The US needs to stop appropriating Arab Culture

We all know how the US prides itself on it’s “Melting Pot” of cultures, as gross as that concept is. Unfortunately this leads to something that is now widely known as “Cultural Appropriation”.

Wikipedia defines “Cultural Appropriation” as: “..the adoption of elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture.[2][3][4] It is distinguished from an equal cultural exchange due to an imbalance of power, often as a byproduct of colonialism and oppression.”

Basically, it’s a dominant culture (aka white guys) stealing ideas and colonizing them from a minority culture. There are many examples to draw from:

  • Native American cultural references (ie- Sports team names, tribal symbols for tattoos, making comments about “spirit animals”)
  • Asian cultural references (ie- Japanese character tattoos, stealing anime drawing styles, Chinese fashion)
  • Black culture (ie- Musical genres such as Jazz and Rap, AAVE, traditional black hairstyles)

The list goes on and on, and while most of these are being called out with more and more frequency, there’s a particularly egregious example that I’m surprised that hasn’t been called out yet:

Arab Culture.

I know, right? For a culture who seems to hate Arabs the way the US does, they certainly do love to emulate it. How you ask?

The US Gun Culture. You’ve seen the pictures and videos. You’ve heard the speeches at NRA rallies and meetings. You know how huge the Alt-Right is on the “right to bear arms”. These are all appropriated from Arab culture.

Guns are HUGE over in Arab countries. Walk into any Arab town or city and you’ll see proud Arab people gallantly walking about with their AK-47’s and pistol side arms. You can see the US is moving more and more towards this kind of openness with their guns.

Look no further than Kaitlin Bennett. This is a prime example of Arab cultural appropriation. Openly sharing photos of herself with a rifle strapped to her back, and even going so far to having her graduation photos with the rifle included. It reminded me about all those photos of Iraq and Iran with the protectors of the town nobly guarding their town from insurgents. What this petulent child has done is gross and needs to stop. Arab culture is not your costume.

What’s next? Bringing your rifles to a wedding? Firing them up in the air in celebration? These are proud moments in Arab culture, and a unique expression of their joy for their family members. It’s only a matter of time before this too becomes a practice in America.

Let’s not impose our colonial tendencies on other cultures like this. Let’s our Arab neighbours proudly express themselves via largely careless and often times deadly gunplay, and stay in our own lane for once.

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