What, Exactly, Is Cultural Appropriation (And How Is It Harmful)?

By , Everyday Feminism

Despite the fact that people of color (POC) are being imprisoned, deported, evicted, and murdered at atrocious rates, contemporary media often tries to imply that the US is post-racial and politically just.

In reality, capitalism has turned Indigenous and POC cultural items and customs — which are usually born of precolonial legacy and historical trauma, resilience, and survival — into an economic currency that in no way benefits the groups from which they were stolen.

This exploits and ignores the very real violence that interferes with the well-being of POC and Indigenous Folk around the globe.

This is the sort of racism that people, on an individual basis, can recognize and interrupt. Please watch this video from Marina Watanabe to learn how you might be perpetuating cultural appropriation – and not even known it – and why you should stop.

Click for the Transcript

Please read the following Everyday Feminism articles to learn more about cultural appropriation:


3 responses to “What, Exactly, Is Cultural Appropriation (And How Is It Harmful)?

  1. Reblogged this on Open Thoughts and commented:
    Is cultural (mis)appropriation important to you? Do you know what it is? Read this posting to learn more.

  2. With out cultural appropriation, we would not have democracy… while it may often be tasteless, it is not illegal nor should we segregate ourselves into our distinct cultures and peoples. I may find it offensive that a white kid attempts to be a “hood rat”, it is nevertheless, their choice and right to do so. Ideally we should understand other cultures and appreciate them, that does not prohibit a person from displaying their affection for a dance or custom or dress style. Culture is not inherently copyrighted.

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