Culture is a living breathing thing that evolves and progresses and changes through blind copying.
Someone does something that is beneficial to them or society, or something that is admirable or cool and wins them social favor, people see it, they copy it, years go by and it becomes ingrained into their own culture.
There are no color boundaries around the spread of culture. Suggesting that white people should not participate in or “appropriate” and use the culture of others is to suggest two things:
1- That we are different and should stay in our own lane- (this promotes division between people, not unity.)
2- That this other culture should never become mainstream– this culture belongs to others, should only be consumed by them, and should stay hidden in the shadows of minority culture.
Stop saying “cultural appropriation.” All culture always has been, and always will be shared or “appropriated.”
Take that one step further and you can see that cultural appropriation is a necessity of a healthy society.
America is the melting pot of the world. All kinds of people come here from everywhere, they meet people from other parts of the world, and they make pretty little babies with those people, blurring the lines, just a little more, between the imaginary and arbitrary categories of race that we’ve drawn around humanity, to put it into categories.
We live together in integrated communities, our children play together at school. By constantly beating the “cultural appropriation” drum you are telling me that it would not be okay for my children to grow up playing with black kids at school, to develop a love for hip-hop music, and later, because of that love, to become a hip-hop artist for their career path.
Besides the fact that it might be slightly embarrassing to take our little Asian/white rapper home to rural Pennsylvania to see the folks, there’s nothing wrong with someone, regardless of the concentration of melanin in their skin, to have ambition in any walk of life.
Yeah, I’m aware that white rappers can be nauseating, as can white dudes with dreads, and it might even be slightly annoying to see them profit off of that. However, nobody has a problem with Tiger Woods excelling at golf and making zillions of dollars. Nobody has a problem with it because it’s understood that the spread of this culture and opportunity into other cultures is good for those cultures and good for America in general.
Appropriating one another’s cultures is how we begin to build bridges and find common interests. It’s how we learn to not only live together in communities, but to get along and genuninely like each other.
Otherwise, if you take away our ability to “appropriate” one another’s cultures, all you are left with is segregation.
In fact, we shouldn’t call it “cultural appropriation” we should call it “culture sharing.” Because if we don’t learn to share and enjoy one another’s cultures, what we end up with are many different groups of people that don’t understand one another. And with a lack of understanding comes ignorance and fear, and with those, you get war.