Posts Tagged ‘Multiculturalism’

Lawrence Auster explains clearly the confustion that results from left-liberal multiculturalism and its combination of insane moralism intramurally among other westerners, while abandoning basic moral standards in dealing with “other” people:

[T]he liberal order articulates the world through a “script” in which there are three characters: the white liberal, who embodies the non-discriminatory virtue of the liberal regime; the white non-liberal, who discriminates against nonwhites and who must be crushed by the white liberal; and the nonwhite/non-Westerner, who either is discriminated against by the white non-liberal or is non-discriminatorily included by the white liberal. In the script, furthermore, only the white liberal and the white non-liberal are moral actors, with the first representing good and the second representing evil. The nonwhite/non-Westerner is not a moral actor, but is simply the passive recipient of the white liberal’s goodness or of the white non-liberal’s bigotry. The reason that the nonwhite/non-Westerner cannot be a moral actor is that his very function in the script is to be the recipient of either good non-discrimination or evil discrimination. If he were a moral actor, then his own actions would have to be judged; specifically, his bad actions would have to be judged. But to judge his bad actions would be to discriminate against him. And since the central purpose of liberalism is to eliminate all discriminatory treatment of nonwhites/non-Westerners, moral judgement of nonwhites/non-Westerners must also be eliminated. Therefore nonwhites/non-Westerners cannot be seen as responsible moral actors.

The liberal script explains why [Pastor Terry] Jones, who burned a piece of paper with ink on it, has “blood on his hands,” but the Muslim Afghan mob that invaded a UN compound and murdered 12 UN employees do not have blood on their hands. The Muslims are not moral actors. The Muslims are simply the victims of Terry Jones’s discriminatory act against them. Jones, the white non-liberal, is a moral agent who is responsible for his evil actions. The Muslims are not moral agents and are not responsible for their actions.

Terry Jones is just the millionth example of this.  There are the excuses for other familiar forms of foreign savagery, such as sutee, or polygamy, or canabilism, or low levels of cleanliness and education.  As these excuses role off the tongue, the most anodyne western liberties and customs, whether holding a door for a lady or not wanting one’s nation’s demographics reengineered, are treatd as the most backwards expressions of primitivism.  The thread uniting this apparent dissonance is the nondiscrimination principle.

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Now I know about the Chinese Curse, “May you live in interesting times.”

Japan is having a storm-after-the-storm in the form of a nuclear meltdown.  It is terrible; my brother is serving on the USS Essex dealing with this now.  The radiation and associated exclusion zones create all manner of obstacles to US assitance to this long-term ally.  That said, Japanese are behaving admirably, proof that diversity (particularly imported Third World diversity) is completely unnecessary and in many ways counterproductive to a healthy, functioning, and technologically advanced society.  Indeed, homogenous societies are often more trusting societies, particularly when they have a high level of civilization.  Of course, Iowa and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi had massive flooding in recent years and didn’t have massive crime and looting like New Orleans, but, the last time I checked, they’re not Japanese colonies in the Americas.

Dayton, Ohio police test was thrown out because it “discriminates against” blacks.  Of course, nearly every academic and performance test under the sun discriminates against blacks in the sense that their average performance is worse.   Does a test that measures something useful where the outcome happens to differ between races mean that it is unlawfully discriminatory? Why assume that?  Does whatever test that selects for NFL running backs discriminate against whites? And, indeed, can a test that found its origins in the days of genuine anti-black racism, that is a test designed to distinguish qualified from not-so-well qualified whites be called discriminatory when it is simply imported into a new, race-blind era and has differential outcomes between the races?  Indeed, such a test should be presumptively acceptable.  As a consequence of this and similar rulings, police standards will be lowered in name of diversity, as they have elsewhere, often with disastrous results.

