Three Cheers for Cultural Appropriation

From academia, another disgusting story: Opera Aida canceled amid race row over “cultural appropriation.”

[A] student production of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera [Aida] was cancelled amid a row over suggestions of “cultural appropriation”.

A theatre at the University of Bristol said yesterday it had cancelled all showings after a revolt by students.

Universities should rarely do anything in response to “revolting” students even when they are numerous, as I suspect these were not.

It is understood that there were protests amid fears that white students would be cast as leads and expected to portray Ancient Egyptians and slaves.


One can easily imagine that there aren’t many ancient Egyptians or slaves studying music at the University of Bristol, and that students there–being British–are mostly white. But so what?

What can’t be emphasized often enough is that cultural appropriation is good. Education consists largely of cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation allows societies to grow, to change, to adapt. In a world without cultural appropriation there would be no baseball in Japan, no Shakespeare in Brazil, no iPhones in Africa.

And if liberals get their way, pretty soon Aida won’t be produced anywhere except ancient Egypt.

STEVE adds: I think the “cultural appropriation” crowd should agitate for all colleges to give up using Arabic numerals, and see how the math and science departments react. Also: India has to give back parliamentary democracy. It’s only fair, if we have to give back yoga.

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