10 March 2009

Multiculturalism and its possible pitfalls

Multiculturalism has been the guiding principle of the Western world (and to varying degrees, many other societies, including India and China) for the past several decades. Its premise is that foreign cultures can offer some new insights that the prevailing mainstream culture cannot readily achieve on its own. It's certainly worked its magic in the US - it is valuable for me to discuss the message of Kwan Yin, my transgender matron saint, and the belief systems that worship her, with people who used to be exposed only to Christian and related thought systems.

However, there is a pitfall. Not all cultures/religions believe in the same premise of learning from others that the Western world today believes in. And some white liberals are of the mentality that nonwhites are incapable of evil on their own, all nonwhite evil is sourced from white colonizers, and that nonwhite cultures are simply passive victims of white imperialism. Unfortunately, this does not explain the honor killings of a number of Muslim societies, the primitive Sharia laws of many other Muslim nations, and the severe misogyny of Confucianism; these evils have nothing to do with the white cultures.

Sitting in Southern California, where nonwhite conservatism has done severe damage to the society in the form of recurring restrictions on women's reproductive rights and the elimination of gay marriage, I know this too well. And even when it comes to "white problems," the greatest, most faithful torch-bearers of those problems are themselves nonwhites (i.e. the Korean reverence of US southern white supremacy based on Christianity). Tolerance of diversity and other cultures does NOT include tolerance of honor killings and Sharia law, at least in my books.

Over in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands, there is a well-deserved backlash which is a hot social topic today. I do know first hand that Amsterdam is a living hell, because of all the immigrant thugs who have NO respect for the Dutch tolerance for the unconventional (though they themselves benefit from the Dutch tolerance, just by being there and spewing their hate). The majority (well, white Dutch are a mere minority in Amsterdam, but they still have the rest of the country) has now stepped in, by decreeing that while foreign cultures and people are still welcome, there are some ground rules that they need to learn and obey. While the strongest sentiments, including outright ban of Islam and foreign language use in public, belong to the far right, the more moderate sentiments are well echoed by the liberals as well, as they rightfully see that some of these foreign cultural elements are actually destroying the very liberal values that they hoped these nonwhite cultures would uphold. The UK, also home to many immigrants (20% of London, in fact - and Jamaican homophobia does get me), faces similar challenges and arguments.

It's about time that the US, particularly California with its huge conservative immigrant population, did something similar. But given that the conservatives are benefiting too much from the status quo to ever change it, and that the liberals are utterly scared of even remotely hinting that nonwhites are actually capable of evil, I don't see much hope. While many liberals do point to the likes of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, descendant of Mexican immigrants who also happens to speak fluent Spanish, as proof that ethnic liberalism is a very strong ideology, the nonwhites that I deal with in real life are far more likely to be along the lines of Alan Keyes, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, or Counsel John Yoo. Around me, gynecological clinics that supposedly perform abortions are being picketed by Central Americans speaking Spanish, rather than whites speaking English.

Here's a Wikipedia article on multiculturalism that discusses these points very well: