Leah Lumpkin: There is no Such Thing as an Unwanted Child

Adoption means many different things to many different people. Chances are, you know someone who is adopted, or you may even be adopted yourself. If you cannot think of someone you know who is adopted, chances are there is someone in your life that doesn’t even know that they are. Personally, my parents chose not to keep it from me or my brother, and honestly I think that was the greatest way for them to handle it. We both also have open adoptions, so we both have contact with our biological families. This has given me the

chance to truly understand where I came from, as well as the effect a single action can have in not only your life, but the lives of so many others.

    If you read Erin’s article about abortion, you’ll recall that she mentioned she had cousins who were adopted. A set of 4 and 2. I am one of those 4. My older brother, Jacob, was adopted first. His mother was 16, but grew up raising her two younger brothers. She told my parents, that early on she knew that if she ever found herself pregnant young, she would give the baby up for adoption. She was actually 15 when she became pregnant, but 16 when she gave birth. Not only did she receive ridicule from kids her age, her own father shut her out. Despite that, she stuck it out, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for that. She gave me my best friend. Although I wasn’t even alive yet, I came soon after.

    My parents had been on the waiting list for China before they found out about Jacob, and then were back on it before they found out about me. Funny enough, neither of us were found through adoption agencies, but through friends. Obviously as the process began, agencies were used, but that’s not how it started. That’s also normally not how it works out. My dad’s childhood friend was actually counseling my brother’s birth mother in church. She mentioned that she was scared she wouldn’t be able to find a family, because she heard it was so hard to find people. Wrong. She didn’t know that just over the Florida state line, up in Georgia, a couple was doing everything they could to find a baby. My dad’s friend mentioned that he knew a guy who had been looking. He mentioned what a nice guy my dad was, and to that, she asked if he would take her baby. And so the process began. Of course a lot went on there, but how little did she know that her simple question would be the beginning of a family.

    Next up is me. Jacob and I are 20 months apart, so it wasn’t like our adoptions were right on top of each other. My parents headed back to China, wanting a sibling for my brother. Suddenly, another connection happened, this time in Texas. A friend of my brother’s biological grandmother knew my biological grandparents, and she shared Jacob’s story. My birth mother was interested, and came into contact with my mom, simply wanting to hear more about it, and asking for advice on how to select a couple. My mom didn’t want to jump at the poor 18 year old girl and tell her she wanted me, but eventually, my birth mother brought it up. And thus began my adoption. My parents were cautioned that adoptions rarely go smoothly twice, and that they probably would not get me. But, they did.

    My parents decided to be open with us about our adoptions, not because they were afraid we’d guess, but because they knew they couldn’t lie to us. I am so grateful for this, because it allowed me to know where I came from. At a young age, I didn’t really understand what it meant. I wasn’t really sure who this woman was that called me and visited occasionally. All I really knew was she was a lady who loved me a lot. And, at the time, that was all I really needed to know. As I grew up, I understood what it all meant. An 18 year old girl carried me, gave birth to me, and then handed me over to two adults and a brother. My family. She gave me my family. By allowing me to live, she gave me a chance. And by giving me up for adoption, she not only gave me a family, she expanded the number of people who love me so immensely.

I will forever be grateful to the girl who decided to let me live. I have tried to convey that to her before, but I don’t think I ever really will. How do you thank someone for doing the most selfless thing by putting herself aside, and deciding that the life she created was number one priority? I truly do not want to belittle anyone who has made a different decision. I am 18 now, and just trying to imagine how drastically my life would change if I found myself pregnant right now makes my head spin. I’m getting ready to go off to college. Couldn’t do that. I want to be a nurse. Couldn’t easily do that. Even if I gave the baby up, my life would still shift. I’d be forever changed. So I understand the thought process. But I do not condone the action of taking a life. How selfish to put yourself above your child. Because that is what it is. A child. Your child. And there is no such thing as an unwanted child. The biological parents may not want that baby for whatever reason, but you walk into an adoption agency, or a fertility center, and I promise you will find countless people willing to take that child, because, there is no such thing as an unwanted child.

