I write this to respond in part to @AlecDent‘s cultural appropriation article in National Review. While I agree with the main thesis that “sksksksksksk” is not cultural appropriation, I disagree with Mr. Dent’s opinions expressed below:
The concept of cultural appropriation is hardly new, but the linguistic policing that serves as the basis for the BuzzFeed article takes it to a new level. Accusations of cultural appropriation are usually leveled against white people who adopt elements of another ethnicity’s culture in a way that is perceived as making light of that culture’s history and traditions….
Not true. The loony left does not limit “cultural appropriation to “making light” of another culture. To the contrary, it is an intimidation tactic to reward and aggrandize those the left sees as “historically oppressed people.” The emphasis here is on intimidation. That is the leftist goal.
I agree that true cultural appropriation is wrong and should be guarded against. Caucasians have been historically privileged in American society, and it would be wrong of us to commodity or in any way diminish the cultures of historically oppressed peoples.
Almost everything I see reported to be “cultural appropriation” has nothing to do with “diminish[ing] the cultures of historically oppressed people.” It is a natural result when cultures meet and meld. The dominant culture adopts those aspects that appeals to it for whatever reason. It is generally not about making light of anybody or hurting anybody. It could be on occasion, but not generally.
Let us all celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Let us all celebrate Cinco de Mayo. If a young woman wants to wear and oriental-style dress to her prom because it looks good on her, that has nothing to do with “making light of historically oppressed peoples.” And what nutcase would make the claim that the Chinese in China are oppressed by anyone but their own government anyway?
I frequently see young lefties wearing dreadlocks. Did they get castigated for cultural appropriation? No. They’re obviously lefties. They are not the intended objects of the intimidation.
Cultural appropriation as a concept is a big crock of nothing-burger. Prove me wrongPublished in