“Cultural appropriation” has no place in America

Conventional wisdom holds that newspaper circulation has declined due to the Internet.

There may be another reason.

Perhaps people have realized that newspapers are moving beyond political incorrectness and into the realm of “cultural appropriation” (CA) – a phenomenon where a culture adopts (i.e. “steals “) something else.

The Chinese invented paper. Hit one.

The Egyptians created the ink. It’s two.

And the Krauts – sorry, this is also politically incorrect – the Germans designed the first printing press.

With all this cultural appropriation – akin to “plagiarism” of other nations’ inventions – it’s no wonder so many articles have been taken down.

It should be obvious that the CA movement – ​​driven by, you guessed it, the social media crowd with way too much free time – is a quest for the absurd and deserves no attention.

And yet it continues to grab headlines and, by extension, surge. Which is ironic, since the first steam engine was invented by the British. Or was it the Romans or the Turks?

And that “enigma” alone should be all that is needed to appropriate the CA movement in its place: the trash can. How far back do we go to know which culture or nation “owns” what? And what happens when historical scholars disagree about who invented what and when – as they so often do? But the far more important questions are A) who really cares? B) why does this nonsense attract attention? and C) who gives anyone the “right” to tell others what they can and cannot wear, think, say and do?

But it’s happening at an accelerating pace, from people being chastised for the way they braid their hair, to tequila makers and food entrepreneurs being criticized (and even boycotted) for not being of the same ethnicity as kitchens and chefs. products they produce.

Too bad the critics don’t understand that no one “owns” a tradition or a culture. By this logic, the billions of people who wear clothes made by other cultures, fly in planes invented and built by Americans (Wright brothers and Boeing), and drink clean water and take life-saving vaccines with the courtesy of others, are all “guilty” of cultural appropriation. After all, how many “understand or respect” the cultures that make these planes airworthy and the drugs so effective?

And all the American military secrets stolen by China and Russia? It is also cultural appropriation. If the critics had the guts, they’d blame it on Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping – to the face. Yeah. I did not mean it.

Where does it stop?

It won’t, until two things happen:

1) The media stop reporting such stories. Cultural appropriation is an entirely made up term from the class called “I’m offended by everything”. And since it has no real-world meaning or application, there is no need for news programs to carry such nonsensical reporting. It only serves to amplify both sides of an already hyper-partisan country, injecting more toxicity and division.

CA stories are the real “fake” news because reporting on those faking an “infraction” is like legitimizing carnival barking.

Enough is enough.

The news media has more important things to report than the groans of a few – and yes, it’s only relatively few – seemingly bored people. Rankings are necessary, but they’re best achieved through a thorough examination of the complexities of the world, not the over-the-top musings of people looking to become the next “viral” social media sensation. Cultural appropriation is not a story. Stop making one.

2) Without new coverage, most accusations of cultural appropriation would cease. But for those who remain, the American people must push back hard. We must stop living in fear of being called “racists” and instead aggressively defend those who are persecuted for simply living their lives. Patronize their businesses. Protest the protesters (which won’t last long, as most cancel culture protesters don’t have the guts to brave the elements and only persevere as long as their latte and avocado baguette sandwiches last). Challenge the two notorious bastions of cowardice – schools and workplaces – as they bow to over-the-top social media pressure and institute rules that restrict freedom. And make your opposition known through letters to the editor (in newspapers!), social media posts, and by electing common-sense representatives.

Otherwise, the silence of the majority will embolden the pampered but vocal few to push it even further, allowing cultural appropriation to fester and its cancer on society to grow.

America is the most diverse melting pot in the world, so given that most people are ethnic “kitties”, the “rules” would make it impossible to do anything. There would be cultural litmus tests for everything. Black people couldn’t sell burritos. White people could not wear Chinese clothes. Italians could not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Christians could not marvel at a beautiful mosque. Jews could not sing Christmas carols.

And applying cultural appropriation to history is a no-win game, because an open discussion of the tragic events of the past is the only way to ensure they never happen again.

Here’s an idea: let’s stop giving time to those who like to divide and focus instead on celebrating the incredible diversity that America has to offer. Of course, people should maintain their cultural customs and celebrate their rich traditions! These amazing aspects of our culture are, and always have been, the path to a united country. It should be not only allowed, but encouraged, for others to experience and yes, take home, parts of what makes our individual cultures so unique. This is why the American remains the envy of the world.

Feel free to disagree. But while contemplating your dissenting thoughts, don’t do it over coffee (Arabia), tea (China), wine (Iran), beer (Syria) or sushi (Japan) . As for this author, he will enjoy a wonton soup with a pancake while wearing a toga. Well done, my friend!

Chris Freind is a columnist and commentator whose column appears weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrisfreind

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