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This column will get probably me into trouble. The subject has already cost several professional journalists their jobs.
The subject is cultural appropriation. A better term might be cultural looting. One culture (specifically, white North Americans) adopts and abuses elements of another culture (in this case, the indigenous peoples who were here l0,000 years before us). White children beat tom-toms or parade in feathered headdresses. Cities name their sports teams Redskins or Indians.
Appropriation means taking something that rightfully belongs to someone else. The principle is widely recognized in copyright or patent infringement cases. My words belong to me. You cannot “appropriate” them without my permission.
Now appropriation has made its way into social taboos.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: Cultural appropriation, Jonathan Kay, Lionel Shriver, Hal Niedzviecki