Commentary: Halloween and the Perils of Cultural Appropriation

by Thaddeaus G. McCotter

 

Cultural appropriation, the Cambridge Dictionary helpfully informs us, is “the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture.”

This, of course, should not be a problem in America, a constitutional republic imbued with the concept of pluralism—that is, the ability of numerous cultures to live peaceably while unified by an overarching set of core principles that form an American civic consensus. These include an allegiance to the Constitution and an adherence to a general principle of tolerance, among other essential, mutually shared civic virtues and responsibilities.

For a succinct example, when someone describes himself as Irish-American, over time the emphasis is ultimately on the American.

Until recently, pluralism has served the nation well, both in terms of assimilating individuals and their respective cultures. It has done so by allowing those subcultures to continue; and, in conjunction with the doctrine of subsidiarity , as a means of respecting a preserving the powers of voluntary, non-governmental organizations collectively operated by private citizens to address and solve problems, including families and civic groups.

Unfortunately, the Left’s diversity dogma subverts pluralism by demanding the emphasis be placed on the Irish instead of the American.

Subordinating the national consensus to the individual’s subculture is a critical element in the Left’s identity politics. Ever the collectivists, the Left cravenly seeks to engender the Balkanization of the electorate into voting blocs that can be messaged on the basis of who they were born rather than what they may think. Purblind by their paternalism and lust for power, the Left fails to see its despicable premise that one’s birth dictates how one thinks.

Or, less charitably, the Left doesn’t give a damn, because it is a far easier matter to claim Republicans are racist than it is to explain why socialism has a snowball’s chance in hell of enhancing minority prosperity.

Yes, the Left will justify its caterwauling against cultural appropriation and other politically correct sins by smearing their detractors with whatever “ism” is currently held in the lowest social esteem; or the Left will toss whatever “colonialism” or “unequal power relationship” trope it hopes can back you off and pass off  leftist idiocy as enlightenment.

Don’t be deterred. For if one blanches, ineluctably the nation wherein differing cultures were assimilated under the binding rubric of an American civic consensus and coined the “melting pot” will become little but a cage match for competing subcultures in the grievance sweepstakes for a dollop of government largeness to alleviate the misery that is sure to come in the socialist cesspool imposed by the Left.

And if that’s not bad enough, Halloween would suck, too.

A true story to wit: a young man of Mexican heritage plays on a sports team. In conjunction with their women’s equivalent team, in this Halloween season a Mexican themed social was planned. It pleased the young man to see his heritage being celebrated.

That is until one woman, who is not Mexican, protested that the Mexican theme would be offensive to somebody—though not to folks like the young man of Mexican heritage who, again, was not offended in the least. Not wanting to cause a fuss or, worse, be browbeaten by the woman into how he was supposed to be offended, the young man let it go.

In the end, the woman succeeded in having the party be held . . . with a Canadian theme.

For his part, the young man attended—wearing a sombrero to honor all who shared his Mexican heritage living in Canada.

(At this time of writing, it is unknown if Prime Minister Trudeau sanctioned this cultural appropriation; or, if he did not, what measures the Canadian government may take in reprisal.)

Thus, the Left’s trick: the Left will respect you and your culture if you toe their line.

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The Hon. Thaddeus McCotter is the former chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee, current itinerant guitarist, American Greatness contributor, and Monday co-host of the “John Batchelor Show.”
 

 

 


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