal Serbin is a member of the Sioux nation and an activist with the American Indian Movement in Florida. He doesn't object to the yoga portion of Bierbaum's class—yoga has South-Asian Indian origins, not Native American origins. But Bierbaum intended to incorporate a sweat lodge into her routine, and that aspect of her class represents a pilfering of Serbin's sacred religious beliefs, he tells Reason.

"It is my right as an Indian to preserve and protect our culture," he says.

Serbin, who alerted county officials to the illegality of Bierbaum's practice in the first place, says he will use every means at his disposal to prevent her from appropriating his culture.

"The law helped me in this case and I took advantage of that," he says.

Some yoga practitioners strip it from any cultural context and treat it mostly as a workout. Indeed, when liberal students at the University of Ottawa tried to have a yoga class shut down on grounds that it appropriates Indian culture and marginalizes non-white students, the instructor offered to change the name of the class to "mindful stretching," since it had very little to do with authentic yoga. (Administrators shut it down, anyway.)

But Bierbaum—who also teaches martial arts—fully embraces yoga's cultural, spiritual, and meditative properties. She even teaches the proper Indian terminology in her classes.

"When I present the postures, I use their Sanskrit names," she explains. "I want to honor that tradition. I don't want it to become like Gem Yoga."

Authenticity isn't just a passion of Bierbaum's—it's her business and main source of income. She started by holding classes for friends at various neighbor's houses. Eventually, there was too much interest and not enough room, and she decided to transform her backyard into the ideal yoga space. She called it the  Raven's Nest yoga studio. "I took every last penny I had and built a big pavilion in my backyard," she says.

To celebrate the end of 2015, Bierbaum decided to do something special: host a women's retreat featuring a Native American sweat lodge ceremony overseen by an experienced friend. A flyer for the event promised, "As the day draws to a close and twilight covers the land, each will have some time to herself with her mala for prayers and meditations before we begin our Native American Sweat Lodge Ceremony. Our sweat will be presided over by Donella Favorite. Donella has spent 11 years in apprentice with Grey Ghosthawk, Medicine Man, Lodge Leader, teacher and healer who studied under Eaglebear, student of Sun Bear. Donella has been given her rights to pour and lead the women's lodge and I am truly honored to have her perform this sacred, healing ceremony for all of you."

Bierbaum isn't the first person to pair yoga with sweat-lodge meditation and she isn't the first to explicitly reference Native American ritual. But the sweat lodge raised the ire of Serbin, who has a long history of going after people for trying to make money off Native American customs. In 2012, he generated headlines for heckling Native American performer Ed Winddancer at his events, accusing him of being a culture thief.

"When you publicly promote and charge for these things, I always go after them," says Serbin.

Serbin said he first tried to persuade Bierbaum to abort her plans—or at least drop the Native American imagery. When negotiations failed, he called the county authorities.

"He said you're not full blood, you are not an Indian, you have no right to our sacred tradition," says Bierbaum. "He got really angry with me. He went to the county and started causing problems for me."

Soon after, local authorities descended upon Raven's Nest and shut Bierbaum down. Serbin claims that this was in the best interests of everyone's safety.

"People that are not Native American have been injured and have actually died in those [sweat lodges]," he says.

As it turns out, zoning laws prohibit Bierbaum from teaching more than four yoga students at a time. She can host more people, but she isn't allowed to charge them.

"We allow you to have a home office," says a spokesperson for Manatee County's Building and Developments Servicies Division in an interview with Reason. "But when you are getting more than four people coming to your house, you are actually interfering with other people's enjoyment of being in a residential zone."

The only solution is for Bierbaum to obtain a permit. But the application costs a non-refundable $7,000 and there's no guarantee she will receive the actual permit. Officials could decide her business is unsafe for her customers, possesses inadequate facilities, or just plain isn't up to code. And even if the application meets the county's approval, things could still fall apart during the mandatory public-hearing phase, at which point community members can raise objections and possibly convince the hearing officer to kill the permit.

"The public has the right to come in and speak and give their voice," says the Manatee County spokesperson.

The process will take a minimum of fourth months, and possibly much longer.           

On Sunday, Serbin met with Donella Favorite, the person who had been scheduled to preside over Bierbaum's sweat lodge. He said she agreed not to bill the event as a Native American sweat lodge in the future and was satisfied that the dispute between them was resolved. Bierbaum, on the other hand, would not meet with him.

He maintains that he was in the moral right, and that Bierbaum forced his hand by refusing to heed his warnings about her act of cultural appropriation.

"She is running an illegal business," he says. "She didn't have the right to do that. She was breaking the law."

Meanwhile, friends of Bierbaum have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the application fee to legitimize Raven's Nest. They have already raised more than $4,000 toward the fee of $7,000.

Bierbaum said she was at first deeply skeptical about asking people for money but was moved by the outpouring of support.

"I have friends from all over the world," she says, choking back tears. "It's very humbling."

NEXT: Obama's War at Home

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  1. Sal Serbin can go fuck himself. There’s no monopoly on sweating. The Finns, the Swedes, and plenty of other europeans have been doing it for at least as long as any American indians.

    -jcr

    1. Clearly the Vikings who visited North America before Columbus did brought that back from the Native Americans. It’s cultural appropriation all the way down.

      1. House wives don’t pay for Viking sweat lodges.

        1. Fact: Yoga was invented by males for males. Any American woman who has done “Yoga” is a racist worse than Hitler. These sinners must be forced to do the Cerci walk of shame. If not, how can we claim to be a moral society?

          1. Fact: Yoga was invented by pre-Vedic shamans. It was appropriated by Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains.

            Pretty much everybody who has ever practiced yoga should be forced on that walk of shame.

            1. no, just women

      2. You sure the Indians didn’t get it from the Norse?

  2. She even teaches the proper Indian terminology in her classes.

    Isn’t being more “respectful” even worse as a non-member of that culture? Granted, I may not fully understand the delusions underlying this sort of thinking.

    1. But you’re right! The fucking audacity of this woman to appropriate the words too….

  3. Forcing her to cough up seven grand for a maybe is just fucking evil. I hope the IJ takes up this case.

    -jcr

  4. Her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident, leaving her a widower

    You are so going to get it, when Nicole sees this.

    1. SMDH.

    2. Blaaaaaargh, thanks.

  5. “It is my right as an Indian to preserve and protect our culture,” he says.

    “The law helped me in this case and I took advantage of that,” he says.

    “When you publicly promote and charge for these things, I always go after them,” says Serbin.

    This fuckbag is a stereotypical slaver. That this sort of totalitarian horseshit is even entertained in the United States is a travesty beyond description.

    Fuck you and the sweaty horse you rode in on, you degenerate.