Now the US military announces priority of diversity.  What a friggin’ shame, a harbinger of America’s accelerating decline.  The broad-based war on standards has been in process since the Tail Hook Scandal, but it’s accelerated in recent years.  As in police and fire departments, this stalwart bastion of excellence (in addition to being a realm where blacks and whites work well alongside one another because of uniformly high standards) will find to increasingly common to have the affirmative action promotions that are all-too-familiar to corporate America and municipal government. Over time, and just as bad, the integrity of the entire institution and its leadership will be degraded, because no one is allowed to speak freely about the lower abilities of minorities in a world where equality of outcome is a priority.

Indeed, it’s not as if there’s not plenty of dumb whites to go around.  More testing would eliminate many of them too, but this is not allowed (or only allowed indirectly) because of the law of disparate impact.  Liability concerns are compounded by a liberal status war among whites, where each side accuses the other of racism–as in the “Democrats are the real racists” meme so common among the GOP. Today, unlike the America of only 20 years ago, hardly anyone stands up for fairness, majority rights, excellence, and the condemnation of widespread bad behavior by minorities.  We are becoming a nation of cowards, indeed, but not quite the way Eric Holder thinks.

Finally, Libya’s Kaddafi is winning.  I can’t say I’m losing any sleep over this, other than the impact it has on gas prices.  As in the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979, I’m not really sure why I’m supposed to root for one side or the other.  For all I know, Qadaffi’s opponents are bastards; there’s no evidence one way or the other. Sen. McCain, meanwhile, wants us to get involved and start bombing, and he also says his long term goal is to be “investing in Libya.”  I’m so glad I didn’t vote for that madman*, even though Obama is a disaster in his own unique way.

*For those who are curious, I voted for Chuck Baldwin.

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Race to the Bottom

Rick Sanchez was canned from CNN this week.  In a general whine about the discrimination he has faced–which apparently burdened him with fame and an enviable job–he said something about Jews, suggesting that the elitist, mean-spirited Jon Stewart had no idea what it was to be a real victim like the good-looking media-celebrity, Sanchez.  I can’t say I was a huge fan  of either man.  But the lightning speed with which Sanchez was dispatched says a lot about which groups in our society cannot be criticized and, concomitantly, which groups have significant power in that society.  Genuinely oppressed and hated people can be criticized with impunity.

While the merits of either man’s claim to victimhood is kind of ridiculous, Rick clearly hasn’t been paying attention.  For all of the vaunted independence, iconoclasm, and general edginess of the media, there are certain pieties that must be respected, and one of the most important of which is the utter sanctity of Jews as a victim group in the pantheon of America’s victim groups.  We’re supposed to pretend that wealthy media executives are little different from Stetl Jews in Ukraine shot in ditches by Nazis, just as we’re supposed to pretend that blacks who became President of the United States are the victim of ongoing oppression little different from that of Jim Crow.

Much of modern America’s cultural obsession consists of a race to the bottom whereby various groups–blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Indians–are all competing to be the biggest victim of all.  The only group that cannot play in this game is the old American WASP, America’s historical majority people that is grouped alongside with Hitler for having exclusive country clubs and Ivy League quotas 75 years ago and slavery some 150 years ago.

Sanchez pointed out an easily verified fact:  Jews, as a group, are successful and particularly over-represented and powerful in the TV and print media.  This is one of those facts we’re not supposed to notice, just as we’re not supposed to notice various short-comings of other ethnic groups.  The Jewish claim to historical victimhood in America today requires quite a bit of work.  After all, unlike blacks, Jews came to America willingly and voluntarily.  While once upon a time there were minor discriminations and sleights against Jews in America–exclusive clubs, Ivy League quotas–on the whole, America has been welcoming to Jews, and, more important, Jews have been wildly successful in America in spite of whatever obstacles their great grandparents may have faced.  They have become the establishment in spite of the continuing self-identification as being an alienated, oppressed outsider. That success, once a source of pride, became a minor embarrassment in the great multicultural race to the bottom that began in the 1980s.  Upon further inquiry, however, it becomes clear that multiculturalism is in fact an ideology to promote and protect the new elites emerging from the decline and displacement of the WASP since the mid-20th Century.

