Cultural Appropriation vs Cultural Diffusion Sept 10, 2020 6:28:55 GMT -5
Post by Radrook Admin on Sept 10, 2020 6:28:55 GMT -5
Cultural Appropriation vs Cultural Diffusion
Recently the term cultural appropriation has become a trend. It refers to some adopting things such as attire, religion, speech patterns, hairstyles, etc from another culture while not being is supposedly entitled to it. It seems to be based on the notion that cultures own such things and that those who imitate are illegally trespassing by using them. But it doesn't stop there with a mere accusation. Some persons believe that the imitators or obnoxious appropriators deserve to be physically punished and even cheer or gloat when they feel that a beating is being administered to the appropriator.
This was recently the case in boxing where a white woman wore her hair in the cornrows and the African American boxer was beating her badly. All the comments on you-tube were saying she deserved the beating because of cultural appropriation. Another instance was when this white dude wore his hair in dreadlocks. He was suddenly detained by an African American woman who repeatedly questioned him about his right to wear such a hairstyle.
Now, everyone basically familiar with social science knows that cultural diffusion is a natural process that occurs whenever cultures. There is an exchange of ideas, in areas of technologies farming methods, styles of government are imitated. Language sometimes undergoes profound changes such as happened in Spain when Rome invaded the Iberian Peninsula and introduced Latin with it. Such as what happened in Sub Saharan Africa when Europeans introduced Christianity or Arabs introduced Islam into North Africa and parts of the Middle East and Asia. Such as what occurred between Native Americans and Spanish Conquistadors when both borrowed from one another. and in that way enriching each other's cultures. Such as when the Romans imitating Greek ideas such as architecture and giving Greek god Roman names. Such as happened when North European tribes began adopting Roman fighting techniques. Also the European adoption of the printing press, silk, the compass, gunpowder, paper money, rockets, etc from China.
All this was accepted as the natural consequences of human interaction when two or more cultures interact via trade, military invasions, and migrations. In the United States immigration has brought us the have pizza from Italy and Hot dogs from Germany. We have borrowed foreign terms such as palaver and gusto from Spanish and hurricane and hammock from Native Americans. All this is considered to enrich the language. All have been accepted calmly by the people involved. For example, we don't see Germans or Italians accusing Americans of appropriation or claiming that a beating is deserved.
So it really is strange to suddenly see this constant outrage being expressed over such a trivial matter as somebody wearing cornrows or dreadlocks. After all, African American women and other black women throughout the world imitate white women hairstyles by having their hair stretched or wearing wigs all the time and consider it their human right to do so. So why this sudden outrage?