    1. If he rode a horse or a car or anything other than walking then that would be cultural appropriation since those were invented and/or brought here by Europeans. Life is a two way street and its best to share.

    2. Nothing wrong with Sal Serbin that a well placed 9MM slug would not correct.

  6. “It is my right as an Indian to preserve and protect our culture,” he says.

    Serbin, who alerted county officials to the illegality of Bierbaum’s practice in the first place, says he will use every means at his disposal to prevent her from appropriating his culture.

    “The law helped me in this case and I took advantage of that,” he says.

    He said in English, on the telephone, while wearing blue jeans after having just utilized his indoor plumbing to take a crap after having eaten a greasy chilli dog.

    1. How come cultural appropriation only seems to work one way? Maybe because the natives on this continent literally lived in a stone age culture?

      If he truly believes it’s wrong to borrow from other cultures, then he should revert back to his pre-columbian semi-nomadic stone age state. If he’s lucky he might even survive a week.

      1. No no no. It is okay to appropriate the culture of the OPPRESSING culture, but not to appropriate the culture of the OPPRESSED people. So the dominant culture can be stolen from willy-nilly, while other cultures must be protected.

        At least, that is what I can glean so far.

      2. “If he truly believes it’s wrong to borrow from other cultures…”

        He would be gamboling?

    2. There is a differance between forced assimilation and misappropriation. There is a differance between a sacred ceremony and adopting elements of the dominant culture that do not hold any spiritual significance.

      1. Holy shit are you being serious?

      2. No. there isn’t. MetalBard has it right.

        1. So they’re the same?

          1. As you’re using them, the terms have no meaning, so yes.

          2. He is forced to wear blue jeans? Forced by the dominant culture to shit inside on a toilet? And who is this cultural outsider that he can judge how holy or sacred I hold my indoor plumbing to be?

            And what principle tells you that it’s okay to borrow non-spiritual aspects but verboten to borrow what is considered spiritual aspects? I’m genuinely asking you, please enlighten me.

          3. Yes.

            Cultural appropriation is cultural appropriation – no matter how thin you try to slice the balogna.

            You talk about adopting elements of ‘the dominant culture’ that do not hold any ‘spiritual significance – as if that makes a difference. Saris don’t hold any spiritual significance, yet you’d freak if a white woman living in India wore one wouldn’t you?

            A sweat lodge is *sometimes*, to *some* native Americans, a religious ceremony. At *other time* and to *other* native Americans it has the same relevance as it does to the white people who’ve been doing this shit for over two thousand years – its a good way to handle a hangover.

            1. It’s just a rationalization to defend this misguided coddling in the face of the obvious fact that transmission and mutation are inherent parts of culture, in fact they are what make culture valuable and viable.

              Did every Native American tribe that uses sweat lodges invent them independently? No way.

            2. Hmm. I thought that’s what the idea of the American ‘melting pot’ is supposed to be. Immigrants become American and adopt American culture while bringing their own traditions, some of which are subsumed and become part of the American culture.

              America IS cultural appropriation. That’s part of its strength, that it is based on ideas rather than ethnicity.

              PS: Since when is ‘Sal’ an aboriginal name?

          4. Yes, the are exactly the same.

          5. I’m embarrassed that you ever called yourself a libertarian. Why don’t you hop-hop-hop over to some progressive website where you belong.

      3. “…that do not hold any spiritual significance.”

        You are welcome to your fantasies. Please don’t promote them as anything other than the superstitions they are.

      4. How is having a Sweat Lodge and charging others for its use “misappropriation”? She runs a business. Others freely use her service. She charges, they pay. Win-win.

        Frankly, I don’t see it how you Indian guys lose out on this transaction.

        1. Besides, there are no Native Americans. You guys are just Jews and part of the lost tribes of Israel. Joseph Smith said so.

          1. If Joseph Smith were alive today, he’d be in the guilt-peddling racket and claiming he was an Indian, too.

            -jcr

        2. “Frankly, I don’t see it how you Indian guys lose out on this transaction.”

          I am making spaghetti for supper tonight. This means some poor Italian family must go without.

          Now do you get it?

          1. Errh – no, because Marco Polo appropriated noodles from General Tsao.

            Capeesh?

      5. no, there is absolutely no meaningful difference.

        if you would like to preserve your cultural traditions, great, have at it.

        but you do not get to tell other peaceful people what to do.

        i may belong to the sacred church of the pecan pie, but that does not mean i get to prevent anyone else from making a freaking pie.

        this country EXPLICITLY guarantees the freedom to practice religion.

        ” shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

        there is no caveat about “unless some guy who claims his ancestors invented it claims you are doing it wrong”. there are no monopoly rights.

        lots of christian churches exist. some perform mass in latin. some handle snakes and speak in tongues. but no one gets to claim an exclusive right.

        the whole idea of “appropriation” is just asinine. so, your ancestors did it, so now only you get to? nope. absolutely nothing works like that.

        oh, it’s offensive to you? tough. welcome to free speech and expression. you can burn a flag, poop on a bible, or (gasp) perform a sweat lodge ceremony with the wrong guided meditation.

        welcome to a free society. on what sane principle are we to base laws than ban something on the basis that some other group did it first?

        calling it “sacred” is a meaningless distinction. who cares? why is that any different?

        1. How dare you use such clear reasoning! /sarc

      6. My, my, my – aren’t you the Judgmental Judy? You have no idea what is spiritually significant to anyone else – do you you?

      7. Sometimes bread and wine is just bread and wine, you dumb broad.

      8. They don’t hold any spiritual significance to you, so screw anyone for whom they *do* hold any spiritual significance. (And why only “spiritual”?)

      9. Oh dear. We have a SJW among us. Please, elaborate. I need someone to laugh at with derision.

  7. “It is my right as an Indian to preserve and protect our culture send men with guns to stop someone from doing something I don’t like,” he says.

    FTFY, slaver.

  8. Fck her for trying to run a retail business in a residential neighborhood.

    Seriously. She is going to have hundreds of people driving to and from her house every week. Where are they going to park?

    The appropriation nonsense is bullshit. Who is this racist fucktard to say that Snuggle Bear doesn’t have the right skin color to practice a tradition she spent a decade learning.

    But the zoning is legit. Fock that nonsense.

    1. I certainly hope you jest.

    2. But the zoning is legit. Fock that nonsense.

      If her customers are parking in other people’s driveway sure. But on the same grounds that a customer parking on someone else’s property is wrong, it’s also wrong for a city council to say what a property owner is allowed to do with their property.

    3. the zoning is legit

      Bullshit. Are any of the neighbors complaining?

      -jcr

      1. Even if they are complaining it’s still giving them a hecklers veto. No matter what you’re doing, whether it’s a backyard trampoline, weekly prayer meetings, a treehouse or a nontraditional holiday display somebody is going to object to that.