I truly hope that through me sharing my story, more people will come to understand what adoption really is. It is not some dirty thing that anyone should be ashamed of. So many people hope and pray for a child, and adoption is such a beautiful thing. I am proud to be adopted. I am grateful for the sacrifices made so that I could live. I am grateful for adoption. I am grateful for the chance at the life I deserve, and everyone deserves life.

I am very open to answering any question about my adoption! However, I am not very big on debating, so please only message actual questions. I would love to talk to anyone who has even the simplest of questions.  Instagram: leahashere_

TheUnapologeticPatriot: Outnumbered- A Guide to Surviving in Liberal Academia

I.) Introduction  

    So I assume if you’re reading this article you fit into one of two demographics. First, you may be just now finishing up in high school and are just about ready to take that leap of faith into the world of academia. If that is you then congratulations! You’re about to enter the world of student debt and liberal

indoctrination. Have no fear for that is why I’m writing this article. Second, you may already be in the world of academia but are looking for ways to help get yourself through the trying times that await you. Well strap in, because I am going to tell you how any right-leaning individual can make it through the liberal cesspool that is academia.

 

#1.) The Decision

    It is easy, especially in today’s society, to want to retreat into our respective echo-chambers. In these echo-chambers there is no one to challenge your views and everyone feeds off of conformation bias. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how safe space and Cry-bully campus cultures arise. Isolation of ideas is the biggest contributor to the political divide we see in America today. Why do I mention all of this? Well it is because I don’t want us as libertarians and conservatives to fall into the same trap that progressives did long ago. I don’t want us making our school choices based off of politics. By all means, if you want to choose Liberty University over any other school due to their Christian values then go ahead, that is your choice to make. However with that being said I do not want us to reject certain schools because they’re “too liberal”. How do you think those liberal schools got that way? Conservatives and libertarians alike refuse to go to liberal universities because they’re afraid they’ll be outnumbered. This is exactly what the left wants. They want us to stay away from their echo-chambers so that they can continue their endless progressive circle-jerk. My advice is simple. Break the cycle. Get in there and challenge them because that is the only way we can hope to make a change on campuses around the country.  

 

#2.) Choosing Wisely

    So, you’ve made your decision on what school you want to attend, Great! Now comes yet another challenge that you’ll be faced with nearly every year in college, choosing your professors. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking that every single professor in academia is a liberal loon who will shut down any and all dissenting opinions. That is simply not true. While the liberal professors far outweigh all the centrist and right-leaning professors, it’s not as bad as a lot of outlets will have you believe. Nonetheless you’ll need to choose your professors before the start of every semester and there’s an amazing tool out there that you can use to weed out potential loons. That tool is www.ratemyprofessor.com. On this website you can type in the name of any and nearly all of your professors and student-written reviews of said professors will show up. I have used this many of times to determine whether or not my history and political theory professors would be liberal loons or not.

 

#3.) The Necessary Evils

 

    So you’ve chosen your classes and just couldn’t avoid that liberal loon that teaches sociology because it was the only class that had a vacancy. Well darn. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of that happening as well. Now this could go a few ways, the first being that the professor is indeed a liberal but yet they’re not a lunatic. What do I mean by lunatic? I mean someone who uses their authority in a classroom to silence and discourage dissenting opinions from their own. Trust me when I say that you have not experiences real rage until you’ve had a feminist world history professor that wants everyone to believe that the women that ruled in European countries were more important than any man. Getting off my soapbox, the second way that it could go down is that you get a complete lunatic as your instructor and that is evident from Day 1. So what do you do? Well first off, take everything they tell you with a grain of salt and do your own research. Next, if you know that challenging this professor will lead to you failing the class then you have a few options. You could possibly ask for a class change but if that doesn’t work out then you’ll have to perform some necessary evils. Those necessary evils entail you putting your own opinions to the side in favor of your GPA. Some professors may ask you to write about certain sensitive topics and if you write something that they don’t agree with or goes against their own world view, you’ll fail that assignment. Trust me when I say that some of the essays I had to write in my world history class look like they were written by Bernie Sanders himself. I received an A on nearly all of those essays so one day I decided to test my theory. I wrote a 3-4 page rebuttal to modern day feminism, I received an F. So if you care about your GPA, it’s best not to challenge some of these lunatics. However if you want to make a fool out of these professors then by all means go for it.  

