Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Whose Culture Is That Of A Gorilla?

"Cultural appropriation" is one of those silly, lefty, paternalistic ideas that deserves no more attention than is required by mockery.  Cultures adapt and change all the time, and to assume that one person--often by virtue of skin color--cannot participate in anything related to another culture is just silly.  I'm going to have some chips and salsa in a bit, is that acceptable?  No, according to the most outlandish of the "cultural appropriation" crowd.  It's probably not acceptable when students tell me good-bye when they leave class and I respond with "adios", either.

Halloween is one of those times when the "cultural appropriation" types screech the loudest, what with their "my culture is not a costume" posters and the like.  My question is, whose culture is that of a gorilla?
According to a display at Florida State University, dressing up as Harambe for Halloween is an example of “cultural appropriation.”

The warning is one of many on a “My Culture Is Not a Costume” bulletin board hanging at the school’s Deviney Hall residence, a picture of which was provided to Campus Reform.

Other “examples of appropriation” on the board include “headdresses” and “Latinx alien.” Below that are suggestions for “great Halloween costumes” including “extraterrestrial alien,” “Steve Jobs” (what?), and “any animal,” despite the fact that Harambe is previously listed as an unacceptable option...

After all, exactly what kind of culture would dressing up like Harambe be appropriating? Gorilla culture? No, that can’t be it, because “any animal” is on the “great Halloween costumes” list — meaning that gorillas by other names would be okay. African culture? No, that can’t be it, because even though gorillas are African animals and the name “Harambe” is a Swahili name, no other African animals (or animals of any other African names) are advised against.

So what culture, exactly, would dressing up like Harambe be appropriating?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I had a friend chastised by an RA for dressing as a Canadian for Halloween. A Canadian.

Darren said...

The RA is an idiot eh.

Pseudotsuga said...

Hmm...what does a Canadian costume involve? (shades of Bob and Doug McKenzie suddenly fill my mind....) Beer, Timbits, maple syrup, hockey sticks, a grudge against the USA...