If It’s Wrong To Copy Other Cultures…Is It Right When They Copy Ours?

If you want to get scolded good and proper these days just try going around looking like someone else.

The only thing worse is when you try to look like yourself. If you don’t please the other people you’ll be accused and then cancelled. Or the other way around.

Being guilty of cultural appropriation, as I am, I should be packing my mental carpet bag and boarding the social steamboat about now…but I seem to have gotten away with it. People’s perceptions and memories are such imperfect things. I might be able to pull it off for years to come. Just as well that my act doesn’t require any special garments or makeup. I would be no good at pretending if I had to paint myself up like a cigar-store Indian every time I went out the door.

I have benefited, however, from the whole business of cultural purity – as practised by others, you understand. They are free to adopt whatever appearance and practise any behaviour they wish as part of pride, honour, heritage, ethnicity, religion, or pH value. I am not allowed to share in this – but I do have the responsibility to applaud and praise them. This is to be done no matter what they decide to do.

And one of the things they often decide to do is to copy us. One could almost say that they appropriate our culture when they wear our clothing styles, participate in our social and political activities, and make a good living acting like us. This can often be adoption of the worst elements in our lives, and further worsened by exaggeration and execrable taste.

But that would be criticism, and I’m not authorised for that. It’s beyond my pay grade and I don’t get paid anyway.

1 thought on “If It’s Wrong To Copy Other Cultures…Is It Right When They Copy Ours?

  1. I’m not sure about cultural appropriation. The usual assumption is that it can only be done by dominant cultures to oppressed cultures. So as white people are never oppressed their culture can be freely appropriated???

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