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Look What College Students Just Decided Was ‘Too Offensive’ To Handle. Have They Finally Lost It?

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The incident took place at the University of Ottawa, in Ottawa, Canada.

The word “appropriation” means to take something, with or without permission, authority or right. The term “cultural appropriation” means to take something from another culture. We can think of cultural appropriation in a positive light or in a negative one. In a positive light, cultures take or borrow things from other cultures all the time.

Pizza wasn’t a U.S. staple, but we’ve made it a favorite food. Likewise, language is borrowed from other cultures and used in English. Where cultural appropriation can be seen in a negative light, one only has to look at the latest controversies surrounding the NFL team out of Washington, DC, the Washington Redskins. The term to some is offensive, and reminds native Americans of their ultimate defeat by the white man.

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Western Journalism has been reporting on the cultural appropriation demands of students on college campuses for some time. Cultural appropriation arguments are being used in campuses all across the country and internationally as well, to promote change. One recent use of the term has made international headlines. The incident took place at the University of Ottawa, in Ottawa, Canada.

A college yoga class was cancelled because of ‘cultural issues’: Jennifer Scharf has been teaching yoga at the…

— Electric Gherkin (@electricgherkin) November 23, 2015

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Jennifer Scharf has been offering free yoga classes on the University of Ottawa campus for seven years. She was asked to offer yoga classes in the university’s Centre for Students with Disabilities, where all students, even those with exceptional physical challenges, could come, practice yoga, and get in shape.

The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa runs the Centre for Students with Disabilities. In September, they decided to end the yoga program by sending Scharf an email. The email said, “while yoga is a really great idea and accessible and great for students … there are cultural issues of implication involved in the practice…Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced.”

The email goes on to imply that yoga was taken from other cultures in a “cultural appropriation.” The Centre’s email goes on to say that those cultures “have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy … we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practising yoga.”

Scharf said she believes that a “social justice warrior” made a complaint which led to her ouster as a free yoga instructor serving over 60 regular yoga students. She said, “People are just looking for a reason to be offended by anything they can find…There’s a real divide between reasonable people and those people just looking to jump on a bandwagon. And unfortunately,…

 if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.


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