 

#4.) Always Be Prepared

    Being prepared is a motto that we should all live by, and if you are or ever have been a Boy Scout, you know what it means to be prepared. But other than your classes of course, what else should you be prepared for while in college? I’ll give you a hint, here’s what a leftist sounds like while do it: “RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC BIGOT!!!” That’s right! You should always be prepared for a debate as a right-leaning person on college campuses. You never know when a leftist will approach you and scream at you for that Pro-Trump shirt you’re wearing or that Pro-2nd Amendment bumper sticker you have on your car. You always need to be prepared for the worst. That is why I encourage everyone to brush up on their research and facts about the issues leftist love to “debate” about. I also encourage everyone to read Ben Shapiro’s “How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument”. You can get it for literally $1 off of Amazon and it’s only available to read through the Kindle or Kindle App. If there’s one person you should be taking debate advice from, it’s Ben Shapiro.

 

#5.) Become Active on Campus

    The worse thing that you can do as a right-wing college student is nothing. By doing nothing you only allow the liberal indoctrination that occurs on college campuses to continue. There are many ways a right-winger can be active on campus. There is a plethora of clubs and organizations to choose from. Your best bet is your school’s College Republicans chapter. Personally, I left my college’s CR organization because during the 2016 election they became adamantly Anti-Trump and almost Pro-Hillary. The best organization I found was Turning Point USA. Turning Point is more of a libertarian-esque organization. They are all about limited government and the promotion of free speech on campuses. It is ultimately up to you to decide which organization suits your needs and wants.

 

#6.) Final Thoughts

    It is your duty not only as a conservative but as an American to stand firm in your beliefs and to not let any liberal professor try and take those away from you. Now for a few unpolitical things. First, if you can avoid it, DO NOT BUY TEXTBOOKS (Especially from the School’s Bookstore). The biggest scheme I have ever witnessed (other than the American tax system) is the college textbook business. For example, my English class this past semester required a certain textbook. I went to the bookstore and they said that they were “non-rentable” and must be bought. So naturally, I bought it. Fast-forward to just this morning when I went to one of the book buyback stations in an attempt to get at least some of my money back. I haven’t even cracked the book open all semester but yet it was “non-buyable”. I’m one of the most pro-capitalism people you’ll ever know but I know a scam when I see it. Finally, for the love of God if you’re going to be living in a dorm with communal bathrooms, FLUSH THE DAMN TOILET. Every day I walk into the bathroom and am met with someone else’s piss in the toilet that I have to flush. We aren’t your damn maids and if you’re worried about getting germs on your hands, USE YOUR FEET. It takes all but 2 seconds. Anyways, that’s enough of my ranting. I hope you guys found this article useful and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

Erin Whidden: Why I Am Pro Life

    To answer this simply, I am pro-life because I respect human life. The pro-life/pro-choice debate, however, is not a simple one, so I’ll explain my personal stance on the issue in depth.

 

   When I say that I am pro-life because Irespect human life, I mean that I believe every human being comes into existence for a reason, and that human life is not disposable. Though I am religious, and though my religious views do play a role in my pro-life stance (I am a Methodist Christian), this belief isn’t based on Biblical teachings, but rather my own personal way of thinking. In my mind, regardless of a person’s religious beliefs, or lack thereof, it should be easy to see that every human being started out as “a clump of cells”, as the pro-choicers say, yet here we all are playing our role on this earth and making some sort of impact on day to day events and those around us. We all serve a purpose whether we can see that or not.

