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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones In defence of cultural appropriation (106* d) RE: In defence of cultural appropriation 29 Jun 20


All cultures have borrowed from others (taken if you prefer) and adapted them to their own needs. It can be annoying to see others get them 'wrong' but no culture can claim a monopoly on ideas. It's not just minority cultures, for example an attempt by an American to make a video showing how to make a British cup of tea has drawn ridicule here.

Claims of cultural appropriation often seem to be really about other ways that culture is treated. For example there have been complaints from black people about white people wearing their hair in cornrows. Now whilst hair braiding is a big thing in black culture it is not uniquely African and has been practised in many cultures for thousands of years. The real issue is that whereas on whites it is seen as cool and fashionable, when blacks do it they get negative reactions. One boy took his school to court because he was told it was against their rules on hair.

Some of the things done in its name, such as student unions banning fancy dress, seem ridiculous to me. When I was a student, racism meant the Holocaust, the Civil Rights movement, apartheid, "No Blacks, no Irish" signs in pubs. It didn't mean wearing someone else's hat.


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