Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Stealing Culture?

There's an idea floating around the 'Net that seems to have stemmed from liberal arts colleges and the like- that instead of America being a melting pot of cultures and traditions where we are free to share cultures and engage in others, that doing so is wrong and harms said culture. This idea is called "cultural appropriation".

Though I guess I should specify: it only counts if it's white people doing it, apparently. Especially white Americans (the young Social Justice Bloggers who spout all this seem to not realize there are countries beyond America but you wouldn't know that with how US-centric they all are). If a white person eats a taco, by golly, the entire history of Mexico is being erased. If a white person wears dreadlocks, Jamaicans everywhere cry out in anguish (never mind that dreads are neither a 'black thing', they're religious, nor did blacks invent it; Romans and Vikings, for example, wore them too). And so on.

If a Chinese woman wears a dirndl for Halloween, however, this doesn't count as stealing culture, apparently. A black man can riverdance and it's not hurting anyone. Someone of Mestizo descent can study ballet and Russians don't suffer from it. Hmm. It's almost like a single individual participating in a foreign culture isn't actually hurting it. It's almost like, yes, cultures should be respected, but they're also meant to be shared, generally. Don't get upset over this:



If you have no problem with this:


I don't think either of the wearers were being disrespectful or trying to "steal" culture.

Hmm. It's almost like this is just another pathetic attempt to drive the wedge between races and ethnicities down a little harder. Listen, if a non-white person can celebrate Oktoberfest or St. Lucia's Day or St. Patrick's Day or eat pierogis and such, a white person can buy a kimono, eat dim sum, and celebrate el Dia de los Muertos as well. Whole histories and civilizations are not going to collapse because Becky in Florida or Ling in Hong Kong are eating foreign foods and buying traditional attire from different countries.

We can share and learn from other cultures. That's what America was meant for. And you don't even have to be American to appreciate that.

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