It doesn’t matter if you use the term tone deaf or cultural ignorance, you easily can screw up your position or find yourself out of power. The US helped make people feel inferior in Somalia by doing small things like showing villagers the bottoms of their feet, the French soldiers felt up female parishioners heading towards prayer service, and one of my personal favorites; a politician who was running for a political office using the term “n*gger” when he was addressing a group of minorities when he was still trying to use an outdated term “negro”. All of these examples are a failure in leadership and an inability to understand who you rule over.
There is only so much a person is willing to put up with. Most people don’t mind a few assholes drinking and whooping it up but most don’t want their kids killed by a drunk driver. No one minds a bunch of weirdos moving into town until they start poisoning a restaurant so they can throw an election. I have lived in a few towns where drugs were sold. No one really cared until homes were broken into and needles found near a playground. Overseas military bases in quiet towns are tolerated until a jacked-up jarhead rapes a teenager. (Before you get onto me, a war was started over things like this in 1282). It makes sense to know this before things blew up in your face.
One of the smartest “rulers” (I knew) ran a drug distribution ring out of a house in a neighborhood. He knew to be concerned about the neighbors. His “employees” knew not to play their stereos loudly. They knew not to tear up the neighbors yards when backing out and maneuvering vehicles. He was mindful of the needs of the neighborhood, even to the point of engaging in community relations projects of a military scale. His neighborhood was not his undoing, people spoke of his presence in a good light, not like the scumbag that I knew who led deadbeats into my neighborhood.
Understanding culture and the limits of it are the way to keep yourself in power. If you transgress; you easily can find yourself on the losing end of an unseen battle. Even to the point of handing a weaker enemy free support due to your ignorance. Know the chess pieces, know the battlefield.