Last week model Shanina Shaik was accused of cultural appropriation when she braided her hair for the annual music and arts festival in Coachella, California.
I didn’t realize how serious this was until I read Jessica Andrews’s piece at Teen Vogue where she claims the Coachella festival “is mired in cultural appropriation” because of the white people there who dress up in “[b]indis, feathered headpieces, dashikis, [and] war paint.”
Upon further research, I discovered writer Adrienne Keene who suggests that dressing in Native American gear is cultural appropriation unless you buy it from a Native American. And, to my horror, I learned that white male chefs making money by cooking ethnic food is also a form of cultural appropriation, according to Michael W. Twitty.
Well, these writers have enlightened me. I’m now very concerned about this injustice. So concerned, in fact, that I implore Jessica Andrews, Adrienne Keene, and Michael W. Twitty to stop writing. After all, writing is also cultural appropriation.
Here is how cultural appropriation is defined at ThoughtCo:
Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc.
The ancient Sumerians developed written language sometime between 3,500 to 3,000 B.C. Chances are the Sumerians never gave anyone else permission to use their invention, as they were later conquered by the ruler of Mesopotamia, Sargon of Akkad. From there, written language made its way to the Phoenicians who borrowed much from the Sumerians in developing their own written language. (I’m using “borrowed” here euphemistically as the Phoenicians almost surely did not give Sumerians proper credit, thus engaging in their own act of cultural appropriation.)
Trade allowed the Phoenicians to spread written language to other cultures including Greece, Rome, and from there throughout all of Western Civilization. Social justice warriors dashing out treatises for fashion mags and blogs are also, broadly speaking, appropriating from Phoenicians and other cultures by reducing their vapid reflections to writing. Imagine how the poor Sumerians would feel being overlooked for thousands of years! (Perhaps reparations are in order.)
Thus, every time words are put to the page, these writers are engaging in one of the seven deadly sins of modern leftism. Unfortunately, Andrews, Keene, Twitty, et al. cannot atone for their sins by prefacing every new treatise they write with something like, “With apologies to the Sumerians.” The time to apologize to them was after they were conquered. Now that there are no longer any identifiable Sumerians, it is too late. A stoppage of writing won’t help the Sumerians either, but it will prevent any more injustice going forward.
Being culturally sensitive social justice warriors, Andrews, Keene, and Twitty will no doubt put down their pens and keyboards permanently.
The world would be a better place for it.
Crossposted at Bombthrowers.
Photo: Shanina Shaik Instagram