“If I have seen further, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”- Sir Isaac Newton
Cultural appropriation is another intellectual device to attack people for what is considered, and has been throughout history, normal everyday behavior. I can understand their sense that cultural symbols can be used or appropriated in disrespectful ways, but it is those appropriation critics that seem the most disrespectful, the most intolerant and the least open to new experience. Beyond being a propaganda tool that frighteningly inhibits free behavior, I cannot make any sense of it. Others agree and use the term loony left. Some time ago a local pundit on a local forum complained that some current practice dilutes Mexican culture and was therefore wrong. Apparently she has never observed a Fourth of July piñata. Mexican immigrants become Mexican American, not unlike all the prior immigrant groups, and contribute to our dynamic American culture. We all eat burritos now, just like we eat pizza or bagels.
But in addition to the desired process of assimilation, I also can’t comprehend the premise of cultural appropriation. After all, what is Mexican culture? It’s a blend of Spanish and Aztec. Aztec culture is a blend of the prior Olmec plus other indigenous peoples. Spanish culture is a blend of the Visgothic and Roman cultures. The Roman culture, in turn, is a blend of the Etruscan and Greek with prior indigenous Roman culture. This has always been called human history but is now apparently considered a social construct like the multiple genders.
In the posted comments section of some discussion a while back some anti-Semite said that the Jews were a fraud because they stole Hammurabi’s Code and then sold it to the world as there’s. While some Jewish scholars may not recognize their Babylonian origin including the prior Epic of Gilgamesh, logic says it’s likely just as the prior Sumerian and Akkadian cultures helped create the later Babylonian culture. The early Hebrews built on their past and created something new. That led to Christianity. Is Christianity invalid because it’s a cultural appropriation from Judaism?
The only example I know of in history of the freezing of cultures was Stalin’s program of preserving folk cultures which turned them into meaningless ritual. Cultures are dynamic. If we didn’t learn from each other humanity would surely be in an even sadder state. Rootless ahistoric experts like those who proclaim multiple genders are now deified as philosopher kings. The expression loony left is probably an understatement. The dangers are obvious and imminent.
Copyright 2018, Mark L. Bennett