July 21st, 2018

Cultural appropriation concerns taken to extremes

By Letter to the Editor on May 13, 2018.

I have been reading a bit about the young lady in Utah who wore a cheongsam to her high school prom. The response about cultural appropriation seems to have taken on a life of its own. It seems to me that there is a greater cultural appropriation which most of the people involved with this issue have missed.

English is a Germanic language. A lot of the people who are taking offence and umbridge at the young lady’s attire aren’t Germanic. Yet they have appropriated English (language is, after all cultural) to condemn her.

So, the only fair thing to do is to demand that all people who are not culturally entitled to use English, stop using it instantly. It is an affront to our culture. Stop immediately I say: you culture thieves. How dare you write to and about her in English.

Of course, we could just understand that this is a global village and if you want to look for genetic or cultural purity, you might want to take an historical approach: the present is a blend of all humanity. Your choice.

Randy Van Zwol


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2 Responses to “Cultural appropriation concerns taken to extremes”

  1. biff says:

    it is perhaps racist to prevent others from using/enjoying/experimenting with one’s cultural aspects? what might non-western peoples say if they were banned from using english writing and alphabet; from wearing ‘western” clothing; from eating pizza; from using “western” musical instruments; from accessing “western” health care….? the list can go on and on, but the idea that a group holds the sole right to think and practice anything is narrow and selfish, and does far more to create suspicion, division, ignorance – the things upon which racism is founded and flourishes.
    to that end, to be able to hold awards ceremonies that honour singular groups whilst excluding other groups – such as the black music awards – needs to be shot down immediately. hard to imagine getting away with the white music awards. i am all for inclusion – but not sure why it is that the saxon group is the only one that apologises for its sick behaviours, and all other groups that each have their own history of sick behaviour get to be exclusive and do not apologise or even acknowledge their transgressions.

  2. Tony Pargeter says:

    Good point, and another reason that left-wing types are legitimately laughed at.

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