Culture exchange does not equal appropriation. Exchange is when cultures exist in balance, when elements of each culture are shared and understood.
When Asian-Americans are fetishized, homogenized, when they are afraid to take in their lunches to school for fear of having them called ‘smelly’ and ‘weird’ or refuse to wear their bindis to school for fear of being alienated by the other kids, meanwhile pagans/new agers/white girls slap plastic on their foreheads and call them bindis and pretend to be g*psys and shit, croon over how much they love Korean men, talk about their love of sushi, that’s appropriation.
When little Black girls are told that their natural hair is unacceptable, that it must be straightened in order to be presentable, when Black men must cut of their locs because they’ll never be able to progress in life because white people view them as thugs and criminals, meanwhile white girls with sheep looking matted hair try to claim their hair as ‘dreadlocks’ and play at bullshit hippie boho namaste shit- that’s appropriation.
When Native women are being raped, Native children are being snatched from their homes and kidnapped, their land being encroached on and being forcibly assimilated, meanwhile white people are over hear playing Cowboys and Indians with fake as war bonnets and racist face paint,and this ‘spirit animal’ shit that’s appropriation
When Mexican-Americans are considered worthless and lazy, told to go back where they came from, fetishized, and have governments refusing to teach their own fucking history meanwhile white people are dressing up in bullshit ‘sugar skull’ make-up, that’s fucking appropriation.