How some people are missing the point on cultural appropriation

It seems increasingly clear cultural appropriation’s champions aren’t interested in nuance or even free speech—they’re interested in hegemony

A worker installs Canadian Aboriginal artist Norval Morrisseau's painting "Androgyny" in the ballroom at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Sept. 18, 2008. The work of Toronto painter Amanda PL is infused with bright colours and bold outlines often associated with an indigenous art style. But for those steeped in the Woodland School of Art, as the genre is also known, it smacks of cultural appropriation by a young artist with no claim to the tradition. Outrage over Amanda PL's work has renewed debate over who has the right to use and profit from specific customs. Amanda PL has said her work was inspired by the Woodland school of art and acknowledged a similarity to the work of Anishinaabe artist Norval Morrisseau. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

A worker installs Canadian Aboriginal artist Norval Morrisseau’s painting “Androgyny” in the ballroom at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Sept. 18, 2008. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

There is nothing more confounding in the artistic and journalism worlds than the antagonism generated by that phrase “cultural appropriation.” Which is itself peculiar, because for people whose livelihoods often depend on the comprehension of words, and the ability to utilize them, it’s as if the Almighty himself descended on Babel to confuse the language of writers and artists when we get to talking about this topic.

Given the number of thinkpieces generated lately in favour of “free speech” and creative license in defence of cultural appropriation—if not dismissing the concept altogether as leftist hysterics—I wonder if some aren’t missing the point. Because as much as some artists would like to frame it through the lens of speech and expression, what they’re really arguing for is the right to be lazy in their craft, and to continue speaking over those whose voices have historically been silenced. They’re not looking for a debate; they’re looking for a return to a time when their voices were elevated, and ours were silenced altogether. In a way, supporters of appropriation are trying to Make Art Great Again.

A day after Hal Niedzviecki resigned his editorial position at Write Magazine—an incident that prompted top editors and journalists to advocate for an “appropriation prize”—columnist Elizabeth Renzetti wrote in the Globe and Mail: “Ideas that incite violence or hatred deserve condemnation. But what about ideas that are uncomfortable or provocative or even (to some readers) ignorant? We have lost the appetite for confronting those ideas, for sharpening different, resonant arguments to counter them.”It inspired Jonathan Kay to take to the National Post: “It’s part of what may be described as the medicalization of the marketplace of ideas: It is no longer enough to say that you merely disagree with something.” Perhaps most surprisingly, Giller Prize-winning author André Alexis chimed in for the Globe and Mail, and while he chastised Niedzviecki for a “bewilderingly silly” idea, he added later that “I can’t help feeling, though, that as we celebrate Canada 150, we have devised an idea—‘cultural appropriation’—that runs the risk of hiding Indigenous Canadian culture, not preserving it.”

MORE: On diversity, Canadian media is throwing stones in a glass house

As I mentioned in a previous article on the subject, cultural appropriation amounts to theft. It is the lifting of cultural aspects from underrepresented groups of people, and not only offering nothing in return, but expecting their gratitude for the promotion.

Before Niedzviecki’s ill-considered editorial, one of the latest incidents precipitating this conversation was the cancellation of an art exhibit. Amanda PL (who, it bears mentioning, is a white woman) was scheduled to open at the Visions Gallery in Toronto, but heavy criticism from the local Indigenous community put a stop to that.

To say Amanda PL borrows from Indigenous artists, particularly Norval Morrisseau, would be an understatement. Even overlooking the cross-section visual style with thick black lines and bright colours, one look at Morrisseau’s The Gift or Shaman with Sacred Corn, would be enough to make clear that Amanda PL’s work would be considered plagiarism in almost any other medium. Yet, the conversation around Amanda PL’s exhibition centred on “appropriation,” rather than “theft,” and for the umpteenth time, a conversation on who gets to participate in (and profit from) Indigenous culture became an argument over who Indigenous people even are to draw the boundaries.

The entitlement with which artsy grifters steal, repurpose, and profit from Indigenous culture would be laughable if not for this country’s cruel and consistent attempts to exorcise it from the people it belonged to. We are barely a couple of decades from the closure of the last residential school in Canada, and only a few decades removed from the repeal of laws that called for the arrest of Indigenous people who took part in traditional dances.

