What do of the world’s privileged liberals, academics and professional grievance-mongers do when we’ve solved many of the real-world hardships faced in the West?
Answer: they invent new problems, to prove they’re hard-done-by.
Top of the stack is the very modern absurdity of “cultural appropriation”, which means that wearing clothes or even eating food from somewhere else on Earth can now be classified as racist.
You know, like all of us do, every single day.
It’s a modern disease, it’s everywhere, and we’re having a spectacular end-of-year run on it.
Cultures must never mix, apparently https://t.co/JOEW6N2R1b
— Heat Street (@heatstreet) December 5, 2016
Three days ago, a University of Wisconsin-Madison “Hijabi for a Day” event, organized by the Muslim Student Association, invited women to wear headscarves and also to talk with a Muslim woman about the head covering’s meanings.
But organiser Farhat Bhuiyan said some students claimed it was cultural appropriation, and four more said that participating could be “problematic.”
So an event organised by Muslims to help Muslims, was deemed by other Muslims to be offensive to Muslims. Got that?
Last week, a Victoria’s Secret lingerie show that featured a wrap-around dragon motif was deemed “Orientalist” by a pearl-clutching Cosmopolitan writer who, of course, wasn’t male.
It was Groundhog Day for the lingerie giant, who got into hot water in 2012 when a model wore a Native American headdresses, which a Navajo Nation spokesman said was “spitting on our culture”.
Conveniently, you can only “culturally appropriate” if you’re a dominant culture, borrowing from a “minority” culture. Complain if say, black people, appropriate from white culture, and you’re racist. Obviously.
This was perfectly exemplified last week, when Larry Jefferson became the Mall Of America’s first “Santa of color”.
— Amir Sariaslan (@AmirSariaslan) December 2, 2016
Spectacularly missing the point that Santa is a fictional character who never existed, some folks screamed “but Santa’s white!”
Naturally, the very same media commentators who continually tell us it is “problematic” for, say, white people to have dreadlocks thought this most progressive.
Which is funny, because dreadlocks weren’t invented by black people at all. Indeed, their first recorded existence was in the Hindu Vedic scriptures dating from around 1700BC.
This clearly proves Rastas culturally appropriated them, so does it make Bob Marley racist? Absurd, isn’t it?
No one has articulated a remotely plausible positive vision of what a world free of cultural appropriation would look like. Not ever.
— Freddie (@freddiedeboer) December 1, 2016
We either totally ignore bleats of cultural appropriation – the sensible option – or we trace everything back to its beginnings and rid cultures of all we’ve appropriated.
Britain would have to give curry back to India. That would be admittedly painful, but not half so painful as India giving back the stuff they appropriated from Britain: law and the English language, the civil service, a world-renowned train system and cricket.
And if Native Indians have such a beef with students or YMCA troupes for donning a feathered headdress, perhaps they should stop wearing Levis and Nikes, and sending angry tweets on Apple products?
coachella barbie: now with 20% more cultural appropriation pic.twitter.com/mZthjSXins
— adam (@adxtyler) November 26, 2016
We should culturally appropriate more, not less. The world is a magnificent melting pot: let’s dive in.
When I grew up in multi-cultural, inner-city Britain, culturally appropriating reggae, ska and later hip-hop music helped me accept and love black culture, and black people.
>mfw kale is cultural appropriation pic.twitter.com/dTjw5vNM41
— Metrokun (@Metrokun) December 6, 2016
You can’t build walls around cultures; they should be smashed down. Ring-fencing culture echoes the very same segregation the civil rights movement raged against.
So let’s brew Colombian coffee in our Swedish kitchens, make love with exotic partners while listening to Jamaican reggae, then drive our German cars while dressed as Native Americans, and, finally, slam a shot of something culturally appropriated from Mexico.
And if the offendatrons choke on it, so much the better.
Because it’s our party, and we’ll culturally appropriate if we want to.