    My own life would not be what it is today if a few young women had thought of life as disposable. 6 people have come into my life through adoption, and I can’t imagine life without them. My aunt adopted 4 children, and my great-aunt adopted 2. Obviously, they have all made an impact on myself and my family, as well as countless other people. The world would not be the same if they weren’t here. I have only met one biological parent of my adopted family members, and I am excited to be meeting another one in a few weeks, but I have tremendous gratitude and respect for each of them for making the choice to give the child they created the chance at life that every human being rightfully deserves.

    I have never considered any of my adopted relatives being conceived a “mistake”. Poor timing and circumstances for their biological families, yes, but that is why they are all a part of my life today. To both of my aunts who were wishing so badly to have children, their existence was nothing short of a Godsend. I often hear this argument from pro-choicers that goes something like, “Adoption is great, but there are way too many children waiting to be adopted, and not enough families willing to adopt them. It would be better for the child to just be aborted than grow up in foster care.” This is simply not true. My aunt and uncle were put on a waiting list when they were trying to adopt my cousins. In fact, there are about 2 million couples currently waiting to adopt in the United States alone, which means that for each child who is put up for adoption, there are 36 couples waiting to try and adopt that child. That is a couple/child ratio of 1 to 36. Of course, pro-choicers and the left in general are great at twisting things around to fit their narrative. I agree that it is unfortunate for any child to grow up in foster care rather than a family of their own, but again, it is simply untrue that the number of children needing to be adopted is greater than the number of couples waiting to adopt. Many couples have to wait for YEARS to finally adopt a child.

I also hear pro-choicers argue that it isn’t fair for the mother to have to carry a child for 9 months and then give birth if she does not want to keep the child, and that it is unfair for her to have to face ridicule and feel ashamed of her pregnancy.  In my opinion, a human life is more important than a person’s feelings towards the consequences of their own (in most cases) choice. Don’t get me wrong- I don’t think anyone should shame or ridicule a girl or woman for being pregnant at the wrong time by any means at all. I find that to be cruel and entirely uncalled for. I do, however, find it even worse for such a woman to put her own feelings over the life that she has in part created. I’m sure that my adopted cousin’s birth mother faced a lot of emotional struggles as a pregnant 16-year-old, but she was able to look past her own feelings and think of what was best for her son. Despite the criticism and shame that I’m sure she had to deal with, she carried him for 9 months, gave birth to him, and acknowledged that he would be better off in the care of a couple who were prepared and able to raise a child. She made the right choice, rather than the selfish one of taking the easy way out.

Earlier in this article, I mentioned the “clump of cells” phrase that pro-choicers like to use. This is very illogical to me, as even one cell is enough to be considered life. At week 5 of a pregnancy, the brain, heart, and spinal cord of the fetus begin to develop. By 8 weeks, the fetus reacts to touch, and after 20 weeks, the fetus reacts to stimuli that would be considered painful to an adult human. For example, the fetus will recoil when a painful stimulus is applied. As with animals, we have no way of proving that an unborn child can feel pain, but based on their reactions to such things, I think it is safe to say that they can, just as we feel safe saying that a limping, whimpering dog is in pain. Abortions at 9 weeks involve a doctor dilating the cervix, inserting a tool called a cannula into the uterus, and then shredding apart and suctioning the fetus and placenta into a jar. The uterus is then scraped clean. As I stated before, the fetus reacts to touch at 8 weeks. In abortions that happen at 23 weeks, the cervix is also dilated. The fetus has body parts such as its limbs ripped off with a large clamp-like tool and removed from the uterus. The doctor tears the body apart and removes everything but the head, which is crunched in order to be pulled out of the uterus. In either case, the unborn baby is being shredded alive.

