Inspired by theme and threads regarding White Appropriation. Cultural Appropriation is defined (by wikipedia) as "the adoption of elements of one culture by members of a different cultural group, especially if the adoption is of an oppressed people's cultural elements by members of the dominant culture."
We don't suffer from cultural appropriation, being stolen from innocently.
We suffer from ignorance, relationships based on inappropriate, unconscious exchanges,
lack of clarity and thoroughness.
Identity is as much a personal mission, necessitating strength of character and an unusual honesty with self as it is a quality we absorb as a recipient from our environment, ancestry, and narrative heritage.
Is the service of statistics outdated? Do we need to mark a box defining ourselves longer? It's apparent if one can see, smell, hear---if one has senses at all---to find that segregation exists, in music, in neighborhoods, in social circles. As a people, most of us have long clung to whoever looks like us, can speak like us, can commiserate with us…. it is almost as though the nurturance we lose in slight when leaving the bosom, when leaving the nest, is compensated for by surrounding ourselves with the familiar comfort of those who can speak our dialect. Our demographic realities are extensions of our baby cribs and blankets.
As much as identifying descriptors are being recognized as outworn by so-called progressive societies, as much as I've long been committed to not defining a thing from a thing, I do believe it has been the patrilineal-lead movement of human kind that has developed the science of taxonomy. Trickling down from this identification system comes the concept of the usefulness of a box to check when applying for a position or when presenting oneself formally on paper. These titles are meant to represent what the world at large initially sees when they meet me: woman, medium height, blue eyes, 100-something pounds. To note what separates myself from another for one or two or 10 strands of DNA which give me the appearance of being white.
As long as this influence on language, this type of prison that limits our malleable minds exist, I will feel a sense, at the least, of irritation toward those individuals and structures supporting the reality created by the patriarch, the forefathers.
The system fueled by a source other than the patrilineal names only the moment, what is present, identifies through heart and sound, is more animalistic in the sense of receptively instinctual. Is more idea-based (embodied-blossoming) than criticism-based (projected-deflated).
I feel on this day: If you want to be black, if you want to be white, if you want to be a jew or whatever you wish-- let it fuel your internal identity as you please.
Let's live for a life where we care less about how one identifies themselves and more about how uniquely and powerfully and usefully one has stepped into the ever-changing ride of self-identity. How considerately one chooses to live without fabricating situations of excessive pain for themselves and others, where one can find the glistening romance of existence's poetry instead of closing oneself off in various nullifying pacifications. Where an ambition of self is carried out thoughtfully, with ample room to commence and close, employing others at their most qualified level.
There is only one real human identity- it is the one we largely form for ourselves, that daily shape shifts, dies and is reborn. that is a bundle of contradictions from which we make artistic sense. All souls are artist souls, if and how we touch a canvas is in ways irrelevant. Gently allowing others to go through their ranks and loss of ranks, proclaiming, and then wriggling away into hushed existences. Being unbothered by whoever's horn is tooting as they tunnel from "ignorance into the know" and (as poet Cummings said) inevitably...trudge toward ignorance again. Opening and closing, multiplying and reuniting into oneness is the way and science of life. Identity is no different.
Interestingly, marine animals emit fluorescent patterns which only others in their species perceive, used for identification for the presumed purpose of communication and, greatly, mating. However, their markings don't seem to result in cultural classism, self-righteous definitions and cultural blame games.