College Student: 'Y'all' Is 'Cultural Appropriation’ If You're Not from the South | National Review

A student at Francis Marion University wrote anop-ed explaining how upset she gets when people who aren’t from the South say “y’all” — because it’s “cultural appropriation.”

In a piece for the Patriot, the school’s official student newspaper, Leah Power explains that although she has “attempted to build up a thick skin towards the insensitive jokes, stereotypes, cultural appropriation and overall ignorance” that she sees around her, she just cannot help but get very upset every time she hears someone who is not from the South use the word “y’all.”

Power writes that she remembers traveling outside of the South when she was young and having to deal with “people joking about my accent and the stereotypes of the dumb, inbred, redneck hicks who made up the southern states,” but that “sometime in the last year or so, [‘y’all’ has] gone from a redneck pronoun to a socially acceptable form of addressing a group of people.”

There are conversations about whether it’s socially acceptable for white women to wear cornrows if they refuse to recognize the African-American culture and the oppression of black women. There are conversations about the refusal to use people of ethnic backgrounds in runway shows designed around their heritage. Similarly, it seems like the very people who made the inappropriate jokes about the South and made incorrect assumptions about southern people are the same ones picking and choosing what parts they find socially acceptable.

“So yes, I am offended,” Power writes. “I wish I weren’t. I wish that I was able to rise above this, but I am. [sic]”

Although I do think that Power is overreacting, it also is true that “y’all” is a word traditionally associated with southern culture — so I can at least kind of understand how she would reach the conclusion that people who use the word but reject other parts of the culture are appropriating.