Why, no, Ms. Social Justice Warrior, I’m not appropriating Latino culture by eating a burrito. This is a Pølse – a lefse (potetkakke, to be precise) wrapped around meat, vegetables and sauces to taste.
Not a freaking burrito.
Check your privilege.
We have offically hit Peak Social Justice:
In a piece for the Patriot, the school’s official student newspaper, Leah Power explains that although she has “attempted to build up a thick skin towards the insensitive jokes, stereotypes, cultural appropriation and overall ignorance” that she sees around her, she just cannot help but get very upset every time she hears someone who is not from the South use the word “y’all.” Power writes that she remembers traveling outside of the South when she was young and having to deal with “people joking about my accent and the stereotypes of the dumb, inbred, redneck hicks who made up the southern states,” but that “sometime in the last year or so, [‘y’all’ has] gone from a redneck pronoun to a socially acceptable form of addressing a group of people.”
Well, Ms. Power, all I can say is “d’uuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhh”.
Yes, it has. And I’ve contributed to it. And I will continue to contribute to it.
English is one of very few languages without a second-person plural. In German, the singular you is “Du”; if you’re referring to more than one person, it’s “ihr”. (In formal situations – another thing English lacks – it’s “Sie” and “Ihnen”).
But for English – since the demise of “Ye”, anyway – we have no word for second-person plural.
And there are times that causes problems.
Enter “y’all” – the southern dialect group’s great contribution to grammar. It is a second person plural. And unlike the Northern dialect group’s “Youse”, it’s not phonetically awkward; it’s easier to go from an “L” to most other sounds than from an “S”.
So yes Ms. Power; by your leave (or even without it), I’m going to use “y’all”. I’m also going to appropriate any parts of southern culture that suit me – Tom Petty, a sarcastic “yee haw” on occasion, Emmylou Harris, rockabilly, cheese grits, whatever.
And not just southern culture, either. I will take whatever parts of other cultures and incorporate them into my life in any way I see fit; I’ll listen to R&B, Jazz and black Gospel music; I’ll incorporate words like “Boondocks” (stolen from the Philippines) and “Cojones” (Mexico) and others into my vernacular; if something in another culture makes my life better and more interesting, I’m going to take it,and I’m going to dare you to do anything but whine about it.
Because that’s how all human cultures throughout history have formed, intermingled and grown. Western European culture is the result of 2,000 years of various levels of mixture of Latin, Gallic, Frankish, Saxon, Anglic, Teutonic, Slavic, Near Eastern, Nordic, Greek, and countless other cultures, customs and languages, none of which existed anymore in the original forms, because they all appropriated each other, and themselves, out of existence. And it’s the same for every other culture on the planet – African, Asian, you name it. The only exceptions are tribes in the impenetrable wilds of New Guinea or the Philippines that have gotten through these last 2,000 years with no other human contact.
So save us the jabbering about appropriation. Every culture appropriates every other culture, always has, and always will. Take what you need and leave the rest.