Mulitculturalism: the existence, acceptance, and promotion of multiple cultural traditions within a country.
Multiculturalism doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Who would deny respect for the cultural traditions of others? Some of these may have special significance for certain groups but symbolize values that cross ethnic, racial, and religious borders, like Martin Luther King day does for civil rights.
But multicultural ideology has changed from acceptance of different cultures to something quite different. In the United States, the multicultural philosophy has evolved, or perhaps devolved, from respect for the various cultures, religious and ethnic, in America, to an active policy of promoting the superiority of cultural diversity as an ideal. This is opposed to the previous thought that America was one big melting pot. That thinking is now extinct, and it has made our country not only weaker, but a more dangerous place to live in as times goes on.
Let’s take the lessons learned from recent events in Germany. Germany has been the most accepting nation of refugees from the middle east in the ongoing conflicts there. Yet, Germany has realized that the new multiculturalism is not without consequences. Multiculturalism leads to parallel societies within a country, and these societies don’t seem to be getting along. She said as much in a speech from late last year, and added that Germany may have reached its limits.
Multiculturalism has failed in a number of other liberal democracies, like Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, France, and Belgium. Immigrants coming from Africa and the Middle East refuse to become Europeans and instead seek to import the same cultures and ideologies they fled in the first place. This has led to violence, most often inflicted on the citizens of the host country.
The left is rarely right, but they are right to argue that people of all races, religions and cultures should be equal in the eyes of the law. But it’s the worst kind of baloney when they argue that one set of cultural values can’t be judged superior to others, or is somehow immune to criticism.
To some, this may sound like xenophobia, but look at some of the cultural norms in certain areas of Africa and the Middle East. How about the horrific treatment of women in some of these places, where female genital mutilation is practiced, and limitations on women’s rights are considered cultural positives.
If you’re a woman, you can’t drive, work, or go to school in some places. If you’re a homosexual, you may receive the death penalty. Marital rape is condoned, and females who commit adultery may be stoned to death. How are these atrocities morally equivalent to Western values?
When a culture promotes these norms, should they be given a pass because to criticize them is somehow, bigoted and racist? Is barbarism now the moral equal of civilization?
The United States is built on a foundation of individual rights. Such liberties come with the mandate that those that disagree with your ideology should be looked at with tolerance and understanding. Despite this, many immigrants from certain areas don’t agree with this supposition and are unwilling to give the same consideration to their host’s citizens that their hosts give them.
Examples of this include instances where Muslim men harass Western women for dressing “provocatively”. These women are considered fair game for molestation and rape. Jews are accosted on the streets, sometimes beaten. Donations of food from the International Red Cross are thrown in the gutter because, you guessed it, there’s a cross on the package.
If enough Muslim immigrants settle in a particular area, they seek to impose Sharia law on their neighborhood. In Europe and, some say, in America, certain zones are to be left alone to manage their own affairs according to the whims of their culture, even if their practices go against basic civil rights.
In Western democracies, the new multiculturalism is a fantasy of the Left. The left has made diversity a mandate. Even if you want to assimilate, you are pressured to remain isolated within your own ethnicity or religion, and encouraged to hate those who wish to become, heaven forbid, Americans or Britons or French.
Lately, this has been most actively promoted by college educators, who demand special rights and treatment for those immigrants with contempt for our culture. These “intellectuals” have little respect for the rights of native-born citizens. Of these, the right they most detest is free speech, but they don’t stop there; freedom of thought is also discouraged.
So let me say something that might shock you. Our culture, Western culture, American culture, is pretty darn good. American culture is multicultural on its own merits, with those in New York City having different traditions and values than those in, say, Bozeman, Montana. Yet New Yorkers consider those from Montana part of the American culture, and vice-versa.
You don’t have to be an older white male to have American cultural values. You can be any demographic and hold the things Americans believe in dear to your heart: The right to free speech, to live free of oppression, to make a better life for your family, and to seek a life of personal liberty and happiness.
If you immigrated to this country, you left the culture you came from to a culture where there is respect for your beliefs. But your beliefs, if they are intolerant of others not like you, should be examined in view of your new home and situation. Tolerance, understanding, and compassion are traditional American values. Come to America and you have the opportunity to enjoy liberty; just don’t try to deny it to others.
Joe and Amy Alton