St. Patrick’s Day and Cultural Appropriation (EP. 113)

Cultural Appropriation

Summary

Have you ever celebrated St. Patrick’s Day–even just a bit? Do you know of anyone else who has? I don’t mean only things like marching in a St. Patrick’s parade, drinking a bathtub full of green beer, or running around with a sign saying “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” I mean wearing a tiny piece of green to school because you were afraid that people would have a license to pinch you if you didn’t. Or planning on having corned beef and cabbage for dinner. Or maybe faking your best Irish accent as you said “Top o’ the mornin’” instead of “Hi” to your friends and coworkers.

If you or anyone you know did anyone of these, was that cultural appropriation? If so, why? If not, why not?  

For the next 10 minutes, we will talk about the answers to these two questions.

Transcript

Have you ever celebrated St. Patrick’s Day–even just a bit? Do you know of anyone else who has? I don’t mean only things like marching in a St. Patrick’s parade, drinking a bathtub full of green beer, or running around with a sign saying “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” I mean wearing a tiny piece of green to school because you were afraid that people would have a license to pinch you if you didn’t. Or planning on having corned beef and cabbage for dinner. Or maybe faking your best Irish accent as you said “Top o’ the mornin’” instead of “Hi” to your friends and coworkers.  

If you or anyone you know did anyone of these, was that cultural appropriation? If so, why? If not, why not?  

For the next 10 minutes, we will talk about the answers to these two questions.

Let’s start with a definition of appropriate from Merriam-Webster, the dictionary people. “1: to take exclusive possession of: 2: to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use 3: to take or make use of without authority or right.” Wow. To appropriate something is pretty serious. Words in the definition like “exclusive use” and “set apart” are pretty descriptive.

So let’s immediately answer the question of whether or not participating in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is cultural appropriation. No. Of course not. Look back at the definition and see if any part of what we read from Messrs Merriam and Webster applies. Nope. Not a word. Not a single word.

So, is wearing a sombrero and a serape on Halloween cultural appropriation? No. Just apply the definition again. How about wearing lederhosen and a Tyrollean hat during Oktoberfest? Or going to a Japanese restaurant and trying to order in Japnese? No. None of these comes close to qualifying. BTW, I once tried out my hotel, taxi and restaurant Japanese in a Japanese restaurant. After a few tries and no response, a sushi chef leaned over and said. “Sir, we are Korean.” Oh. Turns out they owned a Korean restaurant as well.

Okay, Will, what about wearing blackface as part of a costume? Or goosestepping and throwing Nazi salutes? Both are clearly wrong. Forgetting cultural appropriation, actions like these are just wrong. Dead wrong. And we don’t need a dictionary to know this.

Question: Why are we seeing and hearing what seems to be a lot of conversation about how almost any kind of costume or imitation is cultural appropriation and much to be avoided? And if not avoided, then criticized to the point of scorn.

Answer: This is yet another example of agenda over integrity. The agenda in this case is to promote the identity group politics of victimization in order to gain personal and political advantage. Assigning certain identity groups other groups to ally with, and, worse, make yet other groups the enemies of the allied groups, is at the heart of identity group intersectionality. Yes, our nation is dangerously divided and getting more so. And this terribly harmful division is being fueled by identity group intersectionality. And all for personal and political gain.

Today’s Key Point: “E Pluribus Unum” is on all of our money, and is one of America’s key founding principles. Out of many, one. The Latin that best expresses the goal of the identity group intersectionalists is, “Ex Uno Tumulto”, out of one, chaos. How would you like that on our money? They want to further divide us, intentionally creating the chaos that must result from widening divisions, and use our encouraged dislike and distrust of each other to realize their personal and political ambitions. Divide and conquer. Cultural appropriation is just one of their tools. Don’t fall for it. Have fun. Participate. Enjoy a green beer, and celebrate all week if you’d like. I’ll stick with my fake accent.

The core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.

If we apply those two core principles, personal responsibility and brother’s keepers, simultaneously, never only one or the other, we will always be on the right path. Depending upon what we face, one principle or the other may appropriately be given more emphasis, but they are always acted upon together.

The Founders, Revolution 1.0, were declared traitors by the British Crown, and their lives were forfeit if caught. We risk very little by stepping up and participating in Revolution 2.0™. In fact, we risk our futures if we don’t. I am inviting you, recruiting you, to join Revolution 2.0™ today. Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s practice thinking well of others as we seek common goals, research the facts that apply to those goals, and use non agenda-based reasoning to achieve those goals together. Practice personal responsibility and be your brother’s keeper.

Let’s continue to build on the revolutionary vision that we inherited. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe, recruit, act. Here’s what I mean by “acting.”

  • Read the blogs and/or listen to the podcasts.
  • Comment in the blogs. Let others know that you are thinking.
  • Subscribe and recommend that others subscribe as well.
  • Attach links from blogs into your social media feeds. Share your thoughts about the link.
  • From time-to-time, attach links to blogs in emails that mention related subjects. Or just send the links to family and friends.

Revolution 1.0 in 1776 was built by people talking to other people, agreeing and disagreeing, but always finding ways to stay united and going forward. Revolution 2.0 will be built the same way.

Join me. Join the others. Think about what we are talking about and share these thoughts and principles with others. Subscribe, encourage others to subscribe. Act. Let’s grow this together.

And visit the store. Fun stuff, including hats, mugs and t-shirts. Recommend other items that you’d like to see.

Links and References

E pluribus unum

In Praise of Identity Politics (EP. 52)

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the blog with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act. And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Know your stuff, then act on it. Knowing your stuff without acting is empty; acting without knowing is dangerous.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

Will Luden
Follow Me

Will Luden

I am your host, Will Luden, former long-time high-tech CEO and Board Chair. I had no idea when I started this podcast that it would become the highest calling of my professional career. Lincoln famously hoped that a government, “…of the people, by the people and for the people…”, would not perish from this earth. My hope, the reason for Revolution 2.0 ”A Booster Shot”, is that a government based on common goals, achieved by applying non agenda-based reasoning to core facts, will allow us to continue to build on our mutual inheritance of a legacy of dedication to seemingly impossible ideals, a legacy that also includes a history of achieving them.
Will Luden
Follow Me
Facebook
Google+
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

4 Responses

  1. Ken Reply

    Loved it, Will! Just wish we could drive the same ball onto the “green” this Sunday – first you hitting and then me. No matter which made the final putt, we did it together and, like you remind us, it’s what our country must do!

    Blessings!

  2. Charles Cabral Reply

    And the University of South Dakota brought this to its ultimate, ridiculous conclusion by banning Hawaii Day observations (It had to be renamed “Beach Day”). On top of that, they banned the exchange of leis, apparently on the assumption that giving a lei is somehow equivalent to wearing blackface. And the local (Hawaii) news outlets, while possibly mentioning it, did not make any comment for fear of getting on the wrong side of the professional offendees, who, in my opinion, make up cultural practices ad hoc merely to further their agendas.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to Revolution 2.0

* indicates required

Recent Posts

Scroll to top
X
Skip to content