Reacting to an Associated Press story, published in mid-July, about Cultural Appropriation and surfing, one of the newest additions to the Games, Maher slammed the newswire for focusing on surfing as an “extension of the racial indignities seared into the history of the game and their homeland” and the “white outsiders” who took over their spiritual art-form.
Maher shot back: “Or just people having fun in the ocean.”
“I must say of all the violations of the woke penal code, cultural appropriation just might be the dumbest of all. First of all, there are 25,000 islands in the Pacific. How do we know a Hawaiian was the first to stand on a board in the water? It seems like something anyone in any ocean would eventually get around to. And if you’re a surfer, it doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, or in between, you all taste the same to sharks,” he demanded.
Just last week, Native Hawaiian surfer and Team USA member Carrissa Moore won a gold medal in women’s surfing, according to Native News Online. “This is for all of you. For the USA. For Hawaii,” Moore wrote in the victory Instagram post.
Moore’s victory meant that the first gold medalist to win in the sport’s Olympics debut was a Native Hawaiian athlete.
Maher then contended that the “whole point of the Olympics” is about bringing together the good parts about different cultures and sharing them with one another. “Badminton has roots in India. Tennis comes from France. Skiing from Scandinavia and Taekwondo from Korea. Judo was appropriated from the far east,” declared the “Real Time” host.
“This new idea that each culture must remain in its own separate silo is not better, and it’s not progress. And in fact, it’s messing with one of the few ideas that still really does make this melting pot called America great. Not everything is about oppression, stealing natural resources from indigenous people. Yes, of course. That is exploitation. But I swear not one Beach Boys song resulted in any Hawaiian having fewer waves to surf.”
Maher noted that some activists have also taken issue with so-called appropriation in movie roles and become upset by straight actors playing gay roles in movies.
“Even though trying to inhabit the life of someone else is almost the very definition of empathy, the bedrock of liberalism. And by the way, if anyone deserves to bitch about stealing in the Olympics, it’s the horses in the equestrian events, who have to watch humans get medals for everything,” Maher quipped.