Culture should be shared not excluded

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Cultural appropriation continues to divide America when it shouldn’t

The liberals and social justice warriors continue to preach inclusion and acceptance for a world filled with diversity. They argue that people should accept the beliefs and cultures that they do not individually share or believe. When individuals do such a thing however, the liberals, or the left, go after them with the phrase “cultural appropriation.”

Cultural appropriation is the “adoption of the elements of one culture by members of another culture,” according to James Young in his book Cultural Appropriation and the Arts. Culture, which should be something that brings people together to learn about and love each other, has now been taken by the left as something that should divide.

Cultural appropriation comes from emotion and a deep connection to history. It’s a power statement from one group to another in which one group says they are higher than the other. This is seen when group one says that group two can’t do the things that group one does. But pulling such power statements doesn’t solve any problems, instead, it actually creates more, because it divides the groups rather than unites them.

All cultures are influenced by other cultures and therefore nothing is truly original about any culture.

Miley Cyrus, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Lin and other celebrities have been accused of cultural appropriation.

When Katy Perry, in 2013, performed a “geisha-inspired act” at the American Music Awards, the politically-correct police came out and told her that she was culturally appropriating Japanese culture.

But was Katy Perry dressing-up as a geisha really so bad? Apparently, to Japanese people, not really.

A video done by That Japanese Man Yuta on YouTube, asked Japanese citizens whether or not they were offended by the performance. Most of the Japanese citizens in the video stated that they thought “it was amazing” and that they “wished more people would do it.” One woman stated in the video that she thought it was wonderful because people would be exposed to Japanese culture and learn to appreciate it.

“It’s a sweet sentiment that people represent the culture and they shouldn’t be ashamed by wanting to appreciate it,” says Aiona Butters, a senior communication major.

America is a melting pot of cultural appropriation because this country was built around merging cultures into what we call “American.” The great part of living in such a diverse country is that people get to share each other’s culture, food, music, clothing, stories and history.

Americans should appreciate other cultures, learn about them, and want to be a part of them. The past is the past, and we should learn to move on. Historically, certain cultures have been marginalized and hurt and to this day still are. Yes, there always needs to be improvement, but people can’t do that by constantly pointing fingers and pushing others away. It’s easier to make friends than enemies, and yet all the left wants to do is create enemies with each group.

It is racist to limit someone of a different race from doing one thing because they don’t belong to that race. That’s real racism, and it’s happening in this country.

So is cultural appropriation bad? Maybe, or maybe not. But what people in certain cultures should do is not be so exclusive with their cultures, but rather learn to share and love others, in order to create a more unified society and country.