On April 22nd, Keziah Daum, an American teenager, shared pictures from her prom in which she was wearing a Chinese qipao dress on Twitter.
— Keziah (@daumkeziah) April 22, 2018
The legions of easily offended people arrived a tad later with pitchforks and torches to put a teenager on internet trial for “cultural appropriation”
My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress. https://t.co/vhkNOPevKD
— Jeremy Lam (@jere_bare) April 27, 2018
What is cultural appropriation, you might ask. The definition stands as the use of cultural elements of a minority by a dominant culture.
Bullshit if you ask me; our world is the result of cultural appropriation on a massive scale. Greeks took from Phoenicians and Egyptians; Romans took from Greeks, Etruscans and other people of the Italian peninsula; Russians took from Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium). The list can get rather lengthy, and yes, some of those cultures were lost in the vastness of time but others still thrive today, or we remember those lost by the elements that survived. A culture is not lost just by having its elements borrowed by another, it takes much more.
A more recent example of that continuous process is music. There are genres that are the amalgamation of various musical cultures, like rock. Rock is a mix of rhythm and blues, blues and country, that spawned countless branches and artists that are cultural icons for people of every race, color or creed.
Outrage because of “cultural appropriation” or calls for colored-only days in colleges or minority safe spaces and other such nonsense are not only misguided, they are downright offensive. People have actually died to end segregation and to make minorities accepted in places and institutions forbidden to them before. Dr. King’s speech talked about judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, but what he have today is the return of that. Some aspects of identity politics are racism with a progressive face and what those people don’t think is that will simply help the other extreme side win in the long run.
We already see seeds of that, the middle ground has been long abandoned. In the western world, most people are in their castles on the left and right, hurling insults to one another. Unfortunately, that situation only favors the extremists on either side.
Featured Image Courtesy of Twitter