Cultural Appropriation… or rather: the permission of social media justice warriors to get everyone upset about something that has absolutely no real importance. All of this while ignoring real problems of the world.
We have become a generation that gives way to hyper sensitivity. Victimize yourself and feel good while doing it. We must coddle everyone. Shield people from anything and anyone that might offend their sensitivities.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are certain things I agree we should not mess with. Religious symbols that are vital to a culture falls in that category – using an outfit to poke fun at a culture. Hairstyles? Not so much.
Recently there is a wave happening all over my beloved internet. A wave of anger dedicated to shaming anyone who dare use something on their body that is not original to their own culture.
I am currently very confused on what to do with myself. Am I allowed to wear braids? Should I take a DNA test to check where all my ancestors are from and then research if thousands of years ago those same ancestors wore braids? or wore the jewelry I now like to wear? Just kidding, I know my DNA won’t matter, it will all come down to how I look at this very moment. White skin, dark hair.
Should I adopt Spanish customs? No, I was not born in Spain. So I should just stick to purely Venezuelan outfits and hairstyles.
Hmmm… but what are those? What is purely Venezuelan without a doubt? What I have worn all my life has been influenced by Europe and the United States, perhaps some Middle Eastern jewelry here and there. Is that cultural appropriation? The calamity! The humanity! I should be ashamed of myself.
Now seriously, the topic of cultural appropriation has become very very hot these days. People from all races and backgrounds jumping in to defend a culture that does not even care enough to say anything. Why is this kind of social media activism happening so aggressively? Why don’t they do something that matters and protest against Starbucks cups not being Christian enough? Oh wait…
Actually, if people focused on real issues perhaps we would have a chance to tackle them. Issues like, well i don’t know, children being killed daily in Syria by International disagreements, government oppression in South America, or actual blatant racism or sexism here in the United States.
No, people want to get sweaty over braids and dreadlocks. People want to feel that they are doing some good by discriminating against those that happen to like a style predominantly used by another culture/race (btw dreadlocks and braids aren’t only historically part of black culture).
The argument is: well they have been discriminated against for wearing them, so we shouldn’t wear them either. Sooo we discriminate some more instead of fighting the discrimination itself?
Sounds like a good tactic.
How about everyone get off their high self-righteous horse and attempt to solve issues that actually matter. Realize that people using symbols of other cultures are not claiming ownership over them… well most of the time.
If I want to walk around in a bavarian outfit with henna all over my arms because I think it looks cool… I should be allowed to (even if it really will look strange).
Where is the line going to be? We are getting out of control, next thing I know some activist will be yelling at me whilst I am eating a taco because I am not Mexican.
We should be embracing each other’s cultures. Praising the mix, the diversity. Otherwise, the division will lead to more hate, more separation, and more resentment.