DimWit Politics

Saying yes to the dress

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Saying yes to the dress

Saying yes to the dress
May 03
14:39 2018

If you still need another example of how identity politics is corrupting the American culture, the latest model is Keziah Daum — a young high school student from Utah who wore a traditional Asian-style dress to her prom. In response, the loonier elements of the radical left took to social media to condemn her fashion statement.

The storm may have been set off by one Jeremy Lam, who complained, “My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress.” Perhaps he was not aware that the name “Jeremy” does not come from his culture, either.

According to this malignant cultural theory, such a style should only be worn by Asians. For others to embrace that style is apparently some sort of insult – a slander on the Asian culture. This despite the fact that Daum said she was wearing the dress out of respect for a culture she strongly admires.

In the American culture, dressing in any way does not have to be an overt display of high admiration to be acceptable. It is – or at least should be – enough to merely like what the fashionistas call “the look.” While style can reflect and relate to culture, there are no proprietary rights.

Having traveled to China on many occasions, I could not help but notice that the vast majority of Chinese wear western style clothing – including the American iconic blue jeans. It is only on ceremonial occasions that they wear traditional historical clothing of the type Daum wore to the prom. By the extension of logic, should we condemn Asians who wear jeans and button-down collar shirts?

Cultural cross-dressing is not unique to teenagers like Daum. Heads of state are often garbed in traditional clothing when visiting foreign nations.

The long Asian side slit has been a staple of the divas of Tinseltown since the last days of the Qing Dynasty. Even more broadly, there is an entire fashion industry that mimics traditional foreign styles for their latest runway offerings.

Many white folks in the 1960s embraced the African dashiki as a show of alliance to the civil rights movement. One of the most popular styles of that era was the Nehru jacket and collarless shirt. I had both.

This nonsense goes beyond clothing. It includes food. There are those on what can only be described as the loony left who protest white folks cooking or serving ethnic foods. That may come as a surprise to all those non-Italians who own Italian or Chinese restaurants.

As a person who enjoys cooking, I often make Asian soups and stir-fries, Greek stuffed grape leaves, Irish corned beef and cabbage and Italian lasagna. It never occurred to me that I was expropriating someone else’s culture. If anything, it was a compliment to their cuisine.

America is, or is supposed to be, a nation of immigrants where we all celebrate each other’s culture. This divisive and ethnic isolationism is corrosive to the unique American culture because it creates a form of tribalism. We should not be a balkanized nation in which there is no “Unum” derived from our “e Pluribus.”

Whether this sort of ethnocentric politics is more dangerous than stupid or more stupid that dangerous is open to debate. It is, however, a good measure of both.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Doc
    Doc May 06, 00:48

    What can what say about idiocy? It knows no bounds, ethnic, religious, political, regional, home town, anything. Yes, even political idiocy! YOU decide about Mr. Giuliani and the whole of last year.

    Reply to this comment

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