Well, it looks like the constant prattle against the evils of “cultural appropriation” shows no signs of abating. White people are certainly being given some very mixed messages. On the one hand, we’re blessed by multiculturalism’s many riches – including but not limited to food, music, and “unique perspectives.” On the other hand, if white people try to enjoy non-white culture too much, then they morph into villainous poachers.
To be fair, I get where the “appropriation” crowd is coming from. Given the high premium the alt right places on nationalism and culture, I can appreciate why certain non-whites aren’t thrilled about white people donning their traditional attire. However, as the article points out, what’s ironic is that these aggrieved non-whites are actually channeling 18th century Europeans:
The idea that the world could be divided into distinct cultures, and that every culture belonged to a particular people, has its roots in late 18th-century Europe…The Romantic movement, which developed in part in opposition to the rationalism of the Enlightenment, celebrated cultural differences and insisted on the importance of “authentic” ways of being…For Johann Gottfried Herder, the German philosopher who best articulated the Romantic notion of culture, what made each people – or “volk” – unique was its particular language, history and modes of living. The unique nature of each volk was expressed through its “volksgeist” – the unchanging spirit of a people refined through history.
In that case, how dare non-whites appropriate white European thought; we are the only ones who get to promote cultural nationalism and essentialism!
Jokes aside, while Kenan Malik has always been an old-school progressive who disavows identity politics, I’ve also noticed that growing numbers of non-whites are beginning to question SJW identitarianism. Just take the #BernieMadeMeWhite hashtag, which was created by a black Bernie Sanders supporter. Understandably, many non-whites Feeling the Bern are scratching their heads, wondering how a contender who won a rainbow state like Hawaii continues to be branded a “white candidate” by the pro-Hillary machine. It’s almost as if social justice rhetoric is a convenient tool used by elites to thwart challenges to their power.
Another person who’s wised up to the SJW scam is Arab leftist Rania Khalek – whose brilliant trolling of hypocritical AIPAC attendees puts white nationalists to shame. She recognizes that when neocon oligarchs such as Hillary Clinton use SJW buzzwords like “privilege” and “intersectional,” it’s all sham; it’s nothing more than performative nonsense designed to preserve the status quo. It seems that growing numbers of traditional leftists have finally figured out that identity politics is a pure power grab – something we on the alt right have known for years.
But I think something else has also inspired certain non-whites to scrutinize the SJW cult: the rise of Donald Trump. The left has frequently mocked, harangued, and chastised white people for various trespasses, real or perceived. They also exhort whites to “interrogate their privilege” and examine their whiteness. Well, judging by the rise of the Donald, it appears that many have done just that; and it has more savvy leftists such as Rania Khalek worried. It’s not like Khalek completely rejects identity politics – notice the upside down, anti-Eurocentric map in her room – but I suspect she (along with fellow travelers) recognizes that now is not a good time to constantly poke and prod an increasingly radicalized white America.
On the other side of the Atlantic, more trenchant progressives such as Kenan Malik realize that encouraging tribalism in Europe’s various non-white communities will only fuel white Europe’s rapidly rising nationalism. Going back to the mixed messages, it’s the height of folly for identitarians to denounce “cultural appropriation.” After all, such appropriation is the main aspect of diversity that appeals to white people who embrace – or at least tolerate – multiculturalism. They like ethnic food, racial humor, Asian women, and exotic clothing. Take away white peoples’ fun, and what else does multiculturalism have to offer them, aside from displacement? Nothing. By being party poopers, these anti-appropriation zealots may very well inspire more whites to reject multiculturalism and seek alternatives.
Meanwhile, appropriate away!