Are you sometimes confused about the concept of cultural appropriation? After all, what's wrong with appreciating someone else's culture, right? As that great civil rights leader King once taught us, "Can't we all just get along?"
Seriously, until today, I was confused about the difference myself. However, someone explained it to me (using small words and plenty of illustrations), and so now, I'm passing it along to you.
Appreciation is when you PARTICIPATE in someone else's culture (this is good). Appropriation is when you try to make someone else's culture your own (this is bad).
So, for instance, let's say that I attend a traditional Indian wedding, and AT THEIR INVITATION, I wear a sherwani. This is perfectly fine and shows respect for my Indian hosts. On the other hand, if my black ass then goes out and throws a Sherwani and Sari House Party (Wrap to Impress), that is appropriation. Because I'm no longer PARTICIPATING in someone else's culture, but rather dragging their cherished traditions into my ignorant bullshit. amazing prom dresses
See how that works? If someone invites you to participate in their cultural event, enjoy yourself. But don't start dressing up in kimonos at your lily white Utah book club meetings; even if you are reading Shogun. You don't get to purchase someone else's culture for the price of a Kindle download. In short, appreciate but don't appropriate.
Got it? Good!