The Thing About Cultural Appropriation

Now listen I get that some many of you are tired of hearing about this, but let me be honest. It is still happening and being falsely justified so I will keep talking about it. Now that, that is out is out of the way here it is:

CULTURE HAS CONTEXT, the reason that is bolded is because it is important to understand for the following. When you take a practice from another culture and mold it to your own use you remove it of it’s context and therefore its actual sacredness. Corrupting the reason the tradition/object/practice exists. Making the theft not only immoral but also illogical.

Now a common rebuttal is that “WELL I APPRECIATE YOUR CULTURE!” again it is cool to have interests and read up and understand cultures outside of your own. However, if your are told that what you are doing is appropriative and racist, and your answer is the above you clearly don’t actually appreciate anything. It is nothing about your appreciation, it is about your ego. Someone who really appreciates knows when to stay in their lane. I appreciate oil paintings, I don’t go to Art Museums and mishandle and possible damaged the pieces within, there are docents, curators, and art restorers, they know what they are doing, can answer my questions, and also preserve art. Much like practitioners of closed cultures. This doubly offensive because many of us spend years, relearning cultures stolen from us, traditions that have be forcibly removed, ancestral traditions of people who suffered terrible things. The context of that history really matter. Also, please to be as self righteous as to think that people of color really need your help to preserve our culture, that a whole other issue really, but stop with the savior nonsense. For those of you who continue to appropriate after being confronted it’s about your ego, about wanting something for the title the person gratification. And that is fucking disgusting it honestly is. Actually appreciating something means that if you misuse or appropriate something you apologize, step back, and learn. So as to not damage the culture you appreciate, take a place that you haven’t earned and don’t deserve.

Another common rebuttal is “BUT IT’S BEEN USED AS FASHION/ ISSA TRADITION,” that means literally nothing guys. Just because something has happened in the past and been considered okay doesn’t mean anything, mostly because POC have only recently had the right to even speak up about offensive things. Being forced into silence for hundreds of years in order to survive does not make previous appropriation okay. I am sorry but your crappy war bonnets for fashion and sports ball aren’t traditions they are bastardizations of actual thousand year old traditions. Make up your own stuff stop stealing ours. This clever tactic of taking from other cultures and then stripping them of their sacredness is a literal symptom of oppression. You reduce, barbarism, and mock a culture long enough, and you stop taking the people who are a part of it seriously. Their humanity is reduced and after being constantly dehumanized, that is when violence against minorities populations  becomes acceptable. Let People of Color be PEOPLE.

Stop making bullshit excuses for your harmful shitty behavior, none of the excuses you make for appropriation make any logical sense. Removing the context makes no spiritual sense, as without the context the sacredness is gone. Get over your ego, stop stealing things that don’t belong to you. Grow up.

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