I was reading a piece in the Washington Post concerning “Cultural Appropriation.” The whole thing struck me as absurd, so my next step is to research this term and what it means to folks. From Wikipedia (via Google):
Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture. Cultural appropriation, often framed as cultural misappropriation, is sometimes portrayed as harmful and is claimed to be a violation of the collective intellectual property rights of the originating culture.
I’ve really stepped in it now because I’ve stepped not only into culture, but intellectual property, and that will lead me down the road to the negative effects of all out capitalism and a culture of “me.” This might take a while.
In this story from the Washington Post, I found a couple of ideas that rang true. I can agree with this:
Calling “cultural appropriation” is an easy way to call attention to an infraction, real or imagined. But the overuse of the term obscures offenses that might actually deserve more censure, exaggerates some that don’t deserve much at all and weakens the power of the concept in general. It’s “the boy who cried burrito.”
The more I read, the more I question. The Cambridge Dictionary (British English) uses this definition:
noun [ U ]
/ˌkʌl.tʃər.əl əˌprəʊ.priˈeɪ.ʃən/ /ˌkʌl.tʃɚ.əl əˌproʊ.priˈeɪ.ʃən/ disapproving
the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture: