Hopper: Why immigrant-loving Canada is suddenly worried about immigration

Another critical look at immigration levels given housing and healthcare pressures:
Canada, by virtually any metric, is the most pro-immigration country on earth.

A 2019 global survey by Pew Research found that Canada was the one country most supportive of the notion that immigration “makes our country stronger.” In 2020, a Gallup survey ranked Canada as the world’s most migrant friendly nation. Last September, a poll by the Environics Institute found that 58 per cent of Canadians backed the notion that their country “needs more immigrants.”

Source: Why immigrant-loving Canada is suddenly worried about immigration

Tristin Hopper: This is what actual, real-life cultural appropriation looks like

Tristan Hopper provides some guidance on what is and what is not cultural appropriation:

In a world littered with iffy accusations of culture-theft, this is the real deal. A white-guy equivalent would be the Ontario descendant of a United Empire Loyalist waking up to discover their family crest had been slapped on the crotch of a new line of designer panties. Or the son of a war casualty finding that Dad’s service portrait was being used in a Chinese ad for shampoo.

The Inuit generally have no problem with people paddling kayaks or wearing parkas, both of which they invented.

And when an Inukshuk was picked as the symbol for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, the choice got the endorsement of both the government of Nunavut and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the body representing Canada’s 55,000 Inuit.

But Kokon To Zai didn’t design a sweater that took a few Inuit design cues or made a subtle reference to Arctic culture; all scenarios that, in other circumstance, might have spurred more dubious accusations of “cultural appropriation.”

“This is a stolen piece … there is no way that this fashion designer could have thought of this exact duplicate by himself,” Awa told CBC.

Tellingly, KTZ fessed up to the deed almost immediately. It pulled the item from its catalogue, issued a public apology and delivered the requisite lines arguing they were just trying to “celebrate multiculturalism” and that they have all kinds of “ethnic backgrounds” on their staff.

But the lesson of the KTZ fiasco is that before sounding the trumpets of cultural appropriation, consider the following:

Is it a blatant and verifiable copy of something exclusive to that culture? A feathered headdress is obviously a Plains First Nations thing, but dying your hair blonde and braiding it doesn’t mean you’re ripping off the Scandinavians.

Does it have sacred or religious meaning? Recreationally wearing a yarmulke, for instance, is a bit different than eating a latke.

And is the person raising the complaint part of a group that is directly affected by the alleged culture crime?

If the answer to any or all of the above is yes, you may be looking at a bona fide case of insensitivity to an important element in a recognized culture. If the answer is “no,” then think twice before crying wolf about cultural appropriation.

Source: Tristin Hopper: This is what actual, real-life cultural appropriation looks like