Cultural appropriation needs to stop

By Tuesday Bowen

 

Black culture is a rising trend across many ethnicities in this society. Cornrows, dreadlocks, black slang, and black music have all been integrated into our mainstream society. However, black people have not been as integrated or appreciated. Cultural appropriation of the black community needs to be heavily addressed and targeted in our society.

First, let’s start with what black culture is. Black culture is the way that African Americans celebrate, carry themselves, and live their lives; that is if a black person chooses to take part in their own culture. It incorporates dancing, music, singing, clothing, hair styles, and ways of living that black people have created over many years by many ancestors.

For example, black music can include jazz, rap, soul, and R&B, all of which were pioneered by black artists. Another example, black hairstyles (dreadlocks cornrows, etc.) are not simply styles, rather they are specifically made to preserve African American hair.

Like any other culture, black culture has its own historical and cultural roots. Every ethnicity has its own type of culture, and trying to integrate into an already widespread culture without belonging in it is not appropriate. One needs to have a true appreciation of the culture to be able to participate, and simply adopting a style is not enough.

All cultures around the world are appropriated in some way or another; however, these cultures are not integrated into everyday life by those who are not a part of that culture to the same extent as black culture.

White people especially choose to appropriate cultures other than their own because they want to be a part of one that actually embraces their ancestors. For instance, Kylie Jenner getting cornrows is deemed acceptable and Kendall Jenner wearing an afro is considered stylish; however, when black people do this, it is considered dirty or not professional.

This unfair mentality needs to come to an end. Appropriating cultures hurts the culture itself, and is also offensive to those who actually live in and were born into that culture. Culture is sacred, and not something to be tampered or experimented with. There is a huge difference between appreciation and appropriation, which is something society needs to grasp.

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Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper

3 thoughts

  1. The thing is right the “issue” you bring to light is possibly the greatest non-issue of our era. You present absolutely no evidence to how this “issue” hurts these minorities who are being “appropriated”. You also make the common mistake of falling into U.S. perspective where it seems that white people have no “culture” Just take a look outside and see the rich cultural history of Russia, Britain, France, Etc. Etc. You also ignore examples of this appropriation that targets white people, take for example St. Patrick’s day, it is popular with people across the States, despite being it Irish, Santa Claus a Dutch cultural figure has been co-opted globally, OktoberFest is celebrated in the U.S., despite it being a Germanic thing; but I guess that doesn’t matter because if they are white? For Whites hold all the power is your excuse for such behavior. What if the Irish, the Dutch, the Germans all decided to get pissy about “Muh Culture” being co-opted by us; they’d look pretty dumb to the greater public if they even tried to ban anyone from partaking in those events.

    Next right, I assume you believe in the idea of a melting pot correct? The idea of multiculturalism, well the idea of multiculturalism only works if you let cultures diffuse, and this diffusion can only occur if you let people celebrate other people’s culture. The fact that you only try to paint the “appropriation” of one culture as negative, while completely ignoring the other examples simply on the basis of their skin pigmentation shows that you are the embodiment of the very issue you claim to be fighting against. Way to go. Honestly the doublethink here is amazing.

    To further such the aforementioned point, the fact you think blacks and asians would get triggered and feel offended over a white guy with dreadlocks while eating chinese food or sushi, shows how little you think of these groups. That you have the audacity to think these people are so weak intellectually and with skin as thick as paper is honestly pitiful. I as a Bolivian, a minority within the “Hispanic Group” would not care if Joseph Smith over there wore an alpaca wool poncho, played a pan flute, spoke in spanish, and danced the tango and wore an alpaca touk while doing all of this. Wouldn’t even faze me, so next time think that maybe you’re the face of today’s racism that your friends on the left point out so often, In which you are inadvertently propagating by pushing this awful agenda.

    Thank you for reading and have a most excellent weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m unsure of why you would only provide one example of cultural appropriation when writing an article supposedly on the broad idea of appropriation. Many of your sentences begin with terms that generalize an entire group of people, something I would assume that you are against. I’d like you to read this quote.

    “Black people especially choose to appropriate cultures other than their own because they want to be a part of one that actually embraces their ancestors.”

    That sounds awfully racist, doesn’t it? It happens to be a sentence from your article with the word “White” switched to “Black”. This is nothing short of a double standard. I know what you may say, “Well black people have had a history of being mistreated and are still mistreated today, so it’s only fair to give them this one.” It’s completely and undeniably true that blacks were mistreated long ago, and it’s still true today, I agree. However, your idea of combating racism is ineffective and even counter productive.

    By trying to forbid the appropriation of black culture(I’m just going with your example here), the only people who will be stopped are people who have a fondness for black culture. I don’t see the KKK trying to appropriate black culture. It is also worth mentioning that trying to stop people from doing something, you only make people want to do said thing even more It’s human nature.

    I think I understand why you would only include one example of what “cultural” appropriation is, and why you use general terms. I feel as if there is a narrative being pushed on the readers. It is not journalism to limit sources of information and to portray them to push a narrative. I understand this is an opinion, and you are entitled to your opinion. If you are trying to persuade, at least try to show both sides of the story, rather than just mentioning the other side once and then proceeding to nullify its importance. I’m not disputing your right to post this article, but I am disputing the fact that anyone calls this journalism.

    I’m afraid my comment will be censored, as with those of everyone with an opinion contrary to yours. If you prove my fears to be wrong, I greatly respect you. All I ask is that you please uphold the standards of journalism that this country needs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We appreciate your comments and your feedback. Please also remember that this is a student publication where the writers are still learning and be forgiving with their learning curve. It is not a professional publication but a high school newspaper.

    Liked by 1 person

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