Taking sides pt.2
Now focusing on the other side of the debate, we are going to discuss why cultural appropriation is currently being blown out of proportion. We will begin by talking about the fact that as I have stated before, what people are calling “cultural appropriation” is just a natural accurance in history. It is only human to copy or adopt things that you see if one likes what they see. It is how different fashion trends came to be. Every language in this world is some what copied, sampled from others, or “appropriated”. Almost every country in the world has cars, airplanes, buildings, bridges, etc. All of these things had to have started somewhere but somehow spread to different parts of the world where they put their own spin on it. Clothing styles and music styles constantly get sampled from because again it is human nature to imitate the things we see that we like. In an article written by Lawrence Jones called Black Culture Doesn’t ‘Own’ Dreadlocks: Why Cultural Appropriation Doesn’t Exist he makes some very good points on the African American dread loc debate. “Dreadlocks don’t belong to black culture. It’s been a hairstyle that’s been around since people were in loincloths, and has been worn by almost every ethnicity you can think of.” It is a very common notion that dread locs are a part of the African, Jamaican and overall black culture. But people of almost every race and culture has adopted this hair style and it is a part of a universal trend in this day and age. While yes it is greatly associated with the black community it is a hair style that is displayed by many different people despite the color of their skin. While on the subject of skin color he makes another valid point. “I grew up in a predominately black neighborhood, but we had a few whites and hispanics that lived there with us. Because they lived in that area, the kids would often adopt a lot of methods and styles of the black kids. See, despite their skin color, that was their culture too, and we all shared in it together. Telling them to stop was never something that crossed our minds. It was just who we were. It proves that you don’t have to have a certain level of melanin to be a part of a culture.” I have seen a lot of cases where a person was said to be acting speaking or dressing like another race when at the end of the day you can’t speak a race, you cant act a race, and you cant dress like a race. Yes, some people may be putting up a front pretending to be something they are not but depending on where you grew up you are going to adopt the ways of speaking dressing and acting regaurdless of race. In another article written by Tom Swiss called There Is No Such Thing as “Cultural Appropriation” he says “When we see an idea — a hairstyle, a type of personal ornamentation, a religious belief or ritual — in use in another culture and choose to copy it, it does not in any way interfere with the original culture’s ability to practice that idea.” Many people get offended when they see people who are not a part of their culture partaking in their traditions but never really stop to realize that this isn’t stopping them from continuing to practice these traditions. It is actually not doing anything to them at all. In response to a Tumblr post claiming that hipsters wearing headdresses is cultural appropriation, Juhie Desai claims that “When one purchases an item that belongs to another culture, they do so out of admiration and respect.” People only tend to copy things when they have positive thoughts towards them. No one is going to copy an idea if they believe it is a bad one and this should in turn be taken in more ways than one as a compliment if done correctly. Finally a writer named Stefanie Michelle created an entire blog around the subject. She is a more care free and vulgar writter with very strong language but she does get her message across loud and clear. In a nut shell without slinging her f-bombs all over the place she brings to light that while she does understand the basis behind cultural appropriation the actions people are taking against them such as the things theyre saying and doing are anything but helpful to the culture overall. She talks about how verbally attacking these people is kind of like adding salt to a wound. Its not solving the situation and in turn it is making you and your culture look bad and hostile. She also makes a good point in stating that none of these people being attacked by these defenders of culture were actually involved in what occured back in the day when cultures were ripped from people and entire races were murdered in cold blood just because they were different. So holding them responsible is irrisponsible.