This is how I think of cultural appropriation. Victim identity is a resource. So when white people use the accoutrement of that identity, they are seen as stealing cultural power. How dare you make Korean tacos, whitey! These clothes, that hairstyle, this music: They belong to us, and when you appropriate them, you are diluting their brand value. It’s the cultural analogue to copyright infringement. My brand’s value depends on my monopoly on this stuff, so you can’t use it.
Anyway, as the serial killer said before he went to the truck to get the plastic tarp, I should wrap this up.
The aristocracy of victimhood can be seen everywhere if you train your eyes to see it (don’t get me started on the new push for reparations). And the corrupting power of this cultural shift is profound. Because we’re not just heaping praise on victims, we’re investing extra legitimacy to their ideas and arguments. If we as a culture want to say that the Pale Penis People can’t wear sombreros or cook Korean food, I’ll pound away at my keyboard about how stupid that is. But ultimately, that idiocy falls under the loosey-goosey rubric of fashion and manners. If we’re going to start saying that victims’ ideas are “more right” simply because the people spewing them are victims, then we are committing a kind of civilizational suicide. I don’t care if you spent your youth at the bottom of a pit putting the lotion in the basket when commanded to, you’re still wrong if you tell me two plus two equals seven.