Culture Clash: Social group confusion can lead to conflicts

Saying cultural appropriation is very complex and touchy subject would be an understatement. People feel that important traditions in their culture are being marginalized while some say that it’s a non-issue and racist. However both sides could be small minded in this situation.

First thing thing to go over is that culture and race are different things. A race is group of humans with similar characteristics. Culture is the beliefs and tradition that a group of people follow. Yes, there are cultures that have a majority of one race, but the race does not make the culture. The people do.

So let’s start with an issue that stems from cultural appropriation: white people with dreadlocks. Many people say it is racist to not allow a race of people to wear a certain hairstyle. Others say that when white people use dreadlocks, they are lowering the importance of that hair style, but then again, culture and race are not always the same.

Let’s use me, Alexander Templeton, as an example for whether white people should be able to wear dreadlocks. Also, I am not going to get dreadlocks any time soon.

If you looked at me, you would see a white teenage boy with some extremely curly hair. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. See, my mom is Indian, which explains my curly hair. For those who don’t know, dreadlocks are an Indian hairstyle, so this means I can have dreadlocks. However, people will argue that just because I have Indian blood coursing through my veins doesn’t mean I am ingrained in Indian culture.

This is just judgemental and plain wrong in so many cases. I eat Indian food at least two times a week. I eat a lot of food with just my hands, which is common in India, and our family has a very karma-based view on the world. By karma, I mean if you smile at the world, the world will smile back, and not the western version of karma.

Now, I am going to go over how cultural appropriation is real and how people who are against it are actually fueling it.

Recently, pop culture icons like Justin Bieber and Beyonce have been taking things from heavy metal subculture. Some examples include the “Slayonce” buttons in the iconic Slayer font, and Bieber using a heavy metal font for his newest tour and the trend of wearing “Metallica” T-shirts.

The reason why this angers metalheads is that these artists don’t care about the metal community. If Beyonce cared about Slayer, why has she not talked about them or paid respects to the death of their rhythm guitarist?

Some people who wear Metallica T-shirts don’t even listen to them and don’t even try. The people who use these parts of the heavy metal subculture would even say that some of it is “just noise.”

There could be some benefits because it could introduce more people into heavy metal, but there is a big chance they won’t. Granted metalheads are very elitist and defensive because of how the mainstream has treated them, so we may be overreacting.

Cultural appropriation is a complex issue that goes beyond race, and people have very staunch views about it, so I hope with this article I have opened the minds of people across the political spectrum.

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