Week 7- Response to Theft & Artistry (Leon & Nimrah)

In the recent years on social media, I’ve noticed that there are still so many misunderstandings regarding important topics on cultural appropriation. It is getting to the point in which it’s so frustrating to see so many people who still cannot understand or acknowledge that there is clearly a difference between cultural appreciation and appropriation. I understand cultural appropriation to be when a minority’s culture elements are taken, distorted, and misrepresented as cultural appreciation is when people actually take the time to learn, understand and respect the cultural as well as representing it respectfully. But the tricky part comes in when someone who is Asian American, for example, grows up in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. The question is, would he/she not be permitted to be influenced by the Hispanic neighborhood which includes the Hispanic community’s habits or mannerisms such as the way of dressing, talking, acting, and etc? How can that person be responsible or be at fault for being influenced by his/her community? How can we really differentiate from what is fine to what is not. I believe that these gray areas are really a matter of degree as there is no credible line rule we can apply. There are no particular set of features that clearly differentiate between acts that appropriate unfairly and fairly. In my opinion, I think that instead of trying to draw a fixed line, it’s really important to take individual acts and examine them in their context. We should communicate with people who can be affected and consider the function of our behavior in the context of the broader culture.  Honestly, I still don’t understand how to go about this topic every time I am approached with this.

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