Talon Marks

It’s not appropriation if it is part of who you are

Bianca Martinez

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Living in a nation notoriously considered as a melting pot, we should all know by now that we are all not cut from the same cloth.

We are all diverse in our own way, from personality, orientation, to ethnicity.

So why isn’t this fact always taken into affect.

The issue of cultural appropriation has really blurred lines for those who are mixed race or those who simply don’t fit the stereotypical characteristics of a certain culture.

For example, not all hispanics or Latinos are dark-skinned.

Just like it is not always obvious that a person is of mixed-race.

As people, we all strive for a sense of belonging, especially in those crucial developmental years that will dictate what type of individuals we will be in the future.

Most people discover that sense of belonging by delving into their cultural background.

Obviously, the main way people express their culture is by wearing traditional articles of clothing that pertains to said culture.

Those who choose to wear cultural attire will rarely receive any backlash for it.

Unfortunately, the rising issue of cultural appropriation has really affected those who don’t “obviously” look like the culture they belong to.

Let’s say that a light-skinned Hispanic wants to paint their face in observance of Dia de los Muertos or an Asian-African person wants to wear a dashiki, and will undoubtedly post it in on their social media accounts.

There is a great probability that someone will have a negative comment to leave on that person’s page, such as, “You can’t wear that Dashiki, you aren’t black.” or “You are too white to paint your face like that, you are clearly are not Mexican so what you are doing is offensive. Do you even know what Dia de los Muertos about?”

And the irony of all this, is that 9 times out of 10 the person who wrote the comment is white.

So listen Helen, if you are as tolerant as you claim, you would understand that there are variations of skin color and what you are doing is stereotyping.

And unfortunately, the fear of this backlash has prevented those of mixed race from celebrating their culture, which is entirely wrong.

If you want to be a social justice activist, put your efforts where it counts, like more important social injustice issues that are currently happening; go out and pick one, it’s not hard considering the multitude of social issues out there.

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1 Comment

One Response to “It’s not appropriation if it is part of who you are”

  1. Stephanie on October 10th, 2017 12:29 pm

    Very VERY true. I’m Black (carribean), Asian (Indian) and White (Scottish) but I am dark skinned and curly haired. I don’t even look mixed.
    So when I wear a sari people are very confused and it’s a matter of time that someone will ask why I’m wearing that or if my brothers are wearing Kilts again questions are asked but it’s our heritage, we should be able to take part regardless of skin tone.

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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
It’s not appropriation if it is part of who you are