This might be controversial, certainly it’s a hot-button topic. I am one of those people who feels a wrongness, a divisiveness in the rampant calls of “Cultural Misappropriation”.
I am not asking to be schooled for my feelings. I have seen the outrage against public figures and I’ve read the articles about people who “just don’t get it”. Intellectually, I can see some areas of concern but in my heart and in my widely varied gene pool, I’m having a hard time with the vociferous protests. More to the point of my post title, I feel like all the gains made by the ideals of love, inclusiveness and caring for my fellow humans – a set of values that had its renaissance and greatest resonance in the 1960’s and into the 1970’s – is being lost.
Again, I’m not asking to be educated. I have a degree or two, I don’t live in a cave. This is what all the outcry makes me feel.
The diversity of my family background, my friends, associates and colleagues; has given me a wealth of cultural experiences. There have been discussions, get-togethers, shopping, suppers and all of these things have deepened my understanding of customs and things that are not my own.
A few quick points; starting with the most recent backlash against a public figure (can’t recall the name – sorry) who was seen wearing “dreadlocks”. I know that as a fashion, this hairstyle is most commonly associated with a particular group. I also know that if I don’t put my hair into braids at night, it will twist itself into very long dreads by the next day. The notion that early man, forebear to all of us, shared a similar hair style, isn’t much of a stretch is it?
There are certain cultural icons that have been marketed to the world outside by the identifiable group itself. To turn around now and be angry just doesn’t make sense to me. So many people have begun a journey of learning and understanding with one small token, one small idea.
In the most simplistic of explanations, the outcry of “cultural misappropriation” feels like a kid who gets mad and grabbing their bucket, stomps away from sandbox.
I’ll continue to read and listen. I see nothing wrong in continuing to talk about ways to respect other people, culture and customs but I stand by my belief that making ourselves insular is taking a huge step backward for all of us hanging out here on planet earth.
14 June 2017