[A}s many as 20 million Americans practice yoga every day. Few worry that their downward dogs or warrior poses disrespect other cultures.
But yoga comes from India, once a British colony. And now, at one Canadian university, a yoga class designed to include disabled students has been canceled after concerns the practice was taken from a culture that “experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy,” according to the group that once sponsored it. <...>You just gotta understand that,
“Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced and what practices from what cultures (which are often sacred spiritual practices) they are being taken from . . . Many of these cultures are cultures that have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy, and we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves and while practicing yoga.”Being a culturally insensitive sort, I thought maybe the classes had been canceled because the wrong sort of people were walking around in yoga pants. But, no, the reasons are much more serious, and woe to he/she/ze who makes mock of them. The brave student federation at UniOtt took to heart the progressive definition of cultural appropriation,
Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else's culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture's dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc. It's most likely to be harmful when the source community is a minority group that has been oppressed or exploited in other ways or when the object of appropriation is particularly sensitive, e.g. sacred objects.
In the United States, cultural appropriation almost always involves members of the dominant culture (or those who identify with it) “borrowing” from the cultures of minority groups. African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans and indigenous peoples generally tend to emerge as the groups targeted for cultural appropriation. Black music and dance, Native American fashions, decorations and cultural symbols and Asian martial arts and dress have all fallen prey to cultural appropriation.They not only took it to heart but, as fierce Social Justice Warriors, struck a mighty blow by preventing handicapped students who benefited from the free classes from continuing their evil theft of Indian culture. The Indian High Commission in Ottawa had no comment, well, except for their June 21 announcement of International Yoga Day, but I am sure some imperialist forced them to do that . . .
Ah, yes, all this at a time when the State Department issues a WORLDWIDE travel advisory to Americans because of the threat from the JV squad, er, I mean,
Extremists [who] have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services. In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali. ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.Yes, my old outfit is issuing a worldwide advisory, just after the President said ISIS was "contained"--I guess he meant to this planet--and never once using the words "Islamist," "Jihadi," much less "Islam" or "Muslim." Just be careful of some vague extremists out there; they might be Mormon missionaries, or truck-driving-Rebel-flag-waving sorts, you just don't know from where that "extremist" threat might come. The State Department, of course, is behind the times and needs to step up its game in confronting the evils of cultural appropriation. No more speaking English at American embassies lest we offend the English people from whom we appropriated that language . . .
"Cultural appropriation" terrorists share some common features with "Global Climate Whatever" terrorists. They ignore the history of mankind. Just as mankind has struggled ceaselessly against the brutalities of Mother Nature--Gaia is a blood thirsty goddess--mankind (oops, can I still use that word?) has advanced by borrowing ideas across cultures, ideas that provide solutions to the common problems faced by people regardless of culture. Who built the very first house? I don't know, but I am grateful to him/her/zat/zim/bim.
Can we assert that cultures influence and get influenced by other cultures? Otherwise, I guess, Africans should not get polio vaccines because those did not originate in their cultures?
This "appropriation" nonsense, of course, is of a piece with just about everything else being done by progressives. The idea is to sow confusion, doubt, self-censorship, and, above all, confusion--did I mention confusion? The poor benighted speaker, writer, thinker is thrown into a tizzy whenever he/she, etc., tries to come up with a thought. The poor unenlightened one must then turn to the progressives for a guide to lay down a path out of the quandary, and avoid giving offense.
I, for one, intend to have tacos for lunch tomorrow. If I don't, then the Social Justice Terrorists have won.