As Peter Novick put this in his work The Holocaust in American Life:

By the 1980s and 1990s many Jews, for various reasons, wanted to establish that they too were members of  a “victim community.”  Their contemporary situation offered little in the way of credentials.  American Jews were by far the wealthiest, best-educated, most influential, in-every-way-most-successful group in American society–a group that, compared to most other identifiable minority groups, suffered no measurable discrimination and no disadvantages on account of that minority status.   But insofar as Jewish identify could be anchored in the agony of European Jewry, certification as (vicarious) victims could be claimed, with all the moral privilege accompanying such certifications.

The multicultural order is inverted.  Victim status is the currency of the realm, and the Holocaust of the Jews, through books, movies, and constant repetition is placed above all other possible victimizations in the consciousness of Americans, even comparable mass murders such as those of the Soviet Union, Cambodia, and Turkey, and even though this event was largely not done to American Jews nor perpetrated by Americans.  The elevation of this European event of some 70 years ago is particularly useful when the “victim” in question is fast becoming the society’s elite, with its members constituting 30 members of Congress and 13 US Senators, 43% of the most influential opinion-makers, and some 21% of Ivy League admissions today. Frankly, Rich Sanchez is right:  for Jon Stewart or any other American Jew to proclaim the status of victim is patently ridiculous and insulting to ordinary intelligence.  But Sanchez is too self-pitying to realize that it’s ridiculous for him, a man until recently on CNN with a show named after him, also to claim victim status.

A better approach  for both the Jon Stewarts and the Rick Sanchezes of the world, has been suggested by Steve Sailer:  a self-conscious development among Jews and other emerging elites of a sense of noblesse oblige, that is a sense of self-conscious responsibility for what is now their society coupled with public expressions of gratitude for this society’s opportunities.  But, events to date, suggest that this softening of attitudes is unlikely.  More likely is the overplaying of this hand by the “victims,” as represented in part by the unmagnaminous firing of Sanchez.  I fear the continuation of such events would lead to an eventual, tragic backlash.

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I like this article by Andrew McCarthy.  It notes the centrality and particularity of Sharia in Islam.  In other words, Islam is in many ways our cultural and civilizational opposite, with alien manners and mores under which our range of lifestyles would grate.  The aim to impose this unified system on the world is why the borderlands of the Muslim world are often so filled with conflict in a way that the collision of Buddhists and Hindus or Orthodox and Catholic are not. 

I especially like the author’s willigness to move the debate beyond terrorism.  Jihad is not just terrorism.  The harm presented by a Muslim influx into Europe and America is not merely terrorism, though that’s a part of it.  Indeed, an Islamic argument can be made against certain kinds of terrorism. But no Islamic argument could be made against the centrality of Sharia, the need to expand Islam by force (i.e., Jihad), or the necessity of harsh punishments for criticism of the prophet.  The threat of Islam includes a rearrangement of our own values, self-censorship, the denigration of our heros and traditions, threats of private violence, the occasional political murder, and ultimately the subordination of America’s historical people to newcomers whose aim is to rule.  This obviously would take a long time, but it’s also easier to address in its early stages than when it is far advanced. 

Not every Muslim is a terrorist.  But every Muslim is a Muslim.  And it takes a very brief perusal of the Koran and a history book to see that this religion aims to rule the whole world in a literal way.  Why make it easier on them?

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Location of Ground Zero Mosque

Obama, like former President Bush, defends the religious freedom for Muslim Americans to insult the rest of us, just as he is willing to defend the honor of Islam itself.  But this is an unpopular stance.  Most Americans have heard the anti-American cheers, seen the strange practices, and become fed up with the murderous triumphalism of Muslims worldwide.

Obama this week weighed in on the propriety of the Cordoba Housea, a large Mosque planned within blocks of the former World Trade Center.  It is called by some a Victory Mosque, not least because it is large, garish, and intended to open on September 11, 2011.  Barack Hussein Obama is siding with Muslims against the Christian majority of Americans in a typically haughty way.  Worse, to do so, he is willing to sketch a false history of America, where Islam was part of our national fabric from its earliest days.