Indigenous writers like Robert Jago, Alicia Elliott, Ryan McMahon, and Chelsea Vowel have, in blistering detail, explained why white entitlement to Indigenous culture is less a matter of expression, and more an appendix in Canada’s shameful history of colonial plunder. A meme I saw online put it bluntly: “While you were busy playing Indians, we were punished for being Indians.”

MORE: One way forward, after the Appropriation Prize fiasco

This is an infuriating and exhausting conversation to keep coming back to. It upsets me when Black girls are punished at school or disciplined at work for wearing their hair in the very styles that white girls are celebrated for trying on like costumes. It angers me when artists like Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry fetishize Black culture, and then retreat into the safe spaces of whiteness once their act has worn thin. But I can’t imagine what reaction I’d have if my family’s sacred garments were ripped off and resold by European fashion labels. Or, for that matter, if a Canadian designer released lines that not only stole their look from Indigenous clothing patterns, but twisted the knife by incorporating the slurs “Squaw” and “Eskimo” into their names.

To be clear, “cultural appropriation” is not creating art which deviates out of the racialized swim lane one was born into. It is superimposing one’s own understandings of another culture over that actual culture, slapping a package on it, modelling it, and often selling it. Cultural appropriation is galling to those of us who come from the cultures being appropriated, especially when we face social and financial repercussions for not shedding our own cultures and assimilating into the dominant one. Sarah Thomson, former Toronto mayoral candidate, wore her hair in dreadlocks while campaigning; Akua Agyemfra, a Black server at Jack Astor’s, was sent home for wearing her natural hair in a bun. The reggae band Magic! rakes in album and concert sales; musicians of Caribbean background toil in obscurity. Amanda PL and Joseph Boyden profit from their forgery of Indigenous art and culture; actual Indigenous writers and artists struggle for recognition and remuneration.

At some gut level, all white Canadians understand this concept, and in fact unknowingly respect the idea that some cultural and social symbols are both sacred and worthy of protection. If I wish, for example, to make sparkling wine and call it Champagne, or make whisky in Canada and call it Scotch, I would find myself in legal jeopardy. I would very likely lose in court, because we accept that the cultural authenticity of alcohol in certain regions merits legal protection. Or if I were to put on a “FDNY” T-shirt, go to a bar in New York, and accept free drinks, I would rightly be thrown out on my backside when the jig was finally up. We understand these social rules to the extent that I would be a complete fool to question why a group of bar patrons punched me in the face over what I considered a meaningless T-shirt.

Of course, “culture” goes beyond symbols and products; it creeps into nearly every aspect of life for racialized groups, including the comfort foods we cook (e.g. “fried chicken and cheese grits”), and the vernacular language we use among like company (e.g. “Mama put her foot in these grits”). And yet, there persists a belief that culture is hardly more than a community swap meet, or the take-a-penny leave-a-penny dish at the corner store.

Andre Alexis in his home. (Photograph by Jaime Hogge)

Andre Alexis in his home. (Photograph by Jaime Hogge)

A constant refrain in this conversation is that all cultures borrow from other cultures, and without “appropriation,” we might not have, say, jazz or rock n’ roll (as if the genres didn’t exist before white artists showed up to profit from them). Another is that nonwhite groups borrow from European culture all the time.

In his own way, André Alexis made this argument in his Globe and Mail piece. “Norval Morrisseau was himself criticized for using sacred symbols in his work,” he wrote. “He was accused of debasing them. There is a consistency, here, but how strange that some of the condemnation of PL would necessarily be a condemnation of Morrisseau, too.” I was surprised someone as culturally adept as Alexis would make an assertion like this, because he is eliding a very important contextual fact: Norval Morrisseau was taken from his home as a child and placed in a residential school, where he was not only indoctrinated with Christianity, but was sexually and emotionally abused. To weigh one type of sacredness equally against another is to say that Morrisseau and Amanda PL took the same paths to their altars.

But this is a completely off-base comparison; Christianity is not borrowed from in the same way, in the sense that heathens typically don’t freely seek out the faith and absorb its most fascinating aspects into their dominant culture. Christianity has, since the Dark Ages, been introduced via missionary work, or forcefully imposed on other cultures through blood and fire. Likewise, Eurocentric culture and values were, for centuries, imposed on the rest of the world by force. Can taking from European culture be considered “appropriation” when assimilation was, by and large, the only real option?

