I would like to take a moment to comment on the issue of cultural appropriation.
It may surprise some who are only lately becoming aware of the concept that this issue is quite old. I myself can remember in my youth, before the advent of the internet and social media, going to Earth Day celebrations with my mother and finding myself exposed to what I still think of as the archetypal example: a drunken idiot dancing around in a knock-off Apache war-bonnet or similar, vainly attempting to celebrate a culture they admire but do not understand.
In recent years, this concept has been extended across a wide variety of increasingly mundane and trivial things ranging from hairstyles to burritos. This concerns me greatly, in the broader context of the movements currently claiming the inheritance of the Civil Rights movement.
The trouble with the example of the war-bonnet was, to my understanding, not a question of race or culture per se, but something more akin to the problem of 'Stolen Valor'...something that is faced by any culture with a concept of valorous conduct. It's like someone who's never served in the military buying a uniform and rank insignia, or a knock-off Medal of Honor, to enjoy the prestige and good treatment that is earned through dutiful and honorable service without the trouble of either duty or honor.
There is, thus, a real issue to be addressed there, but that is not what I see happening in discussions on this subject. I see the idea of 'appropriation' being used to build up a kind of cultural chauvinism that feeds a growing air of segregationist sentiment among those claiming to defend marginalized cultures (or, worse, those cultures themselves). There seems to be a rather regressive belief on the political left in particular, that we should return to the concept some recent incarnations of organizations like the Ku Klux Klan have voiced, of living 'separate but equal', with designated 'safe spaces', separate facilities and so forth. They seem to wish to create an institutional drive to keep different races and cultures from intermingling, lest they contaminate each others sacred natures somehow. All things I think we should recognize as 'everything the Civil Rights movement fought for decades to do away with'.
In this light, 'cultural appropriation' seems to be used less to protect cultural elements than to denounce the natural tendency of the human animal to communicate and share ideas, to denounce cultural exchange as mere memetic miscegenation with the same air of disgusted disdain with which a racist might view an interracial family.
Just as genetic diversity is important for the health and development of biological populations, memetic diversity is important to conceptual populations...we must constantly be exposed to and engage with other ideas and perspective, or we grow dull and lifeless. We stagnate. If cultures do not grow and share they do not adapt, and what does not adapt dies. The idea of cultural purity, or the idea that ideas should remain only where they first grew is completely antithetical to the progress of the human species as well as the preservation of individual memes and the trappings by which we know them, to say nothing of an absurd and impossible goal given how much we still do not know about our collective history as a species.
We cannot know where every idea originated from first, let alone who is it's rightful inheritor now, because humans have been thinking for far longer than we have been writing things down, and we have a nasty habit of burning what we write when we don't like what we said. The capacity for ideas to arise in multiple places under appropriate circumstances is well known, and many things are simply universal to the human experience, however different they may appear on the surface between any two populations.
A cultural element is not lost by being adopted by another culture. Certainly, the culture from which it is taken still retains it...an idiot dancing around in a war-bonnet and making a fool of themselves does not negate the meaning the bonnet has to those who earned and understand it, nor does it prevent anyone from earning such accolades in the future.
Nothing is lost, only changed, and may lead to greater understanding with time, patience and exposure. That change is, in fact, critical to progress and development, as we seek novel configurations of memes to grant us insight into ourselves and the world we inhabit together.
To shy from that, to hold each other at arm's length for fear of what we might do with one another's dreams, is to deny our humanity, to ourselves and to each other. That fear is the breath of hatred and discrimination, breeding jealousy and contempt alike.
To give into it is to allow evil to rule over our good intentions.