In many cases, the mother goes on to have emotional trauma, such as depression because of the abortion. Several studies have shown that within the first few weeks of having an abortion, 40-60 percent of women who were a part of the studies reported negative reactions to their abortion. After 8 weeks, 55 percent of these women reported feelings of guilt, 44 percent reported nervous disorders, 36 percent reported trouble sleeping, 31 percent reported feelings of regret about their abortion, and 11 percent were prescribed psychotropic medications by their doctor. Besides this, many of them also faced “serious psychiatric complications”, sexual dysfunctions, repression of feelings that resulted in behavioral and psychological problems, and emotional crisis decades later at the onset of menopause, the youngest child leaving the house, or the anniversary of the abortion or due date of the baby. Pro-choicers from the left can’t claim that they are pro-women if they are comfortable with this reality.

If I was pregnant and in a situation where I was unfit or unable to care for the child, I would rather go through 9 months of pregnancy, even if that meant being ridiculed by others, and give the child to a family that was better fit to provide the child the life that they rightfully deserve than to extinguish their life before it even begins only to live a lifetime of pain and regret over my decision. Gaining a lifetime of unhappiness is not worth sparing yourself 9 months of discomfort.

With all of this being said, abortion is never the better option. While many people may view it as easier for both the mother and society, in reality, it is nothing more than ending a purposeful and valuable human life and damaging another (or in lots of cases, many others). Mother Teresa said, “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants.” I think that she put it very well- abortion is another thing politicians from the left will use to get what they want, which is support and votes. The morality is meaningless to them so long as it gets people to support them.

Abortion isn’t about women’s rights. It’s not about “bettering society”. It’s about cold-hearted, science denying, and corrupt politicians promoting legal murder for political gain.

Erin Whidden: Dealing With Liberal Relatives

    I’m sure many of us have one. That aunt, cousin, or grandparent that likes to make it known that they are a liberal. Though my family is very conservative, there are a few democrats sprinkled into the mix. I can get along with all of them except for one in particular, who I see much more often than the few other liberal members of my family.

    One of my cousins is a very proud Bernie fan, environmentalist, and atheist. This sets him apart from my traditionally southern, Christian family. It was never a problem for me until one occasion last summer, when an innocent game of Apples to Apples at a family get together turned into a somewhat heated political discussion.

    Although I can’t remember exactly how this event unfolded, I’ll do my best to retell it as it happened. The adjective card was something negative, and whatever it was inclined me to put down a card that was labeled “Carl Sagan” (for those of you who have never played Apples to Apples, the players all have a set number of cards with nouns  on them and have to pick one that best fits another card that has an adjective on it, and then whoever is the judge picks the winner). I’m not sure if this cousin that I’m talking about was the judge this round or not, but he asked, “Who put down Carl Sagan?”

    I admitted to putting the card down without hesitation, despite his obvious shock over it. Before I go any further, I should probably explain that Carl Sagan was a scientist who Al Gore, the poster child for global warming fanatics, claims to have been influenced by. I don’t know anything about Sagan’s political stance, but I’m well aware of Gore’s. Because of this, I chose the Carl Sagan card to best fit the negative description that the adjective card was asking for. I explained this to my cousin and that I had learned about Sagan’s influence on Gore from having had to read and watch Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, which is nothing more than a scientifically inaccurate and easily debunked scare tactic used to push the idea of global warming.

    Once the card game ended and we started eating, I thought that was the end of it. I then noticed, however, that my cousin seemed to be busying himself on his phone. As soon as he opened his mouth, I realized that he had just looked up what An Inconvenient Truth is, and that he was now prepared to call me out for being what some people call a “climate change skeptic”. Thus, an argument ensued and pretty much ruined the usually light-hearted and pleasant atmosphere of the “kid’s table” (even though we are all old enough to drive now) on the back deck.

