I’m an American of Irish descent. Like, a lot of Irish descent.
I can get sunburned in a thunderstorm. My distant relatives seven times removed still own some big mansion across the pond, or so I’ve heard. A good portion of my ancestral names start with “O” or “Mac.”
About a month ago, I went out with some friends for St. Patrick’s Day. And guess what I saw, right here in sunny, largely non-Irish Southern California? A whole bunch of noticeably non-Irish folks wandering about in various shades of greenery, sloshing pints of Guinness they’d probably never otherwise drink and decked out in light-up shamrocks like they’d just stepped off the front of a Lucky Charms box.
And guess how much I cared? Not a single whit. You know why?
Because it was St. Paddy's Day, and the Irish are awesome. So feel free to be us for a few hours.
Fast forward to today, when a high school student who’s barely old enough to drive a car is being nationally ridiculed for wearing a traditional Chinese dress to her prom.
Keziah Daum posted a photo to social media a few days ago of her wearing a traditional Chinese qipao to her dance. And within hours, the poor girl was being excoriated for “appropriating” Chinese culture.
Now, the whole thing could have been shrugged off as perfectly ludicrous, if not for the national attention it received. The story made headlines from the Washington Post to USA Today. Daum – who looks to be pretty straight-up white, from her photos – was publicly forced to explain why she would dare sport Asian attire to the dance, telling USA Today she’d found the dress in a vintage store and simply thought it was beautiful.
Daum also caught a ton of flack on Twitter. This dude - whose profile photo shows him sporting a very non-Chinese flat bill - flipped out on the poor girl for co-opting his "culture."
My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress. https://t.co/vhkNOPevKD— Jeremy Lam (@jere_bare) April 27, 2018
Thanks to that tweet, Daum instantly became the target of thousands of online bullies who harassed her for her outfit.
To her everlasting credit, Daum is refusing to delete the post despite the naysayers.
To everyone causing so much negativity: I mean no disrespect to the Chinese culture. I’m simply showing my appreciation to their culture. I’m not deleting my post because I’ve done nothing but show my love for the culture. It’s a fucking dress. And it’s beautiful.— Keziah (@daumkeziah) April 28, 2018
The whole situation reeks of the ridiculous, socially dangerous level of political correctness to which many in our nation have sunk, where a 7-year-old little white girl wanting to dress up as a Polynesian princess for Halloween is the height of “woke”lessness. After years of struggling to erase the cultural boundaries that segregate us one from another, social justice warriors are scrambling to redraw the very lines that so many only dreamed would ever be torn down.
No longer can little blonde girls daydream of being Pocahontas – unless, apparently, you’re a Democratic politician from Massachusetts. Little black girls? Yeah, you can only be Tiana. That’s it. But only if you’re from New Orleans.
And no one gets to be Ariel. It’s insensitive to the fictitious fish people.
On that note, if you’re not Mexican, you probably shouldn’t eat tacos. Gentiles, don’t touch that kosher salt – it’s not for you. Everyone just stay in their camps and don’t mess with anybody else.
In fact, maybe we should all have separate water fountains, just so we’re clear. That's probably best.
Everyone catching my drift here? This is asinine. It’s the exact opposite of what a melting pot is supposed to be. It’s one pot, and everyone’s in it together. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then a white girl wearing a qipao to one of her most significant adolescent experiences is basically a walking tribute to China.
And to those whose social justice panties are all up in a wad over this poor girl’s choice of high school dance attire, just make like the Irish. Pull up a chair, do a shot, and calm heck down. We won't mind.