        1. I object to this othering comment.

    4. She is going to have hundreds of people driving to and from her house every week.

      Bullshit. If its a hundred a week (20 per weekday), I’d be shocked.

    5. Sure, if your neighbor is misbehaving and won’t stop, then complain about it.

      But I don’t think this “activist” is actually a neighbor of the woman.

      Let me check…

      1. Yeah, this article from 2014 calls him “a 50-year-old Sarasota resident.”

        The woman is in Palmetto, which is described in Wikipedia as “part of the Bradenton?Sarasota?Venice Metropolitan Statistical Area.”

        So any guesses as to how far away this activist lives from the woman?

    6. Don’t sweat it.

      1. What you did there. I see it.

    7. Zoning is so horribly abused by local government. We all have an innate right to work to provide for ourselves and our families, so long as we don’t harm others in the process. We are economic and social beings, and when zoning is used to deprive us of a means to provide for our families or deprive us of a right to socialize with our friends and family, then I say that zoning has exceeded its just authority. In the last 30 years, zoning has grown from a system that sorts major land use categories into a system that seeks to deny us the right to use our own land to provide for our families. It is sick.

      You don’t like living next to a home that has a quiet yoga studio in the back yard? I’d say that is your problem, not your neighbor’s.

      1. And yet people still manage to do biz. is that because zoners haven’t been successful enough?

        1. Huh? “Businesses exist, therfore zoning is not abused”. Some logic you’ve got there. By the same method, I can assert that murders don’t happen people are still alive.

    8. Fuck zoning. All zoning is uncobstitutional takings.

      1. It’s a corn-ucopia of takings.

        1. I corn see what you did there. 🙂

        2. Hey guys: stop being corny

    9. First, I do not have hundreds of people attending my yoga classes. My studio only holds 12 at most. I have adequate parking in my own drive and the drive across the street, which I have permission from the owner to use, for the people who attend class. Also, most of my nearby neighbors ARE my students and they do not require parking as they walk here.

    10. First, I do not have hundreds of people attending my yoga classes. My studio only holds 12 at most. I have adequate parking in my own drive and the drive across the street, which I have permission from the owner to use, for the people who attend class. Also, most of my nearby neighbors ARE my students and they do not require parking as they walk here.

  9. “But when you are getting more than four people coming to your house, you are actually interfering with other people’s enjoyment of being in a residential zone.”

    But somehow that only happens when they pay you to be there.

    1. Three houses down looks like a flop house for Latino tradesmen. Massive F-250s with stainless toolboxes in the beds, everywhere.

      I don’t give a fuck, because they’re quiet, keep the place in good shape and are usually gone by 7 AM.

    2. But somehow that only happens when they pay you to be there.

      ^That. But we’ve also seen people objecting to weekly “unlicensed” prayer meetings at private residences, swinger parties and other events at which (presumably) no money changed hands.

    3. They don’t have parties?

  10. As the day draws to a close and twilight covers the land, each will have some time to herself with her mala for prayers and meditations before we begin our Native American Sweat Lodge Ceremony. Our sweat will be presided over by Donella Favorite. Donella has spent 11 years in apprentice with Grey Ghosthawk, Medicine Man, Lodge Leader, teacher and healer who studied under Eaglebear, student of Sun Bear.

    *snicker*

    1. I was trained by Sitting Bullshit.

      In all seriousness, I am having a hard time having any sympathy for any of them. Yes, Renee shouldn’t have to go through all the hoops dickwads are putting up to block her…yet, it is funny seeing the in-fighting amongst the lefty crowd.

      1. Is there some reason to believe this is lefty infighting?

        1. Good Americans don’t do yoga. Yoga and homosexuals were imported by the KGB to destroy America from within. Don’t you know anything? It’s like you haven’t read any of my pamphlets.

          1. Don’t worry, when Trump is elected, we’ll get back to the core conservative values upon which this nation was founded: Tits and Southern Rock.

            1. That actually doesn’t sound so bad.

            2. Cheap light beer or GTFO

              1. Fried chicken.

            3. I can vote for that.

            4. MTB and Rebel Yell Bourbon!

              1. Grits! (what the hell are grits anyway?)

          2. Yeah, I think I saw that episode of “The Americans”.

          3. I lived in a college town and going to yoga is the single best way to meet people if you are over 22 and not a grad student. Actually, it’s probably still a winer if you are a grad student. Also, American appropriation led to yoga pants which is pretty much the best invention for men since the domestication of fire.

            1. Except when the wearer is north of 220. Yoga pants should have Kevlar threads that limit the diameter of the legs inserted to something resembling a leg, not a sewer pipe. And, yes, I do recognize a sexist comment when I write one.

          4. My wife is a yoga teacher and is as hardcore right-wing as they come.

        2. Do you believe in “Cultural Appropriation?” I don’t think as many on the right give a shit. This lady really gives a shit, hence my guess (could be wrong) that she is a lefty too.
          So to recap:
          – Renee is overly concerned about sticking to all the “real” names and methods
          – Ahole Indian doesn’t want her to appropriate…or that’s his excuse anyway
          – I get to laugh and mock.

          Any more questions?

          1. Personally, I find it more “appropriative” if you DO stick to the “real” names and methods. To say that in order to not appropriate, you need to do it exactly the way Native Americans of 100 years ago did it kind of suggests that Native Americans are stuck in some sort of time warp and haven’t evolved at all. Modern Japanese women don’t wear Kimonos. Modern Native Americans don’t run around in feathered headdresses and buckskins.

            1. “Modern Japanese women don’t wear Kimonos”

              Well, some do, but the context has changed, because, and this might shock you, cultural contexts DO that sometimes.

              Ultimately, that seems to be behind so much leftist objection; the desire to freeze things into some sort of “ideal”. If the climate is changing, panic. If cultures evolve or exchange, it’s “appropriation/colonialism”. These are people who think it’s completely appropriate to freeze jungle tribes like some living museum exhibit for “authenticity”, and that it’s an imposition to expect groups that do interact with modernity to dispense with primitive practices.

              Notably, this doesn’t apply to any culture that might be remotely “white”. Those cant be torn down and replaced soon enough.

          2. You are wrong. Any more questions?

      2. If you knew me you would know I am FAR from the lefty crowd. People often ASSume that all yogis are far left liberals. People are wrong.

    2. Wait, I have been assured that women can’t participate in sweat lodge ceremonies because their spiritual power is so strong that it will overwhelm the puny spirits of men.

      During her Moon time, a woman is going through her own natural purification process. While her body is going through this natural purification, she is also recharging her own body’s powers and energies, so it is a cleansing and restorative time for her. Because a woman’s power is being renewed during this process, she must stay away from all sacred ceremonies?A woman’s power during her moon time is so strong that it can draw the power away from the sacred Sweat Lodge, Sundance, and Pipe ceremonies. Her power during this time can interfere with the power in the Sacred Pipe, Eagle Feathers, and the food offered for the feasts following ceremony.

