By Kimberly Bloom Jackson
There’s a new wave of hard core political correctness sweeping college campuses. It’s called cultural appropriation. As explained by a University of Washington student, it’s when “you take something from a culture that isn’t yours and basically use it for your own purposes. A lot of times this involves a majority culture taking bits and pieces of a minority culture in a way that trivializes it, in away that misrepresents it and pulls it out of context, or in a way that stereotypes other people.”
If this leaves you scratching your head, don’t worry. There’s a whole group of UW students who, having crowned themselves with a certain level of elitism, have put together a video instructing the rest of us Cro-Magnon types on how to avoid cultural appropriation. As one might expect, they make fools of themselves in the process.
Nevertheless, as you watch the video, you can almost imagine yourself in a museum walking from one “cultural exhibit” to another as you’re immediately hit with a sense of separatism and victimhood. Of course, it would have been more helpful had the students actually known something about culture before starting their little grievance project.
Still, as an anthropologist who escaped the grips of leftist academia before my own brain could turn to mush, I am somewhat sympathetic to those afflicted with critical thinking attrition, a common byproduct of today’s higher education. Perhaps these students deserve a refund.
It used to be that anyone could take a good Anthropology 101 class and get an honest lesson on cultural diffusion. This simply refers to the natural spreading of cultural traits, mainly through migration, trade, and war. Cultures adopt and tinker with traits that work for them and abandon those traits that don’t. It’s one of the key mechanisms of cultural change and advancement, and the primary reason isolated cultures tend to lag behind everyone else.
While it’s obvious the students never learned about cultural diffusion they do, however, seem to know plenty about cultural isolation. In case you haven’t noticed, college campuses are hotbeds of victim identities, where many students have aligned themselves with a special, separate culture of oppression. Victim cultures wear their victimhood as a badge of moral virtue. They see themselves as innocent and everyone else is out to get them.