F. LaGard Smith on The New 8th Commandment is ‘Thou Shalt Not Cultural Appropriation’

In the hyper-sensitive World of Woke, “Thou shalt not steal” is now “Thou shalt not commit cultural appropriation.”  When “identity features” of disadvantaged cultures are used by a dominant culture for superficial purposes, it is seen as offensive.  Hence, the name-change for sports monikers like the Redskins and Indians.  And “blackface” is definitely out.

If you can’t identify with the cultural experience of an oppressed minority, so it goes, it’s off-limits to use anything reflecting that culture.  Should whites, then, be banned from performing jazz, or the blues?  The “blackness” of Elvis was sufficiently evident to receive that very criticism.  Are whites, who can’t relate to slavery, to be barred from singing “Negro spirituals?”  What about gay actors playing straight roles; or blacks playing white roles (as in Broadway’s “Hamilton”)?

From serious to silly, one can hear complaints over non-Mexicans sporting sombreros, and non-Asians dressing in kimonos.  Should non-Irish be banned from wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day?  Or the Shriners from donning their Moroccan (historically Muslim) Fezzes?  So far, we’ve been spared complaints about Scottish Tartan ties, and non-Italians eating pizza.  These “cultural appropriations” are a reminder that, far from intending offense, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  We’ve come a long way from “melting pot” to “pot boiling over.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, F. LaGard Smith

F. LaGard Smith is a retired law school professor (Pepperdine, Liberty, and Faulkner law schools), and is the author of some 35 books, touching on law, faith, and social issues.  He is the compiler and narrator of The Daily Bible (the NIV and NLT arranged in chronological order), and posts weekly devotionals on Facebook, drawing spiritual applications from current events.