White people really do not understand the idea of cultural appropriation so I’m gonna explain it to you one y’alls level okay? Bc the absurdity of these counter-arguments I’m getting is out of hand, and I’m tired of arguing with people so far beneath my level on a subject that harms me more than them.
You live in a little village where everyone is identified by the clothes they wear. Everyone in the village has a blue shirt. Your family has a blue shirt with polka dots on it. The people in your village eat lots of tasty yellow fruit with a special mixture of spices and pray to a fruit god every time you eat them. You also eat lots of nuts, but that’s not as important. This is your village’s culture.
There is rumored to be a village to the west of you, where everyone is given a special toy shaped like an animal when they are born. It is very important to every individual, and means a lot to them. They keep it and polish it all their lives, and it is burned when they die. They eat special starchy balls full of meat, but also once a month,make a drink that honors their dead. This is their culture.
The two villages have grown bigger and bigger over time, which makes them spread closer and closer to eaach other. There are no big territorial battles- the two villages like each other and sometimes share resources. If someone from the first village passes through the second, someone might give them some of their food for the trip and vice versa, so now some people in each village like and sometimes make the food of the other. A few people who have made close friends with people in the other village begin wearing colored shirts like them, or giving their children a special animal doll because someone from that village explained why that was special and invited them to do so. Things from each culture are shared with respect and friendship, and this happened naturally. This is CULTURAL INTEGRATION.
The shirt-wearing village considers itself bigger and stronger. They have invented spears that help them hunt, but think maybe hunting would be even easier if they had more wood from the other villages territory, and less competition. So they decide to invade, fight and kill people in the animal-doll village. They kill some of their stronger warriors and subdue the rest of the villagers. When they are done, they let these villagers into their village as long as they agree to stop carving animal dolls, as long as they agree to learn their language, and as long as they agree to eat and dress like them, and leave their culture behind. This is CULTURAL ASSIMILATION.
People from the two villages see each other from time to time but aren’t all that friendly. The shirt-wearing village likes the look of the dolls from the animal-doll village, and decides to make their own just like them, without asking. They’ve heard the dolls have a complex ceremony and meaning, but they don’t care. To the animal-doll village’s dismay, they learn that the shirt-wearers have been making ‘soulless’ animal dolls that are not connected to a villager, are not prayed over the right way, and in their belief is a dead and cursed thing. They never asked, and they did not follow the rules. In the meantime, many shirt-wearers steal fish from the animal-doll village’s fishing cages, stomp on their crops for fun when they are drunk, and make rude faces at them when they see them in the fields. They learn how to make the special drink they commune with the dead with, but drink it all the time, carelessly, and still won’t talk nicely to the animal-doll village people. They are mostly disrespectful, but still take things from the other village without being nice to them, and without asking. They enjoy the things the animal-doll people make, but do not enjoy them, and cause them suffering. This is CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.
You, a shirt-wearer with a blue spotted shirt, are playing with a toy. Another child comes up to you and in a friendly manner, asks to play. You hand them your toy. This is sharing.
Another day, a different child with a red shirt points at your blue shirt, makes fun of it, and takes your toy. This is stealing. This is more like Cultural Appropriation.
You guys need to learn that there are more ways for a culture to spread than just Appropriation. Cultural Appropriation is not ‘the sharing of a culture’. Fighting Cultural Appropriation does not keep cultures from evolving. It is simply pointing out that consent matters with culture, too, and when you take something from a culture you still disrespect and oppress, it’s not consensual, and the people do not have to let you do it.