      1. Ugh, sorry for the inadvertent bolding.

        Wait, is saying “ugh” cultural misappropriation?

          1. Thanks a heap for your reassurances

        1. jimbo-

          Wait, is saying “ugh” cultural misappropriation?

          yes. my cave man ancestors of the sacred cult of “ugh” invented the word to stand for our most holy principles.

          knock it off.

      2. Um…you do know women don’t bleed continuously, right?

        1. Hey, I’m just quoting what I read. Basically they are trying to let the Native culture off the hook for being a no kidding patriarchy.

          Women cannot participate not because they are “unclean” or as a sign of male power, it is because women have so much inherent power that they can interfere with the ceremony. Omaha also notes:

          Men do not have their own natural purification and renewal process, therefore they must come to the Sweat Lodge ceremony for purification.

          So, Jezebel women, it’s not a sign of disrespect, it’s a sign of ultimate respect. That’s the case with many practices outsiders deem sexist towards women in Native communities?standing outside the drum circle, for example?come out of a place of a deep understanding of the power and role of women in our communities.

          1. The original excerpt notes that this is “during her Moon time.”

            1. It just reads like some mealy-mouthed justification for some primitive sexist aspect of the practice. Even if it’s only part time exclusion, it’s still exclusion.
              In Yamomami culture women have to squat over a pit until their blood stops flowing. I’m sure someone will come up with some reason why this is actually super-respectful of women, because we can’t integrate the concept that Native American culture might not be feminist.

              Also, I recall that Muslims justify the demand that women wear a hijab as a sign of respect. Women are just so precious you know. They must be protected from rape. Hijabs are actually super-feminist, not sexist at all.

              1. ^This. There’s always a double-standard when it comes to non-european cultures, particularly the more primitive ones.

              2. Also, I recall that Muslims justify the demand that women wear a hijab as a sign of respect. Women are just so precious you know. They must be protected from rape. Hijabs are actually super-feminist, not sexist at all.

                Hijabs are just clothing, just like a skin-tight cocktail dress. It’s perfectly alright for husbands to “demand” that their wives wear either, and it’s perfectly alright for their wives to slap them or divorce them over it if they don’t like it. The actual problem is that women are forced into marriages with jerks they don’t want to marry, and that in some countries, there are legal requirements to wear a hijab.

                (Note that hijabs aren’t burqas, they are just a head covering, and something similar used to be common in the West as well.)

                1. Ok, the legal/cultural demand that women wear hijabs is sexist.

                  My point is that certain elements of the social justice movement seem to feel compelled to concoct an explanation for seemingly sexist aspects of an “oppressed” culture. It’s dicotomous thinking. The oppressed group must be pure good, and the oppressor must be pure evil, instead of mixtures of grey.

                2. Ok, the legal/cultural demand that women wear hijabs is sexist.

                  My point is that certain elements of the social justice movement seem to feel compelled to concoct an explanation for seemingly sexist aspects of an “oppressed” culture. It’s dicotomous thinking. The oppressed group must be pure good, and the oppressor must be pure evil, instead of mixtures of grey.

              3. In Yamomami culture women have to squat over a pit until their blood stops flowing. I’m sure someone will come up with some reason why this is actually super-respectful of women

                Come on, that’s a one-time ritual during puberty to mark the transition from childhood to adulthood. Frankly, I’d rather squat over a pit than undergo most of the male coming-of-age rituals in tribal societies.

          2. I wonder how a corporate rejection letter like this would go over with the OCR.

            Dear Sally,

            I’m sorry to have to inform you that, as a woman, you have too much inherent power for the job you are applying to, and it would just not balance properly with the inherently weaker power of your male colleagues. We therefore cannot offer you a position at XYZ Corp.

            Signed,

  11. Freedom means asking permission and obeying commands.

  12. Appropriation of bodily function common to all human beings? Haram

    Sal (Salvatore? Salvador?) Serbin….

    Appropriation of Hispano-Iberian given name and surname? Halal.

  13. ” I don’t want it to become like Gem Yoga.”

    That would be truly outrageous.

    1. That is a misspelling of the text. What I said was I do not want my yoga classes to present like yoga people take at the gym, like power yoga and hot yoga. That is not the style of yoga I teach.

  14. People that are not Native American have been injured and have actually died in those [sweat lodges],” he says.

    Because Amerindians have special sweating powers or something?

    1. Nah, because he SWATted them.

    2. People drop dead in Saunas too, if they’re not careful to avoid dehydration. They also drop dead while sleeping in their homes.

      -jcr

    3. Why are there people who act like being 1/16th Cherokee gives them super powers that make them more in touch with nature and shit?

      It’s not like being German gave me a magical understanding of military tactics, and super beer brewing abilities. (Although the Juniper Pale Ale I made last year did turn out amazingly)

      1. I’m 1/16 cherokee and all I got for it was alcoholism and none of the cool hunting abilities

        1. That’d look really cool on a tee-shirt.

          CB

        2. Same here. I’m 1/8 and all I got is that when I tan, I have a relatively reddish hue.

          Oh, and a massive case of psoriasis.

    4. Actually, he’s just a self-hating racist that doesn’t care about the Native Americans who die in sweat lodges. So he purposely excluded them from his fear-mongering over the deaths of non-Amerindians.

  15. It is my right as an Indian to preserve and protect our culture,” he says.

    Well, if we are all preserving our culture, I might remind Mr. Serbin that my culture has a long tradition of killing Indians who try to stop us from doing what we want.

    Jus’ sayin’, is all.

    1. If they’re trying to preserve their culture, wouldn’t they want as many people “celebrating” it as possible?

      1. Not if one is a fucking pinhead racist.

    2. During a long battle regarding the Ojibwe’s rights to net walleye from Lake Millacs I was listening to a talk show where they were discussing the validity of the Ojibwe’s claim that taking thousands of pounds of fish was part of their traditional way of life.

      A guy called in and asked that since he had 100% Norwegian heritage if he could use the same “traditional way of life” claim to exonerate himself if he took his boat across the lake and burned and looted the cabin of his french neighbors. He got hung up on, but I laughed.

      1. Hung up on? But he made an excellent, intelligent point, and he did it in way that was both humorous and concise. Give that man a talk show!

        1. To be fair the southern half of Minnesoda is populated by people of German descent and I’m sure the host didn’t want to give them ideas…

      2. hmm. my great great great ….. grandfather was one of William the Conquerors assistant generals. Does that mean that I get to go and sack London?

  16. “It takes a village…” This drives my blood pressure up. Tell Serbin to stop appropriating the White Man’s law. I mean, if he’s serious, he’s a effing hypocrite!