    This discussion became more and more heated, so I decided the best thing to do was just end it as quickly as possible. Ever since that occasion, my cousin has started to bring up political and social issues any chance he gets. He also targets me specifically out of my siblings and other cousins, who are all also conservatives, simply because I am the most politically involved and outspoken. This has created an obvious tension between us. My cousin and I are both political science majors, we are both strongly opinionated, and we are both very stubborn. These similarities, paired with he and I being at opposite ends of the political spectrum, are bound to lead to heated arguments between us rather than civil conversations, and I don’t think it is appropriate to have a heated argument around the family supper table. Anytime he tries to start, I try my best to entirely avoid the conversation and just change the subject.

    Because of my raising, I believe that it is both impolite and uncalled for to get into an argument at the table, and I find it very inappropriate and childish of my cousin to constantly try to provoke me into doing such. The family supper table is simply not the time or place for that. It would be one thing if we could speak about politics in a civil manner, and if these conversations could take place privately, but I doubt that we could ever have a calm political discussion with the personality traits that we both share. As much as I want to strangle him sometimes (like when I witnessed him sit down during the National Anthem in the presence of my Veteran father), he is my cousin, and I don’t think my family would appreciate it too much if did that.

    I think the best way to handle differing political opinions among family members is to just avoid those conversations altogether. In my experience, partaking in them is a waste of energy and very uncomfortable for everyone else. It can ruin relationships. Family is very important to me, so I want to be able to get along with all of my relatives regardless of what differences we may have. My cousin and I may be total opposites politically, but he is still my cousin. As much as I love proving my points and expressing my opinions to all who will listen, having a good relationship with my loved one is far more important to me.

TheUnapologeticPatriot: When the Right becomes the Left

    “Racist!”, “Bigot!”, “Xenophobe!”, “Homophobe!” We’ve all heard these buzzwords come from a leftist’s mouth at some point over the past couple of years. These words are typically used as an escape tactic for leftists who lack the intellectual capacity to engage in meaningful debate. Trust me when I say that if you are in a debate with a leftist and they start using these buzzwords, you have won. Another tactic used by the left is flat out censorship. We’ve seen countless conservative and right-leaning speakers be silenced at college

campuses around the United States. We’ve seen Pro-Trump marches be disrupted by radical leftists who believe that their ideology is the only ideology that should be practiced and heard. This ladies and gentlemen is textbook fascism. However, the point of this article is to not go into detail about the left and their slimy tactics. The point of this article is to shed some light on a growing trend that has developed on the right, the censorship and shunning of dissenting opinions.

    This trend really all started with the Alt-Right movement and has slowly moved its way throughout the rest of the Right-Wing. For me, (some, not all) alt-righters are just as bad as leftists when it comes to differing opinions. For example, I have stated in my Instagram Story that the white nationalist movement is a cancer to the right wing and is doing nothing but harm to our cause. Not two minutes after I posted that my inbox is flooded with at least fifty messages all containing the Alt-Right’s favorite buzzword, “Cuck”. For me, when (as an alt-righter) you preach against the left and their use of buzzwords in debate and you turn around and use buzzwords of your own, you are being wildly hypocritical. Another example would be when I posted onto my page that I don’t believe that we should be policing the world and should stay out of war when at all possible (besides fighting ISIS). Not an hour afterwards my comments section was filled with “Isolationist Cuck!”, “Zionist shill!”, “Cuck!”, “Cuck!” This trend amongst alt-righters is very troublesome and needs to be put to rest soon. However, this trend does not stop at the Alt-Right, it has seeped into the rest of the right, especially the traditionalist conservative sect of the right.

    The most recent example of people on the right censoring and shunning dissenting opinions came in the form of the Tomi Lahren controversy. On March 17th, 2017 Tomi made an appearance on the notoriously left-wing talk show The View during which she came out as pro-choice. Seemingly within minutes, conservatives on social media were in a frenzy calling for Tomi to be fired from her job at The Blaze. Now where have we seen this before? Oh that’s right, the left does this type of thing all the time. Instead of actually listening to what Tomi had to say, far right traditionalists immediately adopted the leftist tactic of demanding that she be silenced and fired for having the wrong opinion. But sadly, it seems that some people on the right have thrown the first amendment out the window when it comes to differing opinions.