Being forced into Christian doctrine by residential schooling, and later converting to Christianity himself, those symbols were not “appropriated” by Morrisseau more than any other artist baptized into the faith—unless, that is, one believes his Indigeneity places him farther from God’s light than a white artist.

Amanda PL, on the other hand, sought out and pilfered from cultures that exist in spite of the exhaustive efforts this country has made to wipe them out. To say a condemnation of Amanda PL is a condemnation of Norval Morriseau is strikingly tone-deaf from an author who ought to know better. And to say that nonwhite groups borrow from European culture is equally as tone-deaf; it isn’t “borrowing” when we were forced by law and social mores to adhere to Eurocentric social, religious, and beauty standards for centuries.

There’s a worthy and nuanced debate to be had about cultural appropriation. But the current champions of cultural appropriation aren’t interested in nuance—they’re interested in hegemony. When Lionel Shriver, for example, wears a sombrero to a writer’s conference and delivers a speech extolling the virtues of “wearing other people’s hats,” she isn’t being an honest broker. Not after writing The Mandibles, featuring a bumbling Mexican-American U.S. President who debases the currency, opens the borders to a flood of ravening immigrants, and ushers in America’s collapse. When Quentin Tarantino argues the Netflix series Luke Cage (based on a Marvel comic of the same name) should have kept its 70s setting and Blaxploitation roots, he’s not just yearning for nostalgia. He is dismissing the widespread demand from Black audiences to watch relatable and humanized characters, in favour of his own desire to see the near-segregated cinematic world he grew up with reflected to him in perpetuity.

But this isn’t to say that culture is, as Alexis writes, a “straitjacket” where appropriation is concerned. Cultures can be explored without, as Jonathan Kay put it, identity politics fundamentalists running riot. After all, if Kay were correct, how is it that Yann Martel, a white Canadian, managed to avoid such controversy when Life of Pi, a story steeped in Indian culture, topped best-seller lists and won the Man Booker prize? How is it that Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy (director and writer of Slumdog Millionaire, respectively), were not likewise called out for appropriating Indian culture? Why is The Wire, a show with a majority Black cast, considered one of the best shows ever aired on television when its showrunner, David Simon, is a white man?

The answer isn’t complicated. The above-mentioned creators had enough respect for their work to immerse themselves in the culture, drop their preconceptions, and represent both the culture and their characters in an authentic manner.

What’s been missing from this conversation is a writer or artist on the free speech side of the issue, who can take an honest and respectful view of the cultures he or she wishes to explore. Though it was over 15 years ago, Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay did offer a fairly nuanced take, and offer a good example to follow. In an 2001 issue of the fantasy and science fiction journal Challenging Destiny. Kay was asked why his books are set within historical periods in Europe, and I was struck by his answer: “Pure personal fascination.”

“I have a vivid memory of one novelist who wrote a book about Dynastic Egypt and was giving a reading from it at a convention once and explaining how her heroine felt gravely imperilled because they were expecting her to marry her brother. And of course that scandalized her. And somebody in the audience said, ‘Why?’ ‘Because it’s incest.’ ‘But she’s a Dynastic Egyptian princess. What’s her problem?’ And the author said, ‘Well, it’s my problem.’ ‘Well, then you shouldn’t be writing about that period.’ That has stayed with me—it was about 15 years ago. To some degree, you can’t help but be a product of your own time and place. But when you’re writing about history you have to make an effort to be aware of your own prejudices, your own presuppositions, and filter for them as best you can.”

If that were true across the board in Canadian literature and journalism, we wouldn’t be here.

It isn’t that anyone against cultural appropriation has a problem with freedom of speech. The problem, which has been explained exhaustively by writers across the colour spectrum, is laziness and entitlement. It is tiresome to watch our white colleagues drape themselves in constitutional rights, and demand a platform not only to pass off lazy, sloppy, and insulting work as genuine, but to profit from it at our expense. And that is at the root of why this “appropriation prize” fiasco was so hurtful to many. It’s why both apologies and resignations have arisen from this mess, and why the need for systemic reform within the media sphere is more urgent than ever.

At this point, I don’t believe anyone still taking the other side of this issue is all that interested in free speech. They’re just pining for a time when the rest of us were under pressure to shut up. Those days are never coming back.


