That’s right, there are those who want the UN to ban cultural appropriation. Because people celebrating other cultures is a blight on all mankind. Like Ebola. Or Tess Holliday in a speedo. But hold up, the UN hacks only want to criminalize the cultural appropriation of “indigenous cultures.” Even though every culture was indigenous somewhere at sometime. Wait for even that definition to broaden (or narrow) to anyone who is “not white.” What with cultural appropriation being the newest social justice accessory (see WATCH: Bimbo Katy Perry Confesses ‘Cultural Appropriation’ Sins to Black Lives Matter Hero Deray and White Women Driven Out of Business for ‘Cultural Appropriation.’ They Make Burritos).
Indigenous advocates from around the world are calling on a UN committee to ban the appropriation of Indigenous cultures — and to do it quickly.
Delegates from 189 countries, including Canada, are in Geneva this week as part of a specialized international committee within the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations agency.
Since it began in 2001, the committee has been working on creating and finishing three pieces of international law that would expand intellectual-property regulations to protect things like Indigenous designs, dances, words and traditional medicines.
The meeting takes place as concern grows worldwide about the rights of cultures to control their own materials. In the U.S. this week, designer Tory Burch agreed to change the description of one of her coats for women after Romanians protested that it had been described as African-inspired when it actually appropriated a traditional Romanian garment.
Again, I’m old enough to remember when it was problematic to NOT embrace other cultures. The rules change so rapidly it’s near impossible to keep up. Or give a flying rat’s backside.
There’s a giant problem with all of this, of course. If it’s wrong for certain people to appropriate indigenous cultures, is it also wrong for indigenous cultures to appropriate cultures which are not theirs? Let’s take this little liberal pet idea all the way to the groomers, shall we?
What the UN committee wants to protect are “Designs, dances, words and traditional medicines.” Okay. So if nobody can use theirs, then they can’t use anyone else’s. Fair is fair, after all. Which culture invented the wheel? Which culture invented written language? The printing press? Which culture discovered the cures to the plague, a vaccine for polio, and chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer? Mathematics? Which culture invented music sharing? Starting with old recording methods alllllllllll the way to Spotify or Pandora?
If we start rolling back who can use or “appropriate” ideas, inventions, or cultural what have you from their own cultures, progress is going to roll back for most of us. Whatever happened to the idea of “unity” and “appreciation” for each other’s differences and contributions to the world stage?
Or is that question to problematic to even ask and answer?