Looking at the etymology of the word "appropriate," it appears to apply to the notion of taking private property and making it one's own. In this sense, the idea of literally stealing someone else's hair style, for example, and wearing it as their own is absurd. Maybe I like the look of dreadlocks and decide that particular tonsorial style is just the thing for me. In this case, it would be more accurate and honest to say that I **adopted** someone else's hair style. It was not an appropriation in that no one's personal property was diminished in this transaction.
But his is too nuanced for woke culture. Absurd passes as rationality. If a culturally appropriate dreadlockian were to self-righteously confront me for my "cultural appropriation" of dreadlocks and I were to claim offense at their complaining to me in English...well, I don't know what two absurds make, but it can't be good. At the very least, it clogs and clouds thinking and prevents moving toward something positive and beneficial for all mankind. My read of history and current events is that the way through "these dark days of re-racialization" involves a significant implosion. Something that perhaps Plato's remnants may only survive.
In the wider view, humans cannot not learn from, mimic, or otherwise adopt ideas and behaviors from other humans. It's what got us here.
Also, the idea of me sporting dreadlocks is absurd.
I absolutely loved this, Michael. So well said! I recently wrote something on the same topic in case you'd like to check it out. https://criticalsoundbites.substack.com/p/the-moral-panic-of-cultural-appropriation
All cultures appropriate. When you have the crucible of immigration, and exchange between people, new cultures are formed which have the echoes of former cultures. Thank goodness as I live in Northumberland, the British have expanded their cuisine (starting with the Romans bringing in garlic and rabbits) as it was fairly dire before. Hairstyles -- how far do you want to go back? I am currently reading The First Kingdom by Max Adams which deals with the early Dark Ages in Britain -- recently research on tooth enamel isotopes is showing there was far less immigration from the Angles, Saxons, Frisians than commonly supposed and quite a lot of elites deciding to follow fashion.
When you talk about equity which is equality of outcome, you can't speak about basic freedoms such as the freedom to choose. In a free society, people have to be allowed to refuse opportunity for their own private reasons. And if you don't take an opportunity and someone else does, can you truly complain about an unequal outcome? Social Exchange Theory is actually incredibly interesting.
It is more the sheer waste of human capital through substandard schooling which is the problem. The West, and in particular America has been very profligate with its home grown human capital, because it has been easier to import minds trained to do specific tasks.
An interesting take on "cultural appropriation". And correct. Except, I don't like the "359 other compass points" philosophy when it comes to being blocked. If the blockage is legitimate (no, you cannot pull the revolver out of the glove compartment and shoot out the tires of the person who just cut you off), well, then maybe I just have to suck it up and think of what the guy represented by the plastic Jesus on my dashboard would have me do.
But, in other cases, no, I'm going to stay on heading 360 (or 720, or 0, as you will), and the naysayer better just get out of the way. That's the only way to deal with bullies -- the people who would be the arbiters of what people can and cannot do in society. I remember the days when I used to veer as a result of being blocked by others; I've learned that such veering produces eternal regret.
You don't hit me as a person who veers from course either, once you've considered the right direction to go. You might make course corrections based on new knowledge, but that's not the same as someone blocking you from going in a given direction -- that's you blocking yourself from doing wrong.
The "cultural appropriation" claim is as old as progressivism; I encountered it first in 1970 when I tried to join the Teacher Corps. That's a story I've told here before, so I won't repeat it, but the one thing I haven't said is how much I regret not pushing back hard against the Dean of Education when he told me that my culture precluded my participation.