  17. It’s my right to force people to do what I want!

    Fuck You and Fuck Off, Slaver

  18. Fuck the Indian. No such thing as cultural appropriations otherwise they aren’t allowed to use antibiotics anymore, that’s our western cultural medicine. Someone needs to tell that fuck the patent ran out on sweat lodges a few thousand years ago. Fuck the $7,000.00 permit fee to start a business. The zoning law though I can understand but the only people who should be able to raise concerns are those immediately impacted. I wouldn’t want one of my next door neighbors starting a pig rendering plant in their backyard just because it is their property. Zoning while it is evil it is necessary, govts just need better more transparent zoning laws throughout the country that reflect the reality of today not 50 years ago.

    1. Yes, I get the impression this Indian* activist isn’t one of the neighbors.

      Let the neighbors complain if they want, the zoning laws are supposed to be for *their* benefit, not the benefit of wandering troublemakers.

      *I was wondering if the term “Indian” was disrespectful, but he called himself by that term.

    2. Zoning laws are unnecessary with properly defined property rights.

      See, Coase.

  19. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
    Article 31 1. “Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.”

    1. So the old “White man’s burden” has been replaced by something equally retarded.

      1. I’m not sure what you’re getting at. How is protection of ceremony a bad thing? Or is manifest destiny still a thing for Renee and her friends? You honestly find oppression to be cool?

        1. How is protection of ceremony a bad thing?

          I’m sure you feel this way concerning the rituals surrounding female circumcision.

          1. Ummm, circumcision is a horrible thing and I don’t see a whole lot of people appropriating it. The communities that condone it are seeing a huge backlash against it from members of said communities and said communities have asked for assistance in stopping it O.o I suppose if it really interests you then you could move to a community that performs it, become immersed in the culture and have it done O.o

            1. The communities that condone it are seeing a huge backlash against it from members of said communities If by backlash, you mean trying to make it commonplace anywhere they move to, you’re right.

            2. Lisa, I’m curious how you came to be here. You realize this is a libertarian website, right? You know what libertarianism is all about, right?

              1. I cam ehere because I believe in sovereignty of indigenous nations and peoples and our rights as sovereign peoples to protect what’s ours. Now I’m truly embarassed for my support of Ron Paul. This is so not what I thought it was.

                1. Yet, you fail to show how one woman’s sweat lodge infringes upon your rights. You’re just a busy body fascist.

                  Why can’t you fucking mind your own business, you dumb-ass?

                2. Washington RED SKINS! Washington RED SKINS! WASHINGTON RED SKINS! WASHINGTON RED SKINS!

                  You’re never gonna get us to change our name, Pocahontas,

                3. We believe in sovereignity, too. We don’t believe that you can own a culture (LOL) or exclude others from adopting elements of that culture because that stomps on freedom of [removed]which encompasses freedom of speech and freedom of religion).

                  Nothing is stopping you from marketing something as a genuine, indian-approved sweatlodge experience. Nothing is stopping you from forming some sort of Native American Seal of Approval organization and denying Ms. Bierbaum the use of that trademark. But you are going to get pushback when you try to keep people like Bierbaum from offering sweatlodge experiences based on bullshit claims of cultural appropriation.

                  And you will notice that I’m not trying to stop you from wearing plaid, drinking whisky or watching television.

                  Next time, you might want to do a bit of research…

                  1. Second sentence went wonky, trying again: We don’t believe that you can own a culture (LOL) or exclude others from adopting elements of that culture because that stomps on freedom of [removed]which encompasses freedom of speech and freedom of religion).

                    1. oh, interesting. Where you see “[removed]” above was supposed to be the word “expression”.

                    2. More interesting, to get around the weird auto-replace I typed the word as “echo space poppa space…” and it got substituted properly by the skwerlz.

                4. ” . . . our rights as sovereign peoples . . .” also means you support female circumcision. After all, it was good enough for Cleopatra. It’s good enough for 99% of Egyptian girls.

                  Shall I send you a link that illustrates pharaonic circumcision? And a different link that describes it is “cultural appropriation” by white feminists to make a stink about its practice?

                5. Lisa has as much right to be here as anyone else.

            3. Lisa,
              You’re full of shit.

        2. I think you’re confused about who’s being oppressed here. Sal Servin is the one using the force of the state to stamp out activity that gives him a sad face. Because that’s worth killing someone over.

          1. But you see, in progland, a white person doing anything that makes a brown person sad is oppression by definition. Literal violence against their people, you see.

          2. I was oppressed once!!!!

            There was this pretty girl in my history class named Lisa. I had a huge crush on her. She told people she thought I was weird.

            That made me feel bad! Total oppression!

            1. Apropos for people who are always after more ism schism.

        3. Why do proglodytes think they have a right to use force to try to preserve everything as a static museum for their own pleasure? And if I like some aspect of some other culture and adopt it myself, I am not harming the people I adopted it from in any way. This entire thing is just brimming with stupid.

          1. In order to have progress, we must encase our culture in stasis.

          2. Thats a good observation. They do the same thing with the environment, treating it like a museum rather then something dynamic and alive.

            Th only things I have ever seen that are perfectly preserved are dead things, and that is exactly what is going to happen to their culture if they try to have it preserved. It’s going to die.

        4. How is protection of ceremony a bad thing?

          If you or Serbin want to practice your ceremony however the fuck you please, no one is stopping you. But, that’s not what either of you is talking about with regard to “protection”. You’re talking about dictating what other people can and can’t do.

        5. So adopting some aspect of a culture is the same as “manifest destiny”? Who knew I was oppressing the Chinese every time I ordered Lo Mein? I guess I should have been offended by those old Japanese video games that borrowed so heavily from European mythology. Honestly I’ve always been flattered by people wanting to be like me, but for some reason you’re offended.

          You’re right about one thing. I was wrong to say they were equally retarded. White Man’s Burden at least had a sort of might makes right, survival of the fittest kind of cold evil logic to it.

          Wait a second. Come to think about it “manifest destiny” “white man’s burden”, and “oppression” are all things the progs consider part of my culture. Don’t I have a right to practice my cultural traditions too?

        6. How is protection of ceremony a bad thing?

          You’re using words ambiguously.

          “Protecting ceremonies” is a good thing if it means recording them, archiving them, and performing them, so that future generations will know about them.

          “Protecting ceremonies” is a bad thing if it involves racism, coercion, and restrictions on speech, art, and free expression. That’s what the UN resolution is doing.

        7. You still have the right to go to your own sweat lodge – isn’t that true? But you don’t want anyone else to have a “sweat lodge” because that is trampling on your religious ceremony?

          No, no it is not.

          You need to get a life, cupcake and leave other people alone.

