Please consider this quote.
It is, let me add, a statement with which we at TPOL do NOT agree. The Fifty States – and indeed Canada and Mexico – DID derive SOME of its wealth, its values, its food, and its vision of goals and objects from many different nations and cultures of AmerInd people. But hardly all. Our heritage comes from many sources, from every continent (with possible exceptions of Antarctica and Australia), and from every racial and cultural group. Including people such as the Pueblo (Laguna, Zuni, and others), Lakota, Dineh (Navajo), Wabanaki, and many others.
But Americans adapting the customs and products and ideas of other cultures is no longer seen as a good thing. The melting pot must have its heat turned down, or even off. All those chunks of this and that must remain separate and even uncontaminated by the other chunks.
What Ms. Allen described is now called cultural appropriation, and it is a very bad thing. Wikipedia defines it as “Cultural appropriation is the inappropriate or unacknowledged adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity. This can be controversial when members of a dominant culture appropriate from minority cultures.” Wikipedia There are, of course, definitions but it always is treated as disapproving. Doing so is an excuse to attack, condemn, and cancel people. The popular opinion today in 2022 is that cultural appropriation is wrong and should not be done, or stopped if we are doing that.
Yet we do it all the time. All the things that Ms. Allen claimed fit into this definition. Corn? Beans? Fry bread? Beadwork? Concepts of government? Camping? Hunting? Even environmental awareness? All of these things are claimed by many (especially activists like her) as being the heritage of the tribes of North America. So that makes it WRONG for people of other ancestry (especially European) to use these things. At least to use them without paying for them to the people who (probably) originally used them, or which are now associated in the public mind with those people who are a minority.
Consider food, as that has come up frequently. For groups which are predominantly NOT Mexican in heritage, it is wrong to fix and serve tacos, burritos, even tortillas – those are Mexican foods. If you are not Chinese, it is wrong for you to prepare and serve General Tso (and many other) dishes. If you are not Mongolian, you may not use a “Mongolian grill” to prepare food. It may even be wrong for you to EAT those foods!
Sometimes it gets even more confusing. Serving (and eating) traditional Southern dishes such as fried chicken, chitlins, collard greens, with watermelon for dessert, is cultural appropriation from black people – unless you have black heritage. Yet it is also considered racist to serve and eat those foods – especially under certain circumstances.
Some people carry it even further: it is wrong for people without Irish ancestry to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and drink green beer or slurp green milkshakes. Because the Irish are a minority (and once a despised minority) here in the Fifty States. It is evil to even use some names for sports teams or businesses: Chiefs and Warriors, for example. Although using Vikings and Centurions is NOT bad – although both Scandinavians and Italians are minorities. You can’t have an Eskimo Pie or fry-bread (or Navajo tacos or Indian tacos) if they aren’t made by someone with the right ancestry – and even then, you may be a racist for the name or the contents or the method of preparation.
It seems to be getting worse. And then we throw in politically correct nonsense: Because Russians are bad because they invaded Ukraine, that means vodka is bad – even if it is produced here in the good old USA. Ditto for piroschkis and of course, singing (or playing) Russian songs. (I wonder what has happened to Russian dressing? It has nothing to do with Russia except that the original recipe used caviar, and was invented by a guy in New Hampshire that apparently didn’t have any Russian heritage.) Of course, we have seen this nonsense before: liberty cabbage instead of sauerkraut back in 1917-1918, and liberty fries instead of “French fries” time and time again.
So why is it “cultural appropriation” to wear buckskin with beadwork but not a dirndl? To wear a sombrero but not a ushanka? To eat tacos but not to eat falafel or hummus or lutefisk? Why isn’t it appropriation to celebrate Chanukah? Is it because they are not associated with “minorities?” No, for many foods, clothing, even tools are the products of minority groups, both worldwide and in the Fifty States.
(And why aren’t cowboy hats? Talk about minorities without power!)
Perhaps it is because it is only things that can be twisted and warped into attacking mainstream American culture that are used as examples. That are bad – and that demonstrate the cognitive dissonance of the politically-correct social justice warriors which infest American society. But making fusses about things like this disrupt society, divided people over needless and often silly issues, and let change agents instigate change.