The Pretend Problem

The Pretend Problem

Sunday, February 25, 2024
| Mark 8:31-38

According to Jesus, we have two choices. Neither one of them is appealing.

It is not unusual for occasional blips of cultural appropriation to ping on the radar of social awareness.

To define terms: Cultural appropriation (CA) “is the co-optation of elements, customs or practices of one culture by another culture without acknowledgement of consent.”

It’s not hard to find examples: The tomahawk hand and arm gesture using large red, foam-rubber tomahawks, and the faux-Native American war cry that one can hear during the home games of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs or MLB’s Atlanta Braves. The Washington Commanders used to be known as the Washington Redskins — which now, in retrospect, seems so 20th-century. Ditto for the Cleveland Guardians, formerly known as the Cleveland Indians.

Other examples of CA include blackface and “whitewashing” (white actors playing non-white characters) — largely a thing of the past. Sporting dreadlocks, a keffiyeh (Arab scarf) or a Sikh turban can also be examples of CA, if by ...

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