How some people are missing the point on cultural appropriation

  1. Since “Cultural Appropriation” is yet another regressive lie, if you misunderstand it, you get the point.

  2. What a load of bs this article is. We live in a free world, or at least we are suppose to live in a free world here in Canada. The only time any artist should be called out for cultural misappropriation is if the artist claims to be from a culture they are not. Other wise, let them paint what they want and the market place decide if they want to buy it. Anything else is cultural idiocy, which I, for one, am not going to tolerate. People who believe this writers bs just go away and do something useful with your lives which you aren’t doing now.

    • Ok, I’m a white guy…today I saw an Indian man not wearing Sherwani, he was actually wearing g blue jeans and a T-shirt! I can’t begin to tell you how offended I was to see someone​ who isn’t white culturally appropriate the white race by wearing eans and a T-shirt! Then I saw a Somalian man not wearing a Macawis Sarong! If you can believe it, he was wearing a pair of slacks! The horror! How do all these people from other races get away dressing as Westerners! Not to mention the “white washing” that is ever so prevalent. I constantly see white people forcibly applying whitening creams, soaps, deodorants etc to people of Asian persuasion. Sorry the answer is a little sarcastic, but really who gives a shit if you wear the same clothes as me or I wear the same clothes as you? And the article I read about a native Canadian offended by the Dollar Store selling dream catchers? Go to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump and tell me they don’t sell cheap dream catchers in the gift shop…what’s the difference here? I’m offended that you are offended.

  3. That’s because there IS no point.

    It’s just another trendy fad.

    • Emily-a first-I agree with you on this!!

  4. When the Europeans got here they found natives still living in the Stone Age, they had no written language and hadn’t even discovered the Wheel. They have been Appropriating our Culture since DAY ONE…

    • YOU have been appropriating some ignorant nutbars blog

      Our natives didn’t bother with the wheel because thy had no horses.

      South American natives had llamas and wheels.

      Mayans had math and astronomy

      • So, we aren’t allowed to use math now?

  5. No, I am pretty sure it is you that does not get it. The whole concept of cultural appropriation is a crock and is about dividing humanity not bringing together. In other words those that claim it are the racists not those the accusation is leveled against.

  6. Madonna wore a large cross during many of her concerts, Christians did not appreciate this.
    African American artists used European instruments and later electric guitars (a white invention – as was elecstricity!) in developing jazz and rock music. Dig deep enough and you will see their appropriation of music from other cultures – I’ll leave that to the author to do if he truly cares about appropriation of others music.
    I don’t expect he will though. Because to him cultural appropriation is simply the boundaries HE has set that should not be crossed. And while he is entitled to his opinion, I am also free to enjoy Amanda PL’s work if I choose. And my choice is to enjoy the works that I choose. Not to have a self appointed culture warrior choose for me.

  7. I would have to agree with Andray that this issue of “cultural appropriation” is something of a tight rope, and that taking too strong a step in either direction is likely to result in falling from common sense. Having said that I very much dislike seeing Canadian society bisected along lines of “their” and “our” culture and fail to see how this strain of thinking is beneficial. Our obsessions with these idea’s of “racial backgrounds” seems to me kind’ve backward, do some possess more or less “race” than others? I know I’m naive in many ways but I sincerely believe we all need to develop thicker skins, maybe keener senses of humour and stop looking for slights against “our” cultures by “theirs”. Racism is horrid, and those with racist beliefs have missed a boat long since sailed and shouldn’t even be considered in any meaningful way.

  8. Great frigging article! Respectful and honest engagement with other people and with the cultural realities of the colonialism, racism, and other oppressive isms empowers people and creates better art. It’s a win-win. Building these cultural walls is not a way to enrich our lives, white guilt gets us nowhere either, but European-origin Christian culture does not hold the whole truth, and those who identify with it have no right to other people’s art, ideas, or lives.

    • Your sense of sarcasm is biting. Either that or you comprehension of reality bites.

  9. The people who criticize you, author of this piece, indeed are interested in free speech – when someone is fired – or `resigned’ from their job for not for so-called `cultural appropriation’ – that is a free speech issue and believe it or not that is what people are actually interested in and not, as the author likes to fantasize, to `pressure the rest of us to shut up.’ Remember, Hal N. didn’t culturally appropriate anyone, he just was trying to debate the whole issue, which his critics were determined were not going to happen – and are still determined, by calling everyone who disagrees with them (some variation of) `racist.’