    2. Nobody here gives two shits what the UN says.

      1. and there’s that. Funny though, I don’t think the Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples applies to Europeans. I guess Europeans aren’t indigenous to anywhere, we traveled across an ocean of space and time to come to Earth so we can oppress all the brown lifeforms we find.

        1. FS is Louis Farrakhan?!?!?!?

          1. Don’t tell anyone. I don’t want to lose all this white privilege.

            1. Mum’s the word…

              *tips bowler hat and winks*

        2. Which is incredibly racist and supremacist. Think about it, “indigenous peoples” are basically treated that same way as squirrels in a nature preserve. It’s all part of the progressive’s kinder gentler racism. Now instead as seeing minorities as inferior people who need to be oppressed, they now see them as inferior people who need protected, but they still see them as inferior.

          1. I get the opposite impression. They see them as superior people, untainted by a genetic predisposition to oppress others. At best they see them as noble savages, but far more noble than you or I.

            1. I don’t know I guess I know what you’re talking about, especially from college kids who have been taught that all cultures are great and should be celebrated except western culture cause it’s evil and oppressive. Yet despite all this they still need to be protected by good lilly white liberals.

              I don’t know it’s all seems very schizophrenic to me.

              Anyone else care to weigh in of this. Can anyone untangle the twisted knot of progressive thought?

              1. Anyone else care to weigh in of this. Can anyone untangle the twisted knot of progressive thought?

                Roughly, “the morally superior innocence of American Indians was no match for the vile and callous depredations of greedy capitalist Europeans”.

                Of course, the problem with this story is that, pre-contact, American Indians were engaged in massive wars against each other, did not respect anything like human rights, and frequently destroyed their environment. And what killed them wasn’t European greed, it was European diseases.

                1. ….and being a pre-literate culture didn’t leave records. So we don’t know if they were all peaceful and lived in edenic harmony with nature, or were simply bloodthirsty savages like everyone else at that phase in their history.

                  1. Uh, yeah we do. They were bloodthirsty savages.

                2. Anyone else care to weigh in of this. Can anyone untangle the twisted knot of progressive thought?

                  Here is your answer.

                  PROG: Hey, here’s something we can use to attack America and everything American so we can build our Marxist utopia.

                  It’s simply this, no more and no less. It’s about political power.

              2. If nothing else, it’s a noxious mixture of pathological altruism and good ole fashioned racism.

            2. They’re Jews, you know. Joseph Smith got a visit from the Angel Moroni.

        3. American Indians are Asian. They arent indigenous to the Americas.

          Its one thing the Mormons got right, just not the lost tribe part.

          And we are all African.

          1. You’re going to hell. The correct answer is “of course Joseph Smith got it right”.

            1. What planet is Mormon Hell on?

              1. Venus. No one wants to live on Venus.

                1. You didn’t spell “Detroit” right.

          2. Actually they’ve found clovis artifacts in the Americas…some anthropologists think American Indians might be from Asia and Europe.

            1. See! Joseph Smith was right AFTER ALL!

    3. Oh, the moral authority of the U.N., eh? Tell, you what, when they can take enough time off from raping children to have a discussion about it, maybe we can talk.

      1. Odd how big organizations that market themselves on moral superiority also engage in child abuse and child rape, isn’t it.

    4. A proposed law that turns entirely on race is a racist law. How do you justify that?

    5. Okay, which one of you is this? Cause nobody that post here not named Tony or Joe is that fucking stupid.

    6. Ok, time for another gift of smallpox blankets.

    7. I don’t think Lisa knows what rights are.

      1. I think “Lisa” is a Robby Soave plant; a pseudonym, just to wake us all up. There’s no way a libertarian crowd thinks the way “Lisa” does. Not even Sheldon Richman.

    8. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
      Article 31 1. “Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.”

      If this means that Europeans get to keep all other races — American Indians, Blacks, South American natives, Asians, etc., from using or benefitting from everything we’ve developed, I’m all for that. As as been noted: we’ll take our airplanes, automobiles, computers, modern medicine, etc., and you take your sweat lodges and headdresses, and we’ll see who fares better.

  20. How the government grows the economy: by preventing people from engaging in economic activity.

    1. Hiring all those code enforcers is a great stimulus.
      When are we finally going to get around to having the city hire full time window smashers?

      1. They’ve been doing that for years. They just don’t call them that.

  21. Just replace all the Indian stuff with pre-christianity Finnish stuff, and I guess you’re good to go. You would even maintain a very similar aesthetic.

    1. Pre-Roman Britain and Germany work as well.

  22. “Sal Serbin is a member of the Sioux nation”

    I thought that the Sioux/sue thing was just a bad pun. Apparently he takes it seriously.

    1. It would be interesting to check that. Apparently some tribes have official lists of who is a member and who isn’t.

  23. The stupid is so thick here that I could not finish the article.

    Would someone put Serbin and the county officials involved in this in a sack and throw them in the gulf?

    *I always thought yogaists were a bunch of pretentious assholes, but so what?

  24. “It is my right as an Indian to preserve and protect our culture,” he says.

    Well, let me ask you a question, Sal. Did you invent the sweat lodge? Not someone from your tribe. Not someone who kinda sorta looks like you. Not someone you share tastes and preferences with (i.e. culture). You. Personally?

    No? Then fuck you, slaver! You don’t “own” the concept of a sweat lodge any more than Bierbaum. All you’re doing is leaching off the achievements of someone more worthwhile than you to bully others and establish your own status.

    1. Well, let me ask you a question, Sal. Did you invent the sweat lodge? Not someone from your tribe. Not someone who kinda sorta looks like you. Not someone you share tastes and preferences with (i.e. culture). You. Personally?

      The idea of cleansing by sweating and of combining cleansing with religion is hardly a difficult concept. Similar setups exist in other cultures.

      American Indian culture is really little different from other cultures at similar stages of development. Pre-Roman Europe had many parts where Europeans lived like American Indians and held similar spiritual beliefs.

    2. He should have copy righted it.

  25. AIM = Assholes In Moccasins.

    I first heard that from an old indian guy who lived up on the White Earth reservation. I’m sure as an Ojibwe he’d really be pissed at Serbin because he was a Sioux.

    By the way, what is Serbin doing way down in Florida? As a Sioux shouldn’t he be up in the Dakotas? After all that is where they were forced to move after they got pushed out of Minnesoda by the Ojibwe and the palefaces. How come he isn’t back on the res being true to his “traditional way of life”?

    1. By the way, what is Serbin doing way down in Florida? As a Sioux shouldn’t he be up in the Dakotas?

      LRSR = Long Range Scalping Raid

      1. Well while he is down there he better not participate in Florida Man’s traditional Meth Ceremony

  26. The First Amendment, protects our right to choose our own religious beliefs. Quite obviously, appropriating other people’s religious beliefs is inherently part of that.

