Any movement, goal, or idea that I don't consciously stand behind, yet I can't see how it's existence is hurting any individual’s freedom, I will remain silent about. With that in mind, there are a couple "liberal" concepts I have found I don't see the light behind, yet I don’t comment about actively because the defense of such is not actively harming anyone’s humanity or freedom. Admittedly, and obviously due to the title of this article, one of them was "Cultural Appropriation".
"Cultural Appropriation" is so close to that conscientious-line, I have remained silent for several years now ever since I've become aware of the concept. But apparently I feel like being slightly controversial tonight because I think I finally found the exact hair that I always felt was there to split.
I find it hard for me to care about "Cultural Appropriation" because, on a case by case basis, it's seemingly always about arbitrary things that an individual is doing for fun. And when someone is found to be guilty of "Cultural Appropriation" it never looks like anything more than guilting someone into not doing something they enjoy. Simply due to "culture".
From where I have stood since I was 18 years old, "culture", when used as a weapon, a.k.a. coercing someone to do, or not-do, something because of “tradition” or “religion”, has always looked like suppression. Just because “Cultural Appropriation” is coming from a different angle, doesn’t make it any more reasonable. "Culture" is, too often through history, dead-mans-baggage being used to tell people what they should and should-not do, disregarding changing circumstances, information or reason.
Maybe you don't think of the world as I do, but I find "inspiration" and/or "motivation" to be the hardest things to capture in this world. I see the elusiveness of those goals as the biggest obstacle for most individuals in this lifetime, including myself. And anytime I see an argument about “Cultural Appropriation” it always looks like subjectively yelling at someone about how they shouldn't do something they enjoy, because..."culture".
If someone feels like cooking a certain food, doing their hair a certain way, or creating a song with a certain technique, the idea that they are told NOT TO for the vague argument of "cultural appropriation" bites directly into an individuals inspiration and motivation and freedom. You know how hard it is to be a motivated person about something? To create something? I find it's really hard or really lucky to find inspiration. Therefor, it's hard for me not to see the use of this phrase, “Cultural Appropriation”, as much more than throwing dead-peoples-baggage at someone to hold them back.
But like I said...this is from where I'm standing...
It's been argued against me, when I've dared to somewhat state this opinion, that it is because I have the privilege of choosing not to care about my culture of origin that I can feel this way. Some argue that some people's ancestry was ripped from them through history's atrocities and that I am talking from a point of privilege.
I find that argument against me provocative and not without merit, but overall does not speak against the core of my point. My point is talking about how this world is moving forward and we all operate on an individual level. Regardless of a percentage of people standing against the progressive movement of human culture, we continue to become a more interconnected world, a more information-based world, and inevitably a more blended world in all ways.
And that's not a problem!
So to attempt to tell people NOT to do certain things for the next 100 years or so (and at which point it will be futile to even attempt to decipher such differences) simply because of our short-sighted ideas of “culture”, is just silly.
Splitting this hair may seem wrong, petty, obnoxious or ill-timed. But I feel the need to split this hair now because of the cultural rift we are currently experiencing. The fact that I am someone that is, by sheer goals and ethics, generalized as a “liberal” and/or “progressive”, I find it necessary to fight back against over-reaching “liberal” concepts such as the broad-stroke usage of “cultural appropriation”. It’s necessary to attempt to self-regulate from within because our true progressive goals -- i.e. protecting human rights, fighting for a functional government, acknowledging the progression of wealth-inequality with it’s effects on our economies and society, fighting for fact & science based decision making -- these goals get lost under a sea of finger-wagging, “liberal”, SJW-esque articles. And shame based, finger-wagging articles have become too synonymous with “liberals” for too many people.
So when you add all the above arguments together, that’s why I finally found it necessary to say something. I’m not trying to say “Cultural Appropriation” is an unreasonable concept. I’m just saying I don’t think it’s helping our culture move forward, to wield it as a weapon or pressure point.
By Chad BadChecker Becker
*So there's that. I opened a box marked Pandora. What do people have to say? *
is a thirty-something guy who hasn't been able to look away from politics since 2008. Around the time he got tired of staring at religion.