Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A "Debate" on "Cultural Appropriation"? Don't Be "Dense"!

Somewhat amusingly, the headline above three letters printed in today's National Post re the Jonathan Kay kerfuffle is "Cultural appropriation debate".

Debate? What debate? For 'tis clear that in Justin's "progressive" Trudeaupia there is plenty of "diversity" (of provenance), but "debating," as such, is in short and rapidly diminishing supply.

After all, a "debate" might hurt someone's precious feelings.

A chap from Ottawa with an impressive double-barreled name (who wrote one of the letters) offers up a guilt-inducing history lesson to underscore how insensitive it is to engage in "debate"/"free speech" when a victim groups' feelings are involved. Writes Colin Blair Meyer-Macaulay:
The problem with Jonathan Kay's free speech approach to cultural appropriation is that speech is only free to those doing the oppressing. Fifty years ago it was illegal in Canada for indigenous people to openly practice their own culture. Thousands of children were kidnapped from their homes by the federal government to protect them from indigenous culture. Native Canadians continue to be marginalized and face overwhelming racism in education, employment, health care and criminal justice.
And now some white kids are upset because they got called out for wearing head dresses and war paint at cultural festivals and Caucasian writers and artists are facing a backlash for appropriating Native Canadian stories and art, even in some high-profile cases stealing native identities.
To marginalize an entire ethnic group for three centuries and then profit off their culture is not a policy item for debate. It is indefensible under any circumstances. That you only appreciate its importance when oppressed individuals formulate their arguments in concrete terms about the way it affects Native Canadians that you can understand (such as not being able to get their pain medicine) does not make you rational. It makes you a special kind of dense. 
Take that, all you "dense"-heads!

Here's the letter I wrote in response:
Letter-writer Colin Blair Meyer-Macaulay says "the problem with Jonathan Kay's free speech approach to cultural appropriation is that speech is only free to those doing the oppressing."
How right he is! Only, in our time, the oppression is being conducted by humourless "progressives" who venerate victimhood and who clutch their pearls and reach for the smelling salts when, on those rare occasions, someone has the temerity to stray from the one acceptable, CBC-approved opinion on any given subject.

Thus does political correctness claim its latest two casualties--Hal Niedzvieki and Jonathan Kay. And you can be sure that what's happened to them will serve as a cautionary tale for others who toil in Canada's grim cultural precincts to squelch any ideas or expression that are at odds with the "progressive" script.
Update: Jerry Agar, that cheeky monkey, says "Appropriate my culture, please!":
My culture believes in human rights, and, recognizing that women are human beings, therefore believes in women’s rights. 
Many cultures do not. Those cultures treat women as the property of either their father or husband. 
Many men in these cultures believe a woman should be killed if she goes against any of their backward, ignorant rules for how a woman is allowed to behave. 
My culture educates both boys and girls, and women rise to powerful positions in business, science, the arts and politics. 
My culture believes in civil rights. 
It believes in protecting individual freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations and powerful, private individuals. 
Those rights include freedom of speech and of the press. ... 
My culture, however, exists in the real world, made up of millions of human beings, so it is far from perfect. ...
Exactly. Which is why "progressives" despise it. (Thomas Sowell explains it like this: "progressives" have a "vision of the anointed." They long to perfect the world and transform it into a "social justice" utopia. The Jerrys of the world, on the other hand, have a "tragic vision," meaning that they know that the human condition is fraught with travail and pain that cannot be ameliorated via central planning. They also know that the end result of utopian scheming is a totalitarian horror show.)

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