    The First Amendment also protects the right of those whose religion is appropriated to complain about it.

    There’s also the question of equal protection of the laws.

    If they’d let a Native American build a sweat lodge because of his religious beliefs but not Renee the yoga teacher–because she isn’t Native American or doesn’t share the same religious beliefs–then the government is necessarily discriminating against Renee the yoga teacher because of her race or because of her religious beliefs.

    There’s also the WWLD question, and the answer to that is that not only did Longmire attend a sweat lodge, he did the Sun Dance. That’s what Longmire would do. Longmire also carries a pre-’64 Winchester model 94 chambered in 30-30. Does that mean you should carry one, too?

    The correct answer is yes. Yes, because that’s what Longmire would do.

    1. Yes, indeed. I am trying to convince my wife I need a Winchester Model 94 .30-30 for Christmas.

      1. Why would you have to convince anyone of something so obviously true on its face?

        Hell yes you need a Winchester ’94, but don’t be so narrow in your thinking. they came in many calibers. 375 Winchester is my favorite. I have three of them.

        1. BTW that is easy to do. Just start out by asking her what she wants for Xmas.

      2. I inhereted a Winchester model 64, based on the serial number it is from the early ’40s. Once I get home I’m taking it to a gunsmith to get checked out (it probably hasn’t been fired since the ’50s when my father actually hunted). After I get an all-clear, that will be my new hunting rifle.

        At least until I figure out what round my Mauser was rechambered to. It is a real shame that the majority of my rifles/shotguns are so old they are basically non-operational due to obsolete ammunition. The Mauser is one that I would get redone though, probably in .308…

    2. Doesn’t seem like the first amendment is really very relevant here (though what you say is very true). This seems to be an asshole using zoning laws to punish stuff he doesn’t like. The fact that it has to do with religion is legally irrelevant.

      As for the equal protection for religious practices, that ship sailed long ago with the Native American Church peyote thing.

      1. In Southern California, every time you put your project on the agenda in any jurisdiction, one or more tribes will file to be heard in the CEQA process–even if your project is outside of any known archaeologically sensitive area. You have to hire an archaeologist to make an official report on the developer’s behalf, but there’s basically a database and map they consult that says there’s probably no Indian artifacts there. Even if they find that the project is out of any sensitive area, the tribes file a statement on your project.

        Basically, you have to hire someone from the tribe to be on your site while you grade and recompact your soils–to see if anything turns up. It seems like a way for them to provide a job for somebody.

        It’s certainly less expensive to hire their guy than it is to fight it. But they basically show up any time there’s a commercial enterprise on any jurisdiction’s agenda that can pay up.

        We had one project where we had to move some old elevated railroad tracks. When we removed the soil, we found they’d buried even older tracks. Some representatives of the Chinese-American history people showed up. We had to hire an archaeologist to sift through the dirt–just to see if any Chinese railworkers had dropped anything out of their pockets while they were working or camping in the area.

        You can fight ’em, but for developers, time is a lot more important than money. I’d rather lose quickly than hold up my project for a year or more and win.

        1. So “extortion” is part of the Native American culture?

          1. You’ve got it.

            Try doing anything in Az.

        2. Basically, you have to hire someone from the tribe to be on your site while you grade and recompact your soils–to see if anything turns up.

          Sounds legit – after all, you wouldn’t want this to happen.

      2. Doesn’t seem like the first amendment is really very relevant here

        Probably the bit about petitioning gov’t for redress of grievances. Even if your only grievance is that someone else is allowed to do stuff, and the only redress is to keep them from doing it.

    3. I’m proud to say I’m the third generation to hunt with the families’ 32 special and 25-35 Winchester 94’s great guns. just took my friends kids out shooting with them and they loved them as well, kids shot better than I do, showoffs.

      1. Ron, if you ever want to sell those do not hesitate to send me an email.

  27. ***does not fit narrative….terminate memory and comprehension…find excuse to dislike the principal…..***

    /progbot

    1. You know who else disliked the principal?

      1. Ferris Bueller?

          1. Oh, hell no

      2. John Bender?

      3. Doug Funnie?

      4. Emma Smith? (Joseph Smith’s first wife)

  28. Complaints about cultural appropriation are the stupidest thing in the world. But the zoning laws are the problem here. That asshole could bitch all day about cultural appropriation to no effect if he didn’t have the law to use as a weapon against the poor woman.

  29. You could say that Longmire didn’t appropriate Cheyenne culture himself; that he went to his friend Henry Standing Bear, who was Cheyenne. But if you want to get that technical, then I’m going to point out that Henry Standing Bear isn’t really Cheyenne.

    He’s played by a Filipino.

    I’m just sayin’.

    P.S. Is it cultural appropriation to get drunk on St. Paddy’s Day? Am I allowed to call it that? Is getting drunk on St. Paddy’s Day appropriation if you’re drinking Guinness? What if you’re drinking German beer? What if I would have painted my balls green that day anyway?

    And I don’t want to hear about any of you non-Germans drinking beer during Oktoberfest–you cultural appropriating, racist bastards!

    1. And of course, American culture is the most appropriated of them all.

    2. besides being part cherokee I’m also part Irish so I get to sit in the sweat lodge while drinking whisky and beer

    3. As someone of Irish descent, I wear the appropriate
      Orange on St Patricks Day.

      1. I’m an Orange man too…didn’t even know what that was til my late 20’s.

  30. “Renee Bierbaum” and “Sal Serbin” fight over who represents Native American culture! Precious!

  31. It’s time to take revenge on Sal Serbin.

  32. I think this all goes back to the “korporashuns arent peepull” mantra. They think that once someone steps into their role as a business owner, they no longer have any rights whatsoever in how they manage their private property.

    1. So, you’re no longer “Lisa”, ‘eh?

    2. On to the logical fallacies already? For shame, there were some good arguments made up above.

  33. Also, isn’t the whole “sweat lodge” thing a Southwestern thing?
    Why is the that every “native” thing that becomes popular seems to get appropriate by every other Indian thing.
    I mean, that one tribe in North Dakota that invented the dreamcatcher must be shitting their pants that Maori people in New Zealand are selling them these days.
    It’s not like there was some pan-American Native People’s culture and they all had sweat lodges and Dreamcatchers. No sweat lodges come from ONE tribe, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t from florida.

  34. In another article about this creep Serbin, it reads:

    http://www.tampabay.com/featur…..ns/1235595

    Sal explained that to Indians, ceremonies were part of their religion. If someone who wasn’t Catholic opened a Catholic church and started charging for communion or baptism, how would that make a practicing Catholic feel?

    “It’s the same thing,” he said.

