I’m sure you saw the headline: “‘Hunger Games’ Actress Amandla Stenberg Calls Kylie Jenner’s Cornrows Cultural Appropriation.” I had never heard that term before so I looked it up:
“Cultural appropriation is the adoption of elements of one culture by members of a different cultural group, especially if the adoption is of elements of a non-dominant culture by members of the dominant culture. Cultural appropriation may eventually lead to the imitating group being seen as the new face of said cultural practices. As minority cultures are imitated by the dominant culture, observers may begin to falsely associate certain cultural practices with the imitating culture, and not with the people who originated them. This is often seen in cultural outsiders’ use of an oppressed culture’s symbols or other cultural elements, such as music, dance, spiritual ceremonies, modes of dress, speech and social behavior, among other cultural expressions.” Wikipedia.
Obviously, this is the latest in the assault against decent people who, in a multi-cultural society such as the ONE WE LIVE IN (I call it America), wish to adopt certain styles, foods, music, dance, etc. because they enjoy, admire, aspire, etc to be like those groups with whom it originates.
“Rejection of the idea that cultural appropriation is harmful is often based on a choice to see “appropriation” as “cultural cross-fertilization” and as something done out of admiration with no intent to harm the cultures being imitated. It is also argued that the specific term “appropriation,” which can mean theft, is misleading when applied to something like culture that is not a limited resource: unlike appropriating a physical object, others imitating a cultural concept doesn’t inherently deprive its original users of the use of it. For instance, John McWhorter, a professor at Columbia University and contributing editor at The New Republic, has written that, “With gay white men and black women, for example, it’s not as if the black women are being left without their culture after the “theft,” … The idea that when we imitate something we are seeking to replace it rather than join it is weak. … Every language in the world is shot through with words and grammatical patterns from other languages—that is, signs of people in the past doing what we would call ‘appropriating.'” Critics argue this analysis omits the issue of colonialism, context, and the difference between appropriation and mutual exchange. They argue that mutual exchange happens on an “even playing field,” whereas appropriation involves pieces of an oppressed culture being taken out of context by a people who have historically oppressed those they are taking from.” (McWhorter, John. “You Can’t ‘Steal’ A Culture: In Defense of Cultural Appropriation”. The Daily Beast.)
Given this new politically correct phenomena, I would propose a list of things that are now off-limits due to overt cultural appropriation. These are but a small sample:
- Bagels – Bagels are a Jewish food, everyone knows it. So unless you have a Jewish last name, or a Jewish mother, you are no longer able to buy or consume a bagel. Men, you may drop your drawers to prove your Jewishness…. Only your Mohel knows for sure. This ban extends to lox (smoked salmon), Hebrew-National hot dogs and Kosher dill pickles.
- Chinese food – I don’t really have to explain this. Chop Suey is OK.
- French Fries – Frites are from France and most people hate the French anyway. BTW, this eliminates most good food as well. Fish and Chips are also banned because they are British.
- Tacos – Mexican, sorry, no. Burritos are OK as they were invented here. Tex Mex, while borderline, is acceptable in Texas only, lest anyone accuse you of being one of them…
- Southern Food – No one except those from the south really wants to be associated with the confederacy for obvious reasons. No BBQ, fried foods, collard greens, etc,
- Sushi – Not a soul in the US ever ate raw fish before sushi came to Japantown. Stay away from it.
- Jeans are out. Only real cowboys wore jeans, anyone else is a phony.
- Bikini bathing suits – French
- Italian designer suits – gone.
- Hawaiian Shirts – thankfully no longer permissible.
- Afros – Any attempt to apply a permanent wave in order to make straight hair curly might be construed as attempting an Afro or Afro-like hairstyle. Not allowed.
- Straight hair– those with naturally curly hair are not able to apply a straightener or use extraordinary means to straighten curly hair in order to resemble Asian or Native American straight locks.
- Cornrows or braids of any kind are off-limits.
The following words or phrase are example no longer permitted in most vocabularies
Mama (except by a child under the age of 10)
Brother (except for legal siblings and in certain church settings)
Schmuck (most don’t even know what it means anyway, it just sounds bad)
N-word (except where authorized)
Bloody (not specifically referencing the bodily fluid)
The entire English language and any other language, for that matter
- Rap and Hip-hop ( African-American)
- Country ( Again for obvious reasons)
- Jazz (African-American)
- Most classical music (of European origins)
- Rock and Roll, which has its origins in Black, gospel and blues music, all belonging to the African-American community.
- Motown – ’nuff said.
- Oh My Heck – No longer allowed if you are not a native born Utahn. Be prepared to show proof, if you dare.
- Stakehouse – please convert to Stake Center. You’re making me hungry
- Funeral Potatoes – Now only served at funerals. Not appropriate at non-funeral occasions unless you are attempting to scare away a potential suitor for one of your children as in “It’s your funeral”
- Frog-eyed Salad, which is neither frog-eyed nor salad. Please refer to as “Tapioca-infused Jello™.” Frogs are quite unhappy with the insinuation.
- Only True Church – Yes, I know that the Lord stated it in D&C Section 1:30, but if it offends one person, you cannot say it any longer.
As one can see, following the strict guidelines of no cultural appropriation does not leave us much room in this melting pot society we live in today.