Cultural Appropriation?


If there was ever a doubt that many black Americans bask in the status of victimhood, the evidence is seen in their latest complaint. Many now complain about so called “cultural appropriation.” All over campuses and other places in America, young black activists confront white Americans about white people “stealing their culture.” The people who engage in this behavior that feeds off of a victim mentality do it with gusto, with the same fervor of a pig that wallows in the mud; they wallow in the sludge of victimhood. They see themselves as special because they are victims, and they seize every opportunity to promote the narrative that they are. They refuse to thrive. One of the people most recently targeted as a perpetrator of abuse by members of the victim brigade is a singer by the name of Justin Bieber. What was Mr. Bieber’s crime, you may ask? Get ready for it because it is egregious. Mr. Bieber dared to (wait for it) “appropriate” dreadlocks as a hairstyle. The audacity of this white man! What new way will these people find to continue humiliating and oppressing black people? As the sound of the violin continues, let us step back, take a look at this nonsense and call it out for the utter foolishness that it is.

Instead of seeing themselves as trendsetters, as Americans leading the way in the style league, many black Americans whine about others taking “their culture”. This attitude is indicative of the mindset that many of them have consciously chosen to adopt. They see themselves as some type of “other,” and not as real Americans. They stand on the outside and refuse to engage as Americans. They do not view themselves as contributors in the context of the larger American Culture, but instead to “black culture”. They view this as a very distinct and separate culture, and it has no place in any concept of a unified people. In this context, R&B is not American music but black music, rap is not an American thing, it’s a black thing, white people wearing dreadlocks are not copying a fad popular with Americans, but they are copying a black fad.

If a trend, type of music or practice is considered to be the exclusive domain of black people, then conversely; the same holds true for white people, Asian Americans, Hispanics etc. It would then mean that no black person should ever aspire to the opera, being a ballerina would be off limits to people of color because it is not “their culture”? Practicing martial arts like Kung Fu and Karate would not be practiced by anyone outside of the Asian culture according to this reasoning. We can even take this silly rationale further by questioning whether a person of Chinese decent would have any business learning Karate, or whether a person of Japanese origin should practice Kung Fu, because like other ethnic groups; Asians are not monolithic, and they do have different cultural practices.

Some practices may have cultural roots in a particular group, but that does not make the practice the exclusive domain of the group, because in a cosmopolitan society; cultures often become intertwined and developed into its own customs to form a unique common culture. Sure there are some practices that are unique and sacred to distinct groups, and there are times purely out of respect to these groups, in these unique circumstances that society defers to them and their traditions, but those are rare instances.

The drivel that is being promoted by members of the victim posse on the other hand is something that must be rejected by clear minded people, because to endorse it is to give it legitimacy that it does not deserve. Not because a trend, a style, type of music or anything else was started by a black person or any other group for that matter, does it mean that it is black culture or the culture of the other group. Again, if we were to consistently apply this principle, it would further mean that a black person has no right trying to make it in Nascar, a Hispanic person would not be allowed to open a Chinese restaurant, and a person of Asian descent who may love the Quinceañera tradition and wish to incorporate aspects of it into their own traditions are committing a “cultural crime”.  We should embrace the unifying of a people (the American people) in this manner, but instead we use it to continue promoting the “us versus them” syndrome.

People are either woefully unaware or they do not care that this behavior promotes the segmentation of society and discourages unity amongst the people. This philosophy when encouraged and pursued leads to the Balkanization of nations because it rejects the notion of a common culture (an American culture in this instance).This may seem farfetched, but it is important to remember that many of the radical changes that occur in societies do not happen overnight, but over a long period of time. Radical ideas are implemented slowly, and little by little. Eventually people become numb to the changes. Over time and with each new generation, radical ideas seem like the norm.

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