    Laura, an Episcopalian…

    The irony is so thick here, because that is almost exactly what Episcopalians/Anglicans are! They are the church that developed from the Schism when Henry VIII left the Catholic church. They set up what was essentially a knock-off Catholic Church, and, no, the Catholic Church wasn’t happy about it, but it now understands that the Catholic Church doesn’t hold the copyright on Christianity. It took the bloody protestant reformation era of course. Hopefully it won’t take that level of violence to teach these “cultural appropriation” types to shut the hell up.

    1. The one thing that continues to be overlooked is the fact that I was NOT charging money for the sweat lodge. The money being charged was for the 8 hour yoga retreat day. The sweat lodge was added later, after the price for the retreat had already been set. The woman who was leading the sweat lodge was doing that as a gift to me, her friend, she doesn’t charge to lead sweat lodge. I would have charged the same for the retreat regardless if there was going to be a sweat lodge or not. I told Sal this from our very first conversation, but he did not listen.

      1. It shouldn’t matter whether you charge or not. It’s none of Sal’s business.

  35. I am deeply offended by Serbin’s efforts to use brute government force against people in order to preserve his own cultural traditions, as well as his tattling to the authorities in the first place. As a half German person, I consider that an appropriation of my culture.

  36. If neighbors want to shut you down, they will shut you down. Local rules make it impossible for the property owner to win.

    1. My neighbors ARE my clients. They want the yoga studio here in our neighborhood. They have even offered to go to the county on my behalf and they will if this comes to a hearing.

  37. So…multiculturalism demands that we celebrate other cultures, just not be involved in them in any fashion….gotcha, thanks progtards.

  38. Fair is fair. He should be forced to go back to living in a tent on the prairie, and chew on buffalo fat from an animal he had to kill with a bow and arrow.

  39. All those guteaters should have been exterminated by the turn of the 20th Century.

  40. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to rent classroom space nearby?

    Anyway, this reminds me of my church, which has a requirement for full membership that one be, or at least appear, primarily Caucasian. It’s the belief that the spirit lies at least partly in the DNA.

    1. Probably not, between the licensing and the insurance. I doubt that part of Florida has that many customers looking for an authentic yoga studio. And I can’t imagine the headache to put a sweat lodge or sauna in a retail space.

  41. If that’s the case they we should immediately trash all historic studies of various cultures if the studies were made by the wrong ethnic entity…which should just about empty every university and museum in existence.

  42. Native American Sphincter, no different than an asshole of other ethnicity. How much of Indian is he really?
    Just the percentage between his gluteus maximus?

  43. the idiot injun seems to be a self-apppointed troublemaker. “Culteral appropriation” indeed. WHAT give HIM the right to decide who can/cannot do some of the same things his ancestors alledgedly did?

    One good way around the pickle would be for her to host the event anyway, and simply not charge a peny for it. Refund the registration fees alraedy paid, have people sign up simply to enable logistics (are three or thirty coming? Good thing to know….) make the food “potluck” (don’t call it what the indians of either continent call it) have the INdian “expert” do the sweat thing so se’d “doing it right” to make the self-apppointed hooh hah be quiet… and carry o. Of course, leave a comspicuously located “donation box” for folks.. if they value and appreciate her work, they’ll contribute.

    Stupid busybodies anyway. Seems the county should not be meddling unless someone is ACTUALLY harmed… as in, damaged in something other than their mind.

    Goverment are far too big for their britches….

  44. It’s pretty sad how some of you sit here and degrade this woman who is trying to do something she enjoys and is knowledgeable about, and trying to raise her son. You morons sit here and dissect her and assassinate her character like you even know her and are entitled to attack her for what she is doing. I see nothing but a bunch of keyboard commandos who probably don’t have the sack to step up and talk your $hit to a real man, in real life.

    And to Mr. Serbin, Karma always comes to cowards like yourself in the end and when it does I hope we get to read about it.

    1. Thank you.

      1. Don’t thank him, Raven, he obviously doesn’t understand the comments, and I suspect his accusation of “cowardice” is his clinching argument for most of his “contributions” to online discourse.

        The folks here exhibit near-unanimous support for your right to do what you (and your clients) want on your own property, whatever their opinion of yoga or the sweat lodge experience.

        The second thing most libertarians would agree on is that this Sal fella is AT BEST misguided in his “protection” of Native American culture, and at worst a deluded, mean-spirited a-hole.

        Thirdly, the position that most would hold, that Internet Tough Guy there is stupid AND obnoxious, is not politics-dependent at all.

        Good luck dealing with the county, Ms B.

    2. Hey tough talking dipshit, most people here support what this lady is doing. Either you are too stupid to understand it or you didn’t read the comments. Fuck off dipshit.

  45. When I first went to F-L-A in 1982,what I loved more than the weather was the lack of zoning laws.
    My friends lived in a shack on South L St,rear a short barefoot walk to the beach. No signs demanding “shoes & shirts” for service. Fish with a net or a harpoon.Anything went…now…nobody is safe even in there own backyard.

  46. Anyone can do whatever they want with so-called culture.

  47. The whole “cultural appropriation” bit seems to me a violation of the First Amendment.

    If a Native American wants to wear a pirate hat on Be A Pirate Day, he shouldn’t have to worry about some whiny Limey.

  48. When will people who aren’t white and descended from Europeans stop using electricity, computers, stereos, cars, etc.? They are appropriate my culture!

  49. Sal needs a visit from Hector.

  50. Wish somebody would fill that Sal jerk off with buck shot. Sounds like PC, whiny, crybaby bully to me. Doesn’t surprise me the state would make you pay for a permit and not honor it, fucking jack offs, I hate these people, the sooner their little racket collapses the better.

  51. We are Americans. We grab the good stuff from every culture and use it or modify and use it. Cultural appropriation is what we do.

  52. From an article on Sal Servin:

    “Practicing and protecting native tradition defines Serbin, who has sat in his hot car for hours just to sweat out evil.”

    he uses his car as a sweat lodge.

    link: http://www.heraldtribune.com/a…..l&tc=pgall

  53. Funny, I never knew that appropriating an artifact of a culture was agains the law. Any law.
    I grew up hearing that America as called the Great Melting Pot.
    I don’t know of any law where a particular culture can lay claim to sole ownership of an artifact of a culture.

    If I want to create MY OWN religion and incorporate a sweat lodge ritual,
    Native American, especially member of AIM don’t get to say squat.
    It would be my right protected under the 1st Amendment.

    This is indeed a slippery slope.
    I know a Buddhist Priest who is not Asian or Indian.
    OMG!
    I am also a Martial Arts instructor and I am not Asian, either.
    OMG!

    Slippery Slope.

  54. Hey Serbin ! I’m sniffing a toner cartridge and washing it down with vanilla extract. Call the county and complain to them about my stealing your heritage.

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