More and more I’m learning that the much of the fighting between the “left” and “right” is pointless.
Often the actual fight is the result of knee-jerk reactions, overcompensations simply to resist the other side. One side doesn’t really care about an issue, but they have to respond simply to counter what the other side has said or done. Or, they agree generally speaking, with the other side. But because this has been a war raging long before we were born, we can’t admit we agree.
So, on almost every issue we must take sides, even if there is no reason to fight.
It’s why, during President George W. Bush’s time in office, Democrats resisted his attempts at reforming Social Security (not end it, just make necessary changes so it could survive into the future). Or why today, Democrats are opposed to Trump’s crack down on illegal immigration, despite President Clinton saying pretty much the same thing.
It’s also why current discussions on race and culture seem completely ridiculous to me. They are largely built on wrong assumptions or outright lies, meant to manipulate you, the gentle reader. People that are generally the same, come from the same cities and countries, with similar beliefs and customs, are turned against each other—because they have different last names, facial features, or skin color.
Growing up we were told that race doesn’t matter. That, in the end, what was on the inside counted most. I don’t have to quote Dr. Martin Luther King again, but I will:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
We were told that, whether you were black or white, we all deserved the same rights and freedoms. We all deserved to grow up in a country that protected our ability to learn, speak, worship, and find success. We were told that what mattered most was who we are as people; our character, not skin color.
Maybe it’s because our society as a whole has moved away from the whole “all men are created equal” ideal that we are facing problems. Maybe it’s because the thought that there is a God, governing our lives and watching over us, is no longer influencing our decisions. Perhaps our wildly bankrupt morality has eventually led to the race problems we are facing today.
Regardless of the reasoning, it seems things have never been worse between white and black people. At least on a political level. You might get along with your neighbors and co-workers, regardless of race. As with everything, often the reality is different from what’s perceived. But there are battles being fought out there, and the outcome could determine the course of our children’s and their children’s lives.
Right now, fights are being waged over culture. One side is claiming there is too much “cultural appropriation.” Another side claims there is too much “multiculturalism” going on in our countries. I don’t agree with either of them.
Many racial activists, mostly liberals, are attacking white people for “appropriating” parts of their culture. The argument is certain articles of clothing, style, music, and food are being “stolen” from ethnic groups to be used (or abused) by white people. This is a new cardinal sin. But it’s bullshit.
Recently, pop star Katy Perry met with Black Lives Matter cheerleader Deray McKesson to pour out her sins of cultural appropriation. Something to do with her wearing cornrows in a music video or something. It was all very weird and pointless. But they put the video up online, expecting us to think this was important.
During a very cringe interview with Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson, Katy Perry apologized for her past cultural appropriation…
A clip from the exchange opens with Perry apologizing for wearing her hair in cornrows in her “This Is How We Do” music video.
Perry says she had “a hard conversation with one of my empowered angels Cleo about what does it mean – why, why can’t I wear my hair that way or what is the history behind wearing the hair that way?”
“She told me about the power in black women’s hair and how beautiful it is and the struggle,” Perry continues. “And I listened, and I heard, and I didn’t know.” (Milo)
Yes, because the strength of a black woman… is in her hair. I’m sorry, are we living in a fairy tale? I thought a person’s strength came from their intelligence, skills, talent, integrity, and generosity. When did we decide strength came from something as superficial as hair styles?
I know that hair can be an important thing for a person, especially women. But why are we teaching our young girls that power comes from the style of their hair? And why is that power suddenly stolen because a white woman uses the same hairstyle?
Hey, I think white people wearing dreads is laughable too, but it’s hardly robbing a group of people of their strength and importance.
The agenda being pushed by “cultural appropriation” advocates is built on flawed logic. You cannot appropriate culture; it’s an ever-shifting, ever-changing concept. Much like human DNA, culture mingles with other culture, regularly creating something new.
It’s hilarious to think that anyone can lay down boundaries on culture and say, “This is our culture. It was created by us—with no outside influences—and nobody else can take it.”
Even a simple look into history will show you that peoples from around the world regularly interacted with other cultures and societies. Do you really believe they weren’t taking anything back with them? Groups migrated across continents. They brought their customs, beliefs, and culture with them. They impacted the development of the culture into which they arrived.
Hell, the Roman Empire did a good job of stirring up the pot. They conquered everyone from England to Africa. You think there wasn’t some cross-cultural mingling going on?
If that was the case 2000 years ago, it’s even truer today. With travel between countries so effortless and the massive impact television and the Internet have had on younger generations, it’s ludicrous to think our cultures haven’t been regularly changing and evolving with each new influence.
But no, your hoop earrings are exclusively yours. Nobody else can wear them.
This is also true for right-wingers who rail against “multiculturalism.” Recent years have seen drastic changes take place in Europe, as millions of Middle Eastern migrants enter their countries. Subsequently, there’s been a rise in violence, rape, and terrorism. Connection? Probably. But as native Europeans demand action from their governments, politically correct leaders claim that to be against the migrant program is to be a racist.
Europe will only benefit from multiculturalism.
So, conservatives and right-wingers have attacked this concept. And it seems like they are advocating a white-only, Eurocentric culture, that is separate from the influences of other parts of the globe.
Obviously, the concerns with migrants entering Europe has little to do with culture. It is about protecting the values, liberties, and lives of citizens that are endangered by a poorly vetted program that has allowed dangerous people to enter their countries. Culture isn’t to blame.
Yet because the left use the excuse of multiculturalism to justify the massive migration, right-wingers have overcompensated, claiming white culture or whatever is in danger.
It’s as dumb as “cultural appropriation.”
You do not own culture. You cannot have a monopoly on clothing, hairstyles, music, food, or anything else. Just like you cannot have a monopoly on how people procreate. Human DNA will mingle with other human DNA. Is it a crime if a white American marries a Japanese person? Is it wrong for them to have children, who are raised sharing both American and Japanese cultures? Some people might not like that situation, but they have no say in the matter.
Just as you cannot decide who marries who and who has children with who, you cannot control what culture overlaps and mingles with another.
Think of this: what if you saw a white man wearing a dashiki. Is that cultural appropriation? Is it wrong for a white man to wear a decidedly African garment?
If he were an empty-head man who thought the shirt just looked cool, maybe you’d be right.
But what if the man was an expert in West African history? What if he taught African and African American studies at a college? What if he traveled to Africa regularly and his work enriched and improved the lives and knowledge of African people? The reason for him wearing a dashiki would be very different from a person who was wearing it just to look stylish.
But would it be right? Is he violating the culture of another group, or just wearing a piece of clothing from a culture he respects and loves?
Ultimately, who is to decide? Are we going to let our decisions be dictated by mob rule? Are we going to have our freedoms (even a relatively minor freedom like this) be infringed upon because a political opportunist decides it so?
There are few places in the world that haven’t been impacted by different cultures. If you pull the threads of a specific aspect of culture, you’ll find it usually leads to unexpected places. No society has developed in a vacuum (expert for maybe North Korea, good luck living there) and to say that one culture is entirely distinct from another is willfully ignoring history and the basics of human existence.
Both arguments, “cultural appropriation” and “anti-multiculturalism” are wrong. Culture cannot be contained in a box. It certainly cannot be controlled by politics (in fact, the opposite is true).
But it’s a moot point, anyway. People like Perry and Deray will continue to push their flawed agenda, duping many people into this counter-intuitive concept. It won’t change reality. Culture will continue to evolve, reshape itself, transform and fragment, for as long as humans are around.
As soon as you put up barriers around it, it will break free. Because it was never bound in the first place.