Saturday, February 12, 2011


The word "multiculturalism" and whatever ideas may be represented by that word have been used for a number of years to represent a path for western societies to embrace diversity. Note that this implies that there are other ways to embrace diversity - better or worse - and that other societies are apparently not expected to embrace diversity. After continuous, and tiresome, talk about multiculturalism, what has it achieved? Here must broaden our perspective and not think only of America, but other nations as well - in France, years of multiculturalism culminated in Islamic youth rioting and burning buildings and cars in various parts of Paris. In England, we see radical Muslims taking center stage and encouraging the youth to embrace violence, not dialogue. In Germany, we see Muslims rejecting any thought of engaging in society, and rather choosing to isolate themselves from the communities in which they live. In Holland, we see the assassination of Theo van Gogh in response to his filming daily life among the Muslims. In Denmark, we see freedom of speech being denied, as Islamic rioters demanded that newspapers refrain from publishing political cartoons which question the beneficence of Islam. At home in the USA, African-American leaders have begun distancing themselves from the multicultural rhetoric, finding instead that there are better ways to embrace diversity and to ensure that African-Americans are truly "at home" in our society.

British Prime Minister David Cameron explained, “We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values. So when a white person holds objectionable views — racism, for example — we rightly condemn them. But when equally unacceptable views or practices have come from someone who isn’t white, we’ve been too cautious, frankly even fearful, to stand up to them.”

French President Nicholas Sarkozy said, “Of course we must all respect differences, but we do not want… a society where communities coexist side by side. If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France. The French national community cannot accept a change in its lifestyle, equality between men and women… freedom for little girls to go to school.”

Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, said, “We are a country which at the beginning of the 1960s actually brought guest workers to Germany now they live with us and we lied to ourselves for a while saying that they won’t stay and that they will disappear one day that is not the reality this multicultural approach saying that we live side by side and that we are happy about each other–this approach has failed. Utterly failed.”

What other approaches can realize the promise and potential of diversity? Immigrants and those who wish to obtain citizenship in a country should be willing to ask themselves why they have these desires, and if they are willing to embrace their new home's society. More than taking advantage of economic opportunities, those who come to the USA must consider the meanings of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. The are the documents and ideas that led to the ending of slavery, and to giving women the right to vote. Those who would reject these basic human rights and civil rights, as understood by these three foundational texts of American political structure - those who would insist rather on Sharia Law and radical Islam - should not expect to be embraced in American society.

Those who insist on hatred and violence should not expect to be affirmed by the American society which rejects hatred and violence as normal methods of cultural interaction.

The end of multiculturalism comes when we cannot have, in our public institutions, an ideology which insists that women are inferior to men, and that violence is an acceptable response to those who do not embrace one's views.