    It is Tomi’s first amendment right to have her own opinion. It is also your first amendment right to disagree with her. However, nowhere in the constitution does it say that if you disagree with someone’s opinion you can silence them. In Tomi’s most recent Facebook upload, one of the top comments read “True conservatives don't approve of killing innocent babies!” This is statement is unfounded. What these people fail to realize is that Tomi didn’t come out as pro-abortion, in fact she has said in countless interviews and speeches (one of which I was in attendance for) since that she is still adamantly anti-abortion. She simply meant that as a limited government conservative, she wants to be consistent in her views.  Whether you agree with what’s being said or not, free speech is free speech and when you start shutting down someone else’s free speech because you disagree with them, then it becomes an issue. Our First Amendment rights are at the core of what makes this nation great and it is troublesome to see people on the right throwing them out the window. We on the right need to be the ones defending the constitution because if we don’t, then no one will.

Erin Whidden: Feminism and Song Lyrics

   As Summer approaches (at least down here in the South), I am reminded of a song that was featured in a Macy’s summer sale commercial around this time last year. The song was “In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry. It was fitting because the song is not only very catchy, but also went well with the summer theme of the commercial.

    I remember looking this song up on YouTube because I had forgotten who sang it. I easily found it, and when I scrolled down to the comments, I was surprised to find someone complaining over what to me seemed like a pretty innocent and pleasant song. She said something along the lines of, “I am disgusted that Macy’s would use a song that promotes misogyny in their commercial”, and then went on to criticize a particular verse of the song that says, “If her daddy’s rich, take her out for a meal// If her daddy’s poor, just do what you feel”.

    She found this degrading to women, as if their value lies in their family’s wealth. While I can agree with her that we should not base our treatment of others (regardless of gender, race, etc.) on their income or financial situation, this is just a song, and that’s the only part of the song that makes any mention of that sort. Besides, if she really finds “In the Summertime” offensive, then she ought to go listen to some rap music (this woman was by admittance, in her 60s). I told her that women in other parts of the world have much bigger issues to face than harmless song lyrics.

    This is just one of any things that modern day, first world feminists blow way out of proportion. Everything is oppressive. Everything is offensive. Everything is misogynistic. Everything is rape. While women in places like Saudi Arabia are being forced to cover their bodies from head to toe, marrying at nine years old, having acid thrown on their faces or their genitals mutilated, and risking their lives just to speak out about it, American women are parading down the streets half naked with hats that look like female reproductive parts on their heads in the name of “empowerment”.

    To people like myself who have morals, self-respect, and an understanding of reality and how good I have it as an American citizen, they are laughing stocks.

    These women (notice I didn’t call them “ladies”) never solve any real issues, but rather view women’s rights in what I see as a very self-centered manner. They see themselves as victims who are owed something. They don’t want to be held accountable for themselves. To them, being a feminist means advocating for the right to murder unborn human beings, to go through the streets half dressed, to be hateful towards men, and to generally be termites to this country. I’m not saying that this is every American feminist- there are many who do work on solving actual issues, such as human trafficking and helping foreign women to gain the rights that they should have, but here in America, we have already achieved equal rights and treatment as women.

    It is no wonder liberal feminists are so unhappy (statistically speaking). How can you enjoy life if things as irrelevant and harmless as song lyrics hurt your feelings? We can never solve any real problems if we spend all of our time, energy, and resources on miniscule, made up issues. Pretending to be some sort of poor, oppressed victim in the United States of America is a huge disrespect to people in other nations who are actually oppressed, and who face actual issues, and I have yet to see this raised as a priority among American feminists…they would rather worry about how song lyrics make them feel.

Erin Whidden: My Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation in America

Cultural appropriation is defined as the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture, often leading to the original meaning of these cultural elements to be lost or distorted. I think too many people today confuse this term with “assimilation”. America has long been a melting pot, which is defined as a place where a variety of races, cultures, or individuals assimilate into a cohesive whole. That means that in places such as America, cultural customs and traditions will often be adopted and shared by Americans regardless of their race or background.

