The concept of “cultural appropriation” has gone from the esoteric academic realm of post-colonial and decolonial studies, to being a mainstream political issue. But it’s reactionary rather than progressive, argues Ralph Leonard:
An irony of this argument is that most opponents of cultural appropriation proclaim, often radically, to be for diversity, immigration and multiculturalism, yet they are same people who bitterly resent the actual results of such a symbiosis. Tribally marking off permission rights over who can use what cultural form, or whose “voice”, and in what way is puerile. It attacks the main benefits of living in a modern, culturally diverse, cosmopolitan society: freedom of expression, cultural innovation and experimentation and expansion of one’s horizons and liberation of the imagination.