The Asinine Case Of “Cultural Appropriation”: How The “Grievance Industry” Got Its Groove Back
by James Gagliano
This article was originally published in May of 2017.
Hillary Clinton wasn’t the biggest loser in the 2016 presidential election. The Democratic Party isn’t the only one wondering “how the hell did this happen?”
Nope. Not by a long shot.
“Identity Politics“ was the biggest L-O-S-E-R late Tuesday night, on November 8, 2016 .
Contrived, nakedly cynical, fake ass charges of “wars on [fill in the blank]” and accusations of racism, misogyny, and homophobia every time someone disagrees with you during a policy debate is…just…so…previous elections.
In one impossible to predict, still impossible to comprehend night of tallying, and re-tallying of electoral college votes, all that made sense, all that was status quo in politics, and all that fueled Democrat party politics and ideology for decades was laid to waste.
It was that seismic an event, a tectonic plate shifting, if you will, in American politics.
But though I revel in the unlikely election results that appear to spell a death knell for “Identity Politics,” I understand the cyclical nature of American politics…
The King is dead. Long live the King.
And, let’s make no mistake about it — “Identity Politics” had a long and prosperous reign. Many a humble and decent politician has been undone by the shrill cries of “But, he’s a member of the GOP, and they hate minorities, and women, and gays, and Mexicans, and Syrians, and the poor, and…”
Yes, those Democrats — think former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz — deftly utilized the divide-and-conquer stratagem of Bring ’em into our tent by disingenuously defining what goes on in the other (white, Christian, male) tent!” Those faux-wars were quite effective. They divided us, yes. But they also won elections.
Well, they did until that impossible to reckon with November night in 2016.
And then, the political party that is curiously infused with sub-caucuses such as the “Grievance Industry” and the “Outrage Circus” [credits?] went…splat!
No, it wasn’t the some 1,030 seats in Congress and Statehouses and legislatures across the country that were hollowed out by the far leftward tone-deaf tack of the Barack Obama reign. Nope, it wasn’t just the country exhausted by the reflexive default position being: You disagree with me, ergo, you are EVIL.
No, there was a lot more there there.
Political scientists will study the unlikely results of this election for centuries.
But in their complete assessments, there has to be space for the American voter’s revolt against dishonest labeling.
And, yes, it must also be acknowledged that the often inept and equally tone-deaf and hypocritical Republican party will figure out a way to muck this one up. Blink once and you’ll miss the shifting of fortunes in this fickle and in-the-moment political allegiance of the constituency.
Look, before the far-left lurch during the Era of Obama, I was a former longtime registered Independent. I still lean right on fiscal matters and skew to the left on most social issues. And I’ve watched and laughed as the now ubiquitous term political correctness grew legs from a cute Communist Party attribution in the 1930’s to a cudgel deftly and clownishly swung by progressives by the early 1990’s. But political correctness is just such quaint terminology today. It has been replaced during these aggrieved times with the more effete liberal elitist, “evolved,” and equally nefarious concepts of safe spaces, microaggressions, and trigger warnings. Visited a college or university campus recently? No? You GOTTA check it out!
No, political correctness — once a pandemic, is now but a relic, an anachronistic means of stunting free speech that has splintered off into varied and more distinctive means of aggrieving a person. It’s a s if political correctness and ridiculousness had a torrid affair and gave birth to a demon spawn that was a gazillion times more potent in its effects on shutting down debate.
Demon Spawn, like the prodigal son, returns home to the House of Political Correctness with an important announcement to make:
“Mom, Dad, I’d like you to meet my fiancé, Safe Space. We wanted to share the news with you in person. Safe Space is pregnant. We’ve learned we’re having a baby girl. And we’re going to name her Cultural Appropriation. We’re so happy and blessed.
And the reader most probably inquires: So…just who is this new addition to the House of Political Correctness, and just what exactly does it do?
Buckle your seat belt, America. I’m about to tell you. We’re in for a treat as this little one grows up.
Cultural appropriation is defined as the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture. But let’s engage in a bit of real talk here — Ooops! Mea culpa. I might’ve just culturally appropriated real talk — the only folks accused of cultural appropriation are … wait for it … white folks of European descent.
And over the past few years, a number of chastened celebrities have apologized — usually via the expedient means of a Twitter account — for daring to culturally appropriate the term spirit animal from Native Americans. We’ve also learned that daring to wear a Halloween costume that depicts Pocahontas (or, if you’re a Yale student, just about any costume apparently), or Caitlyn Jenner, or a geisha girl, or a skeleton related to Mexico’s Día de los Muertos, or traditional Indian garb is not just a non-no, it’s a HELL NO!
And since I dared to mention a Jenner, might as well join the chorus of boos for young Kylie Jenner who recently dared — Egads! — to insensitively culturally appropriate black women’s hair when she stepped out in cornrows.
Shame … cowbell … Shame … cowbell … Shame …
(Continued On Next Page)