Today’s story of the increasingly offended comes to us from our neighbors to the north. Buckle up because this one is a doozy. The University of Ottawa cancelled a yoga class which was offered to students for free. The reason? Cultural appropriation. If you’re shaking your head, you’re not alone. According to Wikipedia, “Cultural appropriation is a sociological concept which views the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture as a largely negative phenomenon. Generally, an assumption that the culture being borrowed from is also being oppressed by the culture doing the borrowing is prerequisite to the concept.” (Say that three times, fast.)
According to the story, staff at the Centre for Students with Disabilities issued an e-mail claiming that “while yoga is a really great idea and accessible and great for students . . . there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice.”
Jen Scharf has served as the yoga instructor for the Centre for Students with Disabilities for the past seven years. According to Scharf, “I guess it was this cultural appropriation issue because yoga originally comes from India. I told them, ‘Why don’t we just change the name of the course?’ It’s simple enough, just call it mindful stretching.… We’re not going through the finer points of scripture. We’re talking about basic physical awareness and how to stretch so that you feel good.”
I know this story is based out of Canada, but it’s quite relevant to what we are experiencing here in the US. Though I shouldn’t be, I’m amazed at the hypocrisy of what takes place in our own country. It’s rather interesting to hear leftists in this country decry those who seek to follow their own beliefs if those beliefs don’t suit the narrative. In such cases they are labeled as racist or phobic or opposed to diversity.
Today we see many examples of such intolerance, particularly with regards to Christianity. The traditions and cultural activities associated with Christianity are viewed as offensive to those who are not Christian. Saying “Merry Christmas” and displaying a Christmas tree are seemingly offensive and politically incorrect. In response to the growing level of intolerance, a bakery in Ohio has found it necessary to publicly display a sign stating their values and beliefs. Sadly, there has been plenty of negative publicity as a result.
But it’s not only Christians who are fighting the “PC” battle. Universities across the country have recently been a hotbed of racial instability. The University of Vermont held a 3-day retreat this past week where students could confront their “white privilege”. There are many myths surrounding the so-called “white privilege”, but ultimately aren’t such retreats equally racist? Shouldn’t diversity encompass all groups?
According to those on the left, if you are opposed to allowing thousands of Syrain refugees into this country, then you are certainly Islamophobic or racist. Yet those same people attack Christianity. The leftist allows and promotes a growing population who are increasingly offended by the culture, acts, or beliefs of others. Yet they are fully in favor of growing a diverse community where we are told to be accepting of outside cultures. The irony in all of this is that what we really have here is the growth of something called Cultural Homogenization. Diversity can not exist in a society where the masses find the cultural behaviors of others offensive. These two are in constant competition with one another.
America has always been accepting of various cultures. We are truly a diverse nation. A diverse nation with its own culture and American values. Though we believe in diversity, there is an expectation that various cultures assimilate and share our American values. We can not continue to accommodate those who are increasingly offended, for this cannot coexist with diversity.