Why Cultural Appropriation is a Stupid Concept

Cultural appropriation is an idea born of ignorance. All culture is in part appropriated. Africans appropriated some culture from India; people from Jamaica “appropriated” from Africa and from North America and from Europe; European countries appropriated from one another. American blues appropriated from Africa and from European folk music and from hymns; Christians¬† appropriated myths from other religions; other religions¬† borrowed from Christians and Hindus. Buddhists appropriated from Hindus and Japanese Zen from China; American Indians appropriated from invading Native tribes of various kinds, and later (eg, horseback riding) from Europeans.

Country music appropriated from Celtic music and from yodeling and from African American gospel. Roman myths appropriated from Greek myths; Greek from Babylonian and Egyptian… And on and on and on and on and on. Culture is synthesis.

There is no such thing as cultural appropriation. There can be racist cultural stereotyping–but not appropriation. Instead there is cultural adaptation…If there is such a thing as the “the sacred” then…no one owns it. No one owns the genuinely sacred.

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