A cultural appreciation Show more Show less
Borrowing aspects of another culture is a sign of respect. It indicates others want to emulate that culture, which is fundamentally a compliment.
We emulate behaviour and aesthetic that we find attractive and appealing. Therefore, cultural appropriation is a gesture of appreciation for another culture.
If the Kardashians braid their hair, they are making a statement that they like the way the braids look and are therefore showing an appreciation to the culture they are emulating. Rather than taking offence when another race or ethnicity borrows aspects of another culture, we should see it for the appreciative gesture that it is.
Cultural appropriation is inherently dangerous, even when it is intended as a compliment. By treating another cultural norm as an exotic look or adventure, the dominant culture is reinforcing the idea that the minority culture is “strange” or “different”. Even when this is intended as a compliment, it establishes the minority group as an “other” or alien, which is clearly offensive.
[P1] We emulate behaviour and designs we like. [P2] Cultural appropriation involves emulating another culture's practices or aesthetic. [P3] Therefore, cultural appropriation is a gesture of respect for another culture.
Rejecting the premises
[Rejecting P3] Even if it is intended as a gesture of respect, it has dangerous implications.