Cultural Appropriation Cuts Both Ways


Armando Simón Forensic Psychologist
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One of the seemingly endless asinine concepts that have emerged these past two years has been that of “cultural appropriation.” Supposedly, this is a horrific crime committed by — of course — whites whenever (a) they use any object that originated in another culture (b) cook a dish that originated in another country.

Examples of cultural appropriation are: beating a drum. Whites and Asians wearing those ungainly hairy snakes on one’s head called “dreadlocks” considered cultural appropriation (not to mention the height of bad taste). The same goes for little girls’ Moana costumes. Certain patterns used in clothing are considered cultural appropriation from Africa.  

Instead, white leftists decided that THEY the vanguard, that THEY would be the spokespersons for the cultural Minorities, THEY would be the Minorities’ champions.

You can consult the P.C. Huffington Post for an abridged list of further cultural appropriations which, of course, it condemns.

Some specific instances:

  • An article by Shreena Gandhi and Lillie Wolff claim that white people who practice yoga are guilty of (1) cultural appropriation (2) supporting the yoga industrial complex and (3) promoting white supremacy. Now you know. Gandhi is a professor of religious studies at Michigan State University while Wolff is a self-described “antiracist white Jewish organizer and healer.
  • In Sacramento, California, the Black Lives Matter decided that a white woman teaching yoga combined with hip hop was intolerable cultural appropriation and managed to shut down the classes. Considering the absurd idea to start with, perhaps that was not a bad thing after all.
  • When the Boston Museum of Fine Arts held a recurring event called “Kimono Wednesdays,” a group of college graduates (mostly non-Japanese) decided that such an event was (somehow) racist against the Japanese people and held a quiet demonstration against it with signs full of the usual clichés that the left so adores.

Since these Politically Correct declarations are so moronic, a number of writers have stepped forth to ridicule the fanatics in truly hilarious essays.

But let me focus on just the question of “cultural appropriation” and take it to its logical conclusion. Forget for a moment that the concept is one conceived by cretins. Forget that it is primarily pushed by whites who believe that THEY are the champions of oppressed Minorities. Forget also that it has spread like a disease to Canada. And forget that some think that there is nothing offensive about it while others think it is an outrageous, indefensible, crime.

Let us, instead, consider the fact that the idea of “cultural appropriation” is a two edged sword which now needs to be unsheathed. So far, it has been one-sided.

For example, in the realm of comic books, Spider-Man was transformed into a black Hispanic while the Norse god Thor was given a sex change.  Sales of comic books have dropped. In the Avengers films, Nick Fury was turned into a black man. It’s not that anyone objects to comic book heroes being Hispanic, black, or women, but that identity theft has occurred by self-righteous fanatics—none of them being Hispanic, black, or female.

What about black Congresswoman Frederica Wilson wearing a cowboy hat? Surely that classifies as cultural appropriation. What about Hollywood films like the 1978 The Noreseman? It had a black man as a Viking! Or blacks as European aristocracy in the 1770s? The musical Hamilton—was Jefferson and Washington actually black, and Lafayette and Hamilton Puerto Ricans?

And what about Mexicans and African-Americans who are equally guilty of cultural appropriation—of European and American cultures? The original Africans and Mesoamericans lived in Stone Age cultures. Africans didn’t even have an alphabet. So where do they get off driving cars or trucks, traveling in trains and flying in airlines? Or using pens, telephones, cameras, computers, bulldozers, flashlights, garden hoses, lawnmowers, staplers, pencils, mirrors, toasters, TVs, radios, CD players, light bulbs, or microwaves? Or playing sports like golf, tennis, baseball, football, soccer, tennis, badminton? Or using any tools made from metals and plastic like screwdrivers, hammers, drills, lathes, crowbars, wheelbarrows? Or have rifles, or handguns? They cannot be using electricity—that’s cultural appropriation! They should not go to schools or universities or hospitals, or courtrooms—that would also be cultural appropriation! They should not eat, or cook, spaghetti, lasagna, pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, pecan pie, chicken cordon blue, macaroni and cheese, moo goo gai pan, ice cream, apple pies, flan, yogurt!  (we can make an exception to their using toilets) Persons of Mesoamerican and African descent should also not wear pants or dresses, but loincloths. They should not wear socks, underwear, perfume/cologne, deodorant, glasses, dentures, shirts, ties, T-shirts, sweaters, coats. The women should definitely not wear bras, but instead let their breasts out, dangling all over the place as they walk or run—barefoot. They should not use cars, pens, computers, phones of any kind, forks and spoons, nor should they play baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, etc. Any of that would be cultural appropriation.

Now that I think about it, I could actually get used to the idea — if it was applied equally. 

Armando Simón is the author of A Cuban from Kansas, Orlando Stories, Wichita Women, The Cult of Suicide and Other Science-Fiction Stories. They can be obtained at Amazon, Lulu and Barnes & Noble.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.