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I'm stealing your culture! – Gilmer's Mirror

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Jim “Puppy” Moore

I’m stealing your culture When you go to a Mexican restaurant and eat tacos, tostadas, tortillas, salsa, pico de gallo and enchiladas, you’re stealing Latin culture. I do it every week and will continue to do so.

When I hear James Brown sing “This is a Man’s World” or one of his great songs, I’m stealing African American culture.

I’m stealing Southeast Asian culture when I embrace Asian art, whether it’s happy Buddha statues, metal prints of farmers working in the rice fields, beautiful women in paintings, or giant bamboo temples.

When you eat pepperoni pizza, you’re stealing Italian culture.

If you eat German chocolate cake, you are stealing German culture.

When I admire the art and lifestyle of Indians, aka Native Americans, I am stealing their culture.

My life is a collection of different pieces from other cultures. I have used other cultures to create a life that I enjoy. I have happily borrowed from other cultures and made my own what I enjoy as part of my life. I don’t ask for permission. I apply what I want to my life.

And guess what? It doesn’t matter if you offend someone for whatever reason. this is my life If you want Mexican food, eat it. If you want to wear your hair like a Rastafarian, do it. If you want to hear James Brown, Adele, Rage Against the Machine, do it. If you act like a Viking, so be it. If you want to try a sweat lodge, do it. I am an american. I don’t need the permission of any individual or group to accept as my own the part of the culture that I choose to embrace.

No culture owns me. No culture owns anything that comes from that culture. Those who claim to own their culture are wrong. They don’t own their culture. They are just trying to teach others how to live their lives. I refuse to know all of these things. Don’t let them think for a minute. They have an inflated sense of their own importance.

This is America. This is our country. We decide what it means to be American. It mainly means that you can choose how you want to live your life. If you want to perfectly imitate a culture you weren’t born with, that’s your right and no one else has the right to say so.

Can you imagine how ridiculous it would be if someone said, “Football, basketball, and baseball belong in our culture, and other groups are stealing them”? Or, “We invented television. So please stop stealing our ideas.” Or, “Stop eating hamburgers and hot dogs.

Since time immemorial, people have come into contact with other cultures and borrowed from them how to speak, how to make art, how to make music, how to make food, how to make clothes. No one owns any part of any culture. Each culture’s attributes are available to all of us to pick and choose the parts we like and make them our own.

Copyright 2016, Jim “Pappy” Moore. All rights reserved.

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