“Indigenous advocates” are urging a committee of the United Nations to make “cultural appropriation” illegal worldwide.
Speaking to the U.N.’s 189-member World Intellectual Property Organization, leftist activists urged the body to take action on the pressing “issue.”
Speaking to the committee Monday, James Anaya, dean of law at the University of Colorado, said the UN’s negotiated document should “obligate states to create effective criminal and civil enforcement procedures to recognize and prevent the non-consensual taking and illegitimate possession, sale and export of traditional cultural expressions.”
Anaya said the document should also look at products that are falsely advertised as Indigenous made or endorsed by Indigenous groups.
That would mean products like those in U.S. based retailer Urban Outfitters “Navajo” line, Anaya said, including “Navajo hipster panties,” a “peace treaty feather necklace” and a “Navajo print flask.”
Cultural appropriation is the idea that indigenous people “own” ubiquitous elements of their culture, like Mexican sombreros, Native American headdresses, and Japanese Kimonos, and that anyone who makes use of these elements without permission is somehow “appropriating,” and therefore oppressing, that culture.
Strangely, there are little to no complaints that the proliferation of western clothing, music, and architectural forms around the world constitutes “appropriation,” although some leftists have accused the west of “cultural imperialism.”
Cultural appropriation has been roundly mocked by a host of mainstream commentators including Jonathan Chait, Jonthan Haidt, and the liberal author Lionel Shriver. Yet those who take the issue seriously apparently still have credibility at the United Nations.
On the other hand, the United Nations also believes that notorious moonbats like Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn have credibility, so there’s that.