The venerable and erudite #Michael Barone has cast his attention to the latest made up sin coming from the social justice left, that being “#cultural appropriation.” Cultural appropriation is defined as participating in a culture not one’s own, including wearing clothing or hairstyles, listening to music, or even eating food that is not from one’s own ethnic group. White women are being attacked for braiding their hair in the African American style. University cafeterias are being protested for serving General Tso’s Chicken. Fraternities are being suspended for celebrating Cinco de Mayo and serving tacos. Barone, a proud Italian-American, has what he calls a modest proposal to take the fight against cultural appropriation to the next level.

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Apparently, he suggests, non-Italians should be stopped from eating pizza and pasta.

“The logical corollary would be to stamp out this hijacking of cultural heritage. In school lunchrooms, pupils would be required to show proof of Italian ancestry before getting a pizza slice. Supermarket checkout counters would require similar proof from putative pasta purchasers. Similarly for paninis at Panera Bread, Chicken Parmesan at Olive Garden, etc.”

This writer has to admit that just the other day he shamelessly culturally appropriated by cooking a pasta dinner using a sauce recipe passed down by his sainted mother who, being of German ancestry, has not right to have developed. To be sure this writer’s wife is of Italian descent, so maybe it does not fit the definition.

The faked controversy brings to mind an idea that perhaps should bridge the cultural divide.

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What if indulgences could be sold to people who want to appropriate the culture of another group? For instance, non-Irish people would be allowed to listen to the Chieftains and drink Guinness (a sublime experience by the way) if they pay a nearby Irishman for the privilege. One could pay Michael Barone, a fine writer, and keen analyst, for slices of pizza and bowls of pasta.

In that spirit, as a resident of the great state of Texas, this writer invites everyone who wants to have a barbecue to pay him for the right to do so. Eating smoke brisket or ribs when not a Texan is the worst kind of cultural appropriation, even (especially) if one comes from a place that claims to have a grilling culture but, not being from Texas, does not. Feel free to make the request in the comments section and then receive instructions on how to send money to Paypal. Be sure to include an address or email so that an official certificate of indulgence can be sent and then displayed proudly.