Normally, I would take a moment out to thank mothers for putting up with us, but there is an insidious danger in our midst and I feel driven to address that instead. (sorry Moms)
I never thought of this as a serious problem, but after the Cinco de Mayo protests over Donald Trump eating a taco salad, and Mexican complaints of “cultural appropriation”, I decided to investigate. It’s possibly my white privilege at work, because I never thought of eating Mexican food as an extension of centuries of racism, genocide, and oppression. Who would have thought that taco Tuesday could be so harmful?
At North Carolina State University, its dining services officials had to apologize for handing out “offensive” chocolate mustaches for dessert on Cinco de Mayo.
A similar kerfuffle also occurred at the University of Maryland after two Latino students were offended when the university’s dining services staff voluntarily wore fake mustaches and sombreros during its Cinco de Mayo dinner.
The US Army is just as guilty for culturally appropriating the color green, which everyone knows, belongs to the Irish exclusively. Is there no limit to the horror? When our fellow blogger WoFat served in the Army and he saw a non-Hibernian soldier, he instinctively said, “Wow, he really must hate the Irish, because he’s culturally appropriated our color.” Has the Army paid Irish Americans for culturally appropriating their color? Not yet. That in and of itself is a form of micro aggression against people whose ancestors came from Leprechaunia.
Halloween has to be the ultimate celebration of cultural appropriation. Living humans culturally appropriate the dead by pretending to be ghosts, non-witches culturally appropriate the domain of wicca by dressing up as witches, and people out of custody culturally appropriate the garb of prisoners by wearing striped outfits, and carry simulated ball and chains around as they beg for candy.
Our friend and fellow blogger, Jules (a proper English woman), upon arrival in Texas, was horrified to see Texans drinking ice tea. Ever since Americans threw tea into Boston harbor, they began a culturally harmful, subtle aggression, against England’s national drink and by so doing have culturally appropriated tea. It is to the point now where Texans serve “sweet tea” – an abomination to the English. Have Texans apologized for nearly a century of mockingly drinking iced and sweetened tea? If they have, I haven’t heard it.
Can you enjoy a hot delicious pizza if you’re not Italian? My sense is that you can’t lest you too be guilty of cultural appropriation. I expect that Olive Garden will soon post a sign, “ITALIANS ONLY” out front. Or maybe they will hire an Italian person (job opportunity, Adrienne?) to stand by the door and judge whether or not the prospective customer is cool enough to be granted temporary Italian status before being allowed in to have soup, salad, breadsticks and spaghetti.
So this Mother’s Day weekend, before they pass the snake around at church, think of all of the sins of cultural appropriation that you commit every day…and maybe…just maybe, the snake won’t bite.