Notes on Culture & Appropriation

Culture should be a unifying placeholder for the parts of our identity we only come to know with time and rallying point
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I think it’s necessary to take a step back and examine when protecting culture or religion is a hindrance to universal connection and a disregard for how malevolent allowing current culture to continue, unmodified by divergent ideas can be. Especially when that culture homogenizes or standardizes things in a way that smothers differences, not subjecting that culture to others might very well be dangerous.
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There are attributes and traditions commonly ascribed to one culture or another that I’m not sure can be owned. The fact that one culture manages to retain more of its ancient ways, doesn’t necessarily make it the arbiter of those ways. This doesn’t justify divorcing those ways from their context, though–not at all. We might not run into cries of appropriation as much if people could simply incorporate the ways they learn from other cultures into their personal life, without profitizing, distorting it, and acting like it’s a new discovery.
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We might actually be doing a universal disservice by having our first reactions always be “Hands off!”
We might also be doing ourselves a disservice by virtue of coming from the lower ownership-based ego place handed down to us by dominator culture.  Even without a profit motive, perpetuating ownership and scarcity reinforces the capitalistic paradigms that have contributed the world’s current shit shows.
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For those of us who are hyphenated (Trinidadian-American in my case), it’s worth examining the differences in attitudes between our generation and our parents and grandparents about the whole thing.