Fear of this silly woke rule has left us walking on eggshells

Kameron Saunders in tartan in Edinburgh
Tartan barmy: Kameron Saunders, a backing dancer for Taylor Swift, models his kilt in Edinburgh

Nowadays, attending a fancy-dress party is fraught with risk. If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself accused of committing one of the 21st century’s gravest sins: “cultural appropriation”. Because, according to this fashionable progressive diktat, it’s insulting to wear the traditional clothing of any culture but your own. This means no sombreros, no feathered head-dresses, and even no cowboy hats. Otherwise, you’ll cause the most appalling hurt and distress to the people whose ancestors wore them.

Such a claim, however, is of course total drivel. No one in their right mind is genuinely offended. And now we can prove it – thanks to a man named Kameron Saunders.

Mr Saunders is a 31-year-old backing dancer for Taylor Swift. And, while they were in Edinburgh for her big concerts last week, he decided to go out and buy himself a kilt. But, because he happens to be African-American, he feared that this might be construed as cultural appropriation.

“I’ve always wanted an authentic kilt,” he wrote on Instagram, under a photograph of him wearing it, “but I wanted to be super respectful about the culture, so prior to purchasing I had an extensive conversation with the salesman, who educated me so very wonderfully about kilts, accessories, Scottish history, Scottish last names, tartans, the thistle, etc. He assured me that I could wear this outfit with pride…”

Well, yes. I’m sure he did, Mr Saunders. His job, after all, was to sell it to you. None the less, that salesman was absolutely right. I myself grew up in Scotland, and I can tell Mr Saunders that no one there would be remotely offended to see him – or indeed anyone else from any other country – sporting a kilt. It’s an item of clothing. Wear it if you like. Or not if you don’t. No one cares one way or the other. Most people have more pressing matters to worry about than the sartorial choices of complete strangers who live 4,000 miles away.

But even if a few lone lunatics did claim to be offended, so what? Why should Mr Saunders pay them a moment’s notice, let alone grovel and beg their forgiveness? And why, in the first place, did he feel the need to ask permission? Perhaps he’s just an exceptionally sensitive, thoughtful and courteous young gentleman. But it may also be that he was terrified of getting screamed at online by the sort of hyperventilating dingbats who think “cultural appropriation” matters.

If so, his fear was unfounded. And the rest of us should take note. One of the most dismal features of modern life is our constant and entirely unnecessary capitulation to the hysterically over-sensitive. It’s time to take a stand. And if that means everyone in England donning a bunnet and sporran, so be it.

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