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Culture Clash

In recent years we have seen more and more people become aware of cultural appropriation.  I feel there is a great double standard.  I see the reaction to white people using things from non-White culture is more criticized than vise versa.  I think it is ok for people to wear things from other cultures as long as they don’t claim it as their own.  You are entitled to your opinions, however, when people try to police what other people wear or use, to me that is a problem.  Here are things from White culture you may have used.

Music

Have you ever played a violin or a piano?  They actually come from Italy.  You may be shocked to find out that the ukulele was not invented by Polynesian men but European men, more specifically Portugese men. Their names were Manuel Nunes, Augusto Diaz, and Jose do Espirito Santo.  

Art Forms

Theatre, Cinema, Animation and Ballet are all European art forms.  Theatre comes from ancient Greece. Cinema developed through France in 1895.  Animation also came from France in 1892 through “Pauvre Pierrot.”  Ballet comes from Italy.  Speaking of such things, we constantly get all these people upset about the lack of representation of non-white people in cinema when it is a European art form.  I don’t see people as upset about the lack of white representation in Hip Hop, but some people may slam that for cultural appropriation.

Food

I saw a website that listed “White chefs selling burritos” as what cultural appropriation of food can look like.  It reasoned that it would be “benefiting through financial and social capital, without any benefit to communities that contributed to the food culture in the first place.”  Ring-shaped donuts have origins in White America, they were invented by a Dutch-American sailor named Hanson Gregory in 1847.  90% of donut shops in Houston, Texas are owned by Cambodian-Americans. May these Cambodian-Americans be benefiting through financial and social capital, without benefiting the communities that created the food culture in the first place?  Baguettes and croissants were also invented by an Austrian named August Zang.

Clothing

Jeans were invented in 1873 by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss.  Levi was German and Jacob was Latvian, but both were White men nonetheless.  The first cowboy hat was designed by a European-American named John B. Stetson in 1865.  Neckties came from Croation mercenaries serving in France during the 30 years war.  The suit is a traditional thing men in the West wear.

Now I am not saying non-Whites did nothing for modern culture.  The Bible, the book that forms much of people’s moral view and faith in Western society is primarily of middle eastern influence.  Kites come from China.  Much of modern music was made by people of African descent (Jazz, Rock, Hip Hop). If you see someone enjoying something from another culture, please remember we all benefit from each other’s culture.  

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