Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Political Correctness: Cultural appropriation

One small step [backward] for man, one giant leap for political correctness.


Whether you welcome it, absolutely hate it, or are even completely indifferent on the matter, Canada boasts the vast multiculturalism that is found throughout its provinces and territories.  And while this multiculturalism is typically spoken of in a positive light, with individuals from different cultures coming together and living as one, it's not necessarily all sunshine and rainbows.

Particularly with the world beginning its descent into chaos amongst the increasing fear of the presence of terrorist groups like ISIS, we are seeing our society revert to where we were the months immediately following 9/11.

In Canada in particular, with fear leading to hate, there appears to be a recognizable trend since the Paris attacks on Friday, November 13th, 2015, where this hate is taken out on seemingly innocent people.  A woman being knocked to the ground and stolen from because of her religion, a mosque being set ablaze, and threats being made towards Muslims via the Internet.  All of these recent incidents are clear examples of reacting out of fear, seen by those who are acting out as responding to the threat around them.  It seems to be the only way they know how to respond.

While the aforementioned are massive issues all on their own, something not helping this issue is a term you may have only learned recently.  It's called cultural appropriation, and it throws the political correctness train into overdrive.

As if the oversensitive, headline-of-the-day, bandwagon-hopping, professionally-offended individuals of the Internet needed one more thing to aimlessly spew their half-hearted (and half-informed) opinions about.  But voilĂ : cultural appropriation.

For the uninitiated, citing "cultural issues," cultural appropriation is when individuals of one culture adopt elements or practices of another culture, but this adoption is viewed negatively.  Sure, if the cultural tradition is adopted with malice, mockery, or malcontent, it's clearly a negative thing.  But when this seemingly new buzz term cultural appropriation is used to described a free yoga class, there's a problem.

Now, I don't know if it's about a larger issue, if people are simply looking for something else to complain about in order to further refer to the majority population as prejudice or racist, or if it's something else altogether.  What I do know is that it's got to stop.  You can't seem to do or say anything nowadays without it being misconstrued and interpreted as offensive.  Sometimesmost of the timethere's no deeper meaning.  It's OK to take things at face value and see them as they are sometimes.

I certainly advocate equal rights and fair treatment of all individuals.  But at a certain point, over sensitivity and an over saturation of political correctness does nothing but create further divides in society.  We can't overlook this, because with each divide, our society is taken a step backward.

Does racism exist in Canada?  Absolutely.  You'd be a fool to deny it.  Is it as rampant and underlying as most people seem to think?  Not even close.  But I suppose it's a subjective matter, and it's each person's right to speak what they believe.

Terrorist groups are threatening the safety of millions of people worldwide.  Countries are fighting civil wars.  Slavery and poverty are rampant in developing countries.  What is Canada doing?  We're busy getting offended at every second word we hear and shutting down free yoga classes, proving that while multiculturalism certainly exists in Canada, it's not in the way that most seem to believe, thereby further preventing the nation's growth and development.

When we're at the point of being offended about a group of people doing yoga—a form of meditation and exercise—then something is seriously wrong, and we need to reassess our priorities.  There are far greater issues that are screaming for our attention, but continue to be ignored.  Will this ever change?  I sure hope so.

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