 

The reason I’m talking about this today isbecause of an experience I had earlier this week that I have also had multiple times in the past,especially since the rise of “Black Lives Matter”. In the explore feed of my Instagram page, I stumbled across a post that was made by what claims to be a “black empowerment page”. I have no issue with empowerment pages of any sort…until they become hypocritical and condone disrespectful or degrading content towards/ treatment of other groups as a means of uplifting their own group. I am going to leave the page that posted this unnamed, but the post itself was a collection of four pictures of black women, all with their hair in braids, along with the caption, “Only black girls can rock braids #sorrynotsorry”.

Being that I am in the habit of voicing my opinion on such topics, I decided to point out the hypocrisy of such a post. I said:

“Wow. I love how pages like this are all about “ending racism”, yet they turn around and do exactly what preach against. That’s incredibly hypocritical. Besides that, who really takes the time to worry about what someone else is doing with their own hair? If I want to wear French braids, or Dutch braids, or regular braids, the I’m gonna do so, and if that hurts your feelings, that’s not my problem. People are starving in the streets, children are dying of cancer, but here we are complaining about a HAIRSTYLE. How petty. What a slap to the face of all your predecessors who were beaten to death and lynched just for eating in a white restaurant.”

As I’m sure you can imagine, this statement evoked many angry responses. I was immediately told, “You are hurt and your feelings have been dismissed”, as well as many other comments about how my opinion was irrelevant because I was making comments on a “black page”, and I am white. One particularly upset woman, whose comments have been deleted by either the page owner or herself, was particularly nasty and straightforwardly racist, and seemed ok with that. I’m sorry, but last time I checked, segregation ended decades ago, so I am allowed to share my thoughts on an issue on any page that I choose. This one just so happens to call itself a “black page”.

If a page wants to deem itself an “*insert group here* empowerment page”, that’s totally fine by me. However, like I mentioned earlier in this article (or whatever you wanna call it), I do have a problem with it when the posts/ messages conveyed begin to push the idea that said group is somehow better than another group or groups, and that’s what this page was doing by making such a post. You can empower yourself and others without becoming conceited or putting others down.

Anyway, to get on with the real point here, the debate I had got me to thinking about where we draw the line between “cultural appropriation” and “assimilation” in this country today. I know the topic of hair is not all that interesting, but I find it incredibly ridiculous that multiple people could actually be offended over another person’s hair. Hair braiding dates back at least 5000 years and has been a part of many cultures across the globe…not just the continent of Africa. So to say that braids of any kind are exclusively African, and therefor “appropriating” African culture is even more ridiculous. If any person of any background wants to wear their hair a certain way, then they should be able to without being told that they are “not allowed” or “racist” for doing so.

I can only imagine the outcry if the roles were reversed. It’s like a Scottish-American saying, “You aren’t allowed to wear plaid because it comes from the Scottish tartan patterns, and you might be appropriating my clan’s tartan pattern. And don’t play or watch golf or eat shortbread cookies, either. That’s MINE.” That just seems very childish to me, even being that my heritage is more Scottish and Scots-Irish than anything else. This is America. America was founded on many different cultures and ethnic groups. Looking at America’s history, I really don’t think it would have been possible for people not to assimilate- this country’s success is due largely in part to the assimilation of so many cultures.

It would be one thing if someone who was not a Hopi Indian walked around in traditional Hopi clothing and hairstyles all the time, or if somebody pulled a Rachel Dolezal, but in my opinion it is not offensive for people in a melting pot nation to adopt aspects of various cultures, or for cultural staples to be used in the fashion industry or pop culture. America would not be America without the sharing and assimilation of cultures. While I find it important to celebrate, appreciate and respect other cultures and heritages, as well as your own, at the end of the day we are all Americans and should recognize the value of living in a country that allows people of every background to live freely and equally.

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