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Problematic: The Atlantic says American tiki bars are making a comeback, but are they cultural appropriation?

No one told us, but apparently American tiki bars are making a comeback, and The Atlantic is on it. Just one problem, though: are tiki bars a form of cultural appropriation?


It’s problematic:

Sarah Miller-Davenport, the author of Gateway State: Hawaii and the Cultural Transformation of American Empire, describes how Polynesian-style bars and restaurants allowed mid-century, middle-class white Americans to feel cosmopolitan and adventurous, in part by playing on racist stereotypes of Polynesian sexuality. These stereotypes are part of the reason Kalewa Correa, the Hawaii and Pacific America curator at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, says tiki bars make him, a native Hawaiian, uncomfortable …




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