    Because it is like this writer’s critics are saying `cultural appropriation’ is a very stupid idea that is ironically more akin to the rejected racialist philosophies of the twentieth century than anything to do with modern `diversity,’

    If there is, as the author states (without links or examples by the way), cases where an author from one culture portrays another stupidly or inaccurately – guess what, there is this thing called (what was that again!) `freedom of speech’ which allows people to criticize others, and I don’t think any of the `cultural appropriation’ advocates would stint from raising their voices against it.

    It is the ultimate irony of this piece when the author begins by stating that critics of so-called `cultural appropriation’ are `just interested in hegemony’ because that is what the author wishes for rather….

  10. “If I were king of the forest” … oh, yeah, that was the cowardly lion, much like the author of this article. They choose to castigate those whose take they disagree with and praise those who don’t. Yet another dictator telling others what they should/must do. According to the author, one must be abused and mistreated before attempting any artistic endeavor; that is a perverted understanding of art but somehow not applicable to the suffering of Jewish people (according to the author). All art is to some extent derivative and there is room for ironic, contrarian and distopic takes on a subject. As far as traditional culture is concerned, it must be by definition derivative – not that there’s anything wrong with that. However, the notion that only Germans should borrow from ancestral Germans is nonsense. But culture is broader than art, at least encompassing craft and social norms. For all his greatness, some of Morriseau’s craft entailed applying acrylic paint to canvas – an obvious appropriation of European craft and a transition from his original pigment on birch-bark creations; also, his exposition of spiritual themes was a melange of aboriginal and Christian imagery; even then, many of his works based on sacred themes depart from the traditional aboriginal sacred colors. One can even find in his art vestiges of coastal aboriginal artists’ vocabulary. However, perhaps the greatest nonsense presented in this argument is the insistence that culture is a racial property – I doubt BB King should be disparaged for his mastery of the electric guitar based on the ‘racial history’ of the guitar and the electrification thereof. How about an end to racist terminology instead otherwise we should end in stupid hair-splitting arguments such as should Geetali Norah Shankar (aka Nora Jones) have spent more time accompanying herself on the sitar rather than the piano?

  11. I agree with the next comment. No one owns his or her culture; it cannot be appropriated, let alone misappropriated.

    Feel free to not like an expression of culture.

    However, no one has a right to ban or forbid it, save in a very, very few cases of obscenity as determined by the courts. Even then the expression should be tolerated for age-appropropriate audiences.

  12. Hello,
    Well written article written by Andray Domise that can not be argued. However, I do have a few points to add. If a particular group of people are asking for their cultural ways to be respected and not replicated by a non member, I can do that and even tell others to not replicate. Jewish followers keep there sacred items hidden for that reason. It is very rare to find amazing sacred items that are Jewish on some artist work whether they are Jewish or not. And this is for good reason. Okay, so I do not have a problem with this. The article address a much deeper concept of white dominate culture, history of the Native American’s and the misuse of Native American culture for the use of white people. I get this one too. I teach Native American history and culture only from books, DVD and art work that Native American deigned themselves and I have also taken training on Native American generational trauma and what not. Obviously I am white, I want to do what is right and represent Native American’s accurately and respectfully. I am finding this is not enough, there are Native American that want me to admit how ignorant I am, that I still do not understand what culture appropriation means and i have no right to think I should work with Native American people because I am White. These remarks are not by the families of Native American people that I work with for years but by native American activist. So, yes keep screaming at us ignorant disrespectful white folks about culture appropriation until no one wants to care anymore…. tell us exactly what you want us to do so you are to feel respected. Another theory that creates defensiveness and questions racism on your end? I I will still do what I think you want tell Native American history accurately and use the Native American perpective, I will not replicate Native American culture, but after this article, I will avoid Native American activist. And I know this will trigger some Native American to go ballistic on me. sigh…

  13. It will be a great day when identifying people as a cultural group by their skin colour finally becomes completely impossible because there has been so much intermingling of genes. The word culture to me means the living environment in which a person either grows up, or inhabits for a long enough time to feel justified claiming ownership of it. Claiming the culture of one’s ancestors is heritage, not intellectual property with boundary rights. In Canada there are laws against profiting from copying another’s work, but creative minds have always incorporated their life experiences into their own expressions, and that includes being moved by the expressions of others.

