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Tipsheet

Outrage Mob: This Is Why Progressives Were Frothing At The Mouth Over A Girl’s Prom Dress

It was supposed to be a fun night for Keziah Daum—and maybe that was still the case—but it soon turned into Outrage Theater. Daum, a student at Woods Cross High School in Utah, became the target of the progressive social media mob when she wore a qipao, a dress whose roots are grounded in China, which set off the snowflake brigade. Daum found herself being accused of cultural appropriation. Yeah, we’re back to this crowd again. She was looking for something unique to wear, she wasn’t mocking Chinese culture, and to her credit, she would do it again knowing the consequences of her fashion choice. 

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Jeremy Lam was the person who appears to have set off the firestorm. 

“I'm proud of my culture, including the extreme barriers marginalized people within that culture have had to overcome those obstacles. For it to simply be subject to American consumerism and cater to a white audience, is parallel to colonial ideology,” he explained in a Twitter thread.

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He then gave himself a pat on the back for starting this discussion on race:

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Yeah, here’s the thing. This whole argument about cultural appropriation is crap. It’s just a way for the most left wing of left-wingers to keep themselves trapped in a glass case of emotion. As a Korean-American, I’m a member of the larger Asian community and I couldn’t care less what Daum wore at prom. I do hope she had a great time besides the total losers who try to find white, neo-colonialism in every aspect of life. You weren’t there. You don’t know this girl. What the hell is this?  David French had more on this insanity:

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If you’re a normal human being, like the majority of Americans who saw their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter feeds fill up with prom pictures last weekend, you thought that was a pretty girl in a pretty dress. Nothing more.

But if you’re a toxic social-justice warrior, you saw something else. You saw oppression. You saw exploitation. You saw bigotry. You saw — gasp — “cultural appropriation.” The dress, you see, had obvious Asian influences, and Daum isn’t Asian:

Daum, to her immense credit, has weathered the shamestorm without backing down. She says simply that she bought the dress because she thought it was “beautiful” and she “admired the beauty of the culture.”

So, that’s the story. Here’s why it matters: It’s indicative of how the people who care the most about identity and oppression are seized by rage and unreason. And because cultures are shaped and defined by those who care the most, Daum’s story is not just a Twitter story; it’s increasingly the American story.

Let’s take the concept of “cultural appropriation.” It’s absurd down to its very definition. Susan Scafidi, author of Who Owns Culture? Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law, defines it like this:

Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc. It’s most likely to be harmful when the source community is a minority group that has been oppressed or exploited in other ways or when the object of appropriation is particularly sensitive, e.g. sacred objects.

In a multi-ethnic, multi-racial culture like America’s, the potential for offense is unlimited.

(Moreover, who, exactly, is empowered to grant “permission” to wear clothing, cook food, or use language? Is there a central registry?

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We pride ourselves in being a melting pot of culture. Anyone can be an American. Anyone can become an American. It’s a rich blend of cultures, whereas Asians are mostly homogenous societies. That’s not to say anything is wrong with that; it’s just how they are. But our nation’s strength is grounded in the diversity of our people. I agree with French; we need permission to eat at a Mexican restaurant? Do I need to send a request to the Italian embassy to eat at Filomena in Georgetown? 

[Warning: some strong language]

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The rules are so loose and subjective that any wackjob on the Left to throw a tantrum and blabber pseudo-intellectual drivel about oppression and cultural insensitivity. It was a prom dress. She wasn’t in yellow face. She wasn’t mocking Asian culture. This blow up was absolutely absurd and the fact that some, not all, in this country take cultural appropriation as a serious concept makes me weep for the future. Take a chill pill and grow up. That’s all. It was a high school prom. Everyone get it the hell together. 

Yes, there are times where one's culture is mocked through a vicious and racist lens. Yes, that happens. It didn't happen here.

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