Cultural Appropriation

Where can you go? 

This op-ed by Jack VanNoord that appeared in the Chicago Tribune last week “My nephew tried to school me on cultural appropriation. It didn’t end well,” here’s the opening:

They got him. Just as I feared they would. My nephew Kyle came to live with us this summer after his freshman year of college. Apparently he’s now a deputized member of the cultural-appropriation police.

He hadn’t even unpacked his massive bag of dirty laundry when he made a snide comment about the three straw hats hanging in our hallway collected during our years living in Southeast Asia. The next day when Kyle and I were backing out of the driveway and I called out “Adios” to my neighbor, Kyle mumbled, “Appropriate much?”

But then the following Saturday, I overheard Kyle ask my wife if we had any sunscreen he could borrow. “Brenna and I are going kayaking.” I poked my head around the corner. “Mmm. Kayaks. You mean that watercraft appropriated from the Inuit people of the Arctic region?” Quick on his feet, Kyle recovered and retorted, “I meant to say we’re renting canoes.”

“As in the canoe that was developed by the indigenous people of North America?” Stymied, Kyle canceled his plans. He and Brenna spent the day sitting quietly on a park bench.