  14. Domise is dead-on. Our mainstream media don’t just appropriate other cultures. They do this in a larger context in which they appropriate what should be our common humanity. Journalists are sent to rich, deep cultures in the developing world to gather stories that focus mostly on terrorism, drug-smuggling, corruption, poverty and superstition. None of these themes or the facts behind them need be inaccurate for the imbalance behind them to fuel grossly-wrong stereotypes, such Trump’s depiction of all Muslims as potential terrorists. We all must learn to tell our stories more respectfully – not as a formal obligation, but on the more secure ground of our common humanity.

  15. And to say that nonwhite groups borrow from European culture is equally as tone-deaf; it isn’t “borrowing” when we were forced by law

    A few questions: Who “forced” Jimi Hendrix to pick up a guitar and play rock and roll? I’m certainly glad Jimi decided to cross the sacred lines of cultural apportion, but I’d just like to know who forced him. Who questions Sissiereta Jones success in Opera?

    And who gets to decide what is and isn’t cultural apportion?

    When cultures merge, how much time is required, years, decades is required before a culture can say, “this art form is part of who we are, as a people?

    If the author could clear this up, I’ll be listening.

  16. Some of the examples are pretty weak, though. Magic! may be a white band that does reggae, and yes there are bands with members of Caribbean descent that toil in obscurity. These things aren’t strongly connected. Magic!’s fans aren’t fans because of the band’s skin colour. There isn’t some 1 reggae hit per year limit, with this white band taking up the one spot. The other bands’ obscurity has nothing to do with Magic!’s success.
    Rather it seems interesting to me that the focus is on the people in the forefront. White rapper (Iggy Azalea)- who has black people (T.I. and others) writing all her music- gets successful? Cultural appropriation. Black person (Childish Gambino)- who has a white person (Ludwig Goransson) writing all his music- does the same? Not a word breathed. IN both instances you have white and black people collaborating to make music. Music that, yes, was created by and is mostly made by black people. But it’s not hard to see the double standard at play.

  17. From the article one can presume that if you are a film maker and approach your subject with sensitivity and reverence, then by all means appropriate to your heart’s content. Many visual artists use images from other cultures in their art not as plagiarism, but as a way of understanding their world and integrating ideas. Clashing or melding cultures may even be the point of the art. Artistic intent vs artistic integrity…

  18. “not only to pass off lazy, sloppy, and insulting work as genuine, but to profit from it at our expense” That pretty much describes this article. One has to wonder why the author insists on appropriating the Latin alphabet and stop appropriating the internet, a Jewish invention, and please stop ripping off the op-ed form which was a German-Jewish creation. This entire article is a blatant exercise in cultural appropriation which should point to the stupidity of the whole thing. But the author goes way too far when he conflates race and culture: this is grossly insulting to the various racially identified groups that developed many diverse and equally vibrant cultures. Next he will insist that all whites play bagpipes and make pasta … oops: that first thing could be African and the other thing is clearly Oriental.

  19. It seems increasingly clear that the cultural appropriation witch hunters aren’t interested in celebrating differences–they’re interested in entrenching them.

    I worry that Andray Domise has never given sincere consideration to the destructive, divisive and bigotry-enshrining nature of the group-over-individual lens in which he chooses to view the world. Nor the identity politics with which he attempts to morally police it.

    When you allow yourself to view the world as individuals first rather than see people primarily as a member of an in or out group, most of this confusion and nonsense falls away.

    What matters is good writing. Or good art. If a novel is poorly researched, if the author failed to immerse herself sufficiently in the subject matter, than yes we have a valid criticism. But the offense isn’t to the subject matter or to whatever identifiable group to which her character may belong–the offence is bad writing.

    This really is the root of the debate here. Some people view the world as individuals who are all entitled to the same universal human rights.
    And some people view the world as a series of divisible groups, each group entitled to the same outcomes as every other group.
    This second lens is unsustainable, unhelpful and dangerous. It will always–by definition–end up in conflict.

    I would encourage Andray to sincerely consider the division-cementing nature of how he views the world. Our world needs less tribalism not more. Forget the silly and baseless “hegemony” claim, the real threat is entrenching “homogany.”