Islam is, in fact, a very recent import, a consequence of the 1965 immigration reform, which favored Third Worlders over Europeans. And the consequences of that change have included periodic acts of terrorism, culminating in the 9/11 attacks, but also including the Nigerian Christmas bombing, the murder of Army recruiters in Arkansas, various “honor killings,” and a number of other foiled attacks.

This Victory Mosque is a middle finger to Americans.  It is a statement of triumphalism by an expansionist, violent religion that is so different from Christianity, that the religious freedom of its believers must be severely restricted, just as the freedom of cults to commit mass suicide, practice polygamy, or smoke Peyote is also restricted.

The Reality of Islam

Obama, Bush, and Mayor Bloomberg all err in treating Islam like any other religion.  While it is a religion, it is a special type; it is both universal (like Christianity) and fully comprehensive in its directives (like Judaism).  It offers a complete way of life for those under its domain, and unlike traditional Judaism, does not exempt non-believers from the vast majority of its detailed directives.  Indeed, for Islam, legislation itself is seen as a God-task, and they believe that Sharia is God-given perfect legislation, that no one is really free without Sharia, and that the destiny of all mankind is to flourish under Sharia.

Obviously, Sharia has little in common with Western ideals of freedom, self-government, and dissenssus, but we continue to delude ourselves that these people’s beliefs will fit in somewhere nicely between Methodists and Presbyterians.

Islam, further, counsels various types of violence against non-believers who resist Muslim expansion, disrespect the Prophet, or otherwise run afoul of its directives.  Since so many Americans would do so without even trying, Islam is not compatible with our way of life.  Recall, for example, that Said Qutb, intellectual grandfather of the Muslim Brotherhood was deeply offended by a church dance in 1940s Colorado.  This was not exactly Times Square circa 1975!

Both Bush and Obama misunderstand Islam for different reasons.  As a religious but sentimental man, Bush saw all religion as a positive for the individual’s moral life, but didn’t really understand the content of other religions very well, as he came from the anti-intellectual evangelical tradition.  As a political man with an identity crisis, Obama, by contrast, sees all religion as identitarian and political, and is pro or con based on whether the group involved claims to be oppressed by the West, but he does not take any religion’s particulars very seriously as theological matters.

I take Islam quite seriously on its own terms and imagine those who believe it do too.  I also am not a “chicken little.” I know most Muslims probably get from Islam what everyone else gets from their religious traditions:  a sense of the eternal, the sacred, human connectedness, the God-given aspects of right and wrong, the importance of decency, etc.  I imagine, like Christianity, Islam gives solace in death, a sense of importance in life’s milestones, and conveys the need for charity.  The difference is that Islam has built into it, and non-negotiably, a specific code. The more serious a Muslim is, the more he understands the necessity of imposing this code as directed by the Koran.

The often used Reformation analogy is inapt.  Hopeful writers argue that Christianity was violent and illiberal prior to the Reformation, and that we’re OK now, and Islam will be too, after it changes its ways in the same manner we have.  Besides having the history quite wrong–the so-called Reformation ushered in a century of European blood-letting–there cannot be a reformation that makes Islam more like modern Christianity, because the past of Islam is as violent as the present.  There, in fact, have been many reformations in Islam, including Wahhabism.  None of these “back to basics” movements involved a rejection of Islam’s total role in the believer’s and nonbelievers’ lives.  To excise Sharia from Islam would be like excising the Gospels from Christianity.  We must conclude that while there are good individual Muslims, they are good only insofar as they ignore or reject large parts of Islam.

The Unlikelihood of Assimilation

What people really want (and in the case of Obama, expect) is for Muslims not to take their religions so seriously, just as Christianity declined in influence the aftermath of the 17th Century’s brutal religious wars.  But there is no reason to think this shift will come from Islam itself.  In Europe, this movement found its roots in shared Christian ideas regarding the conscience.  In other words, to separate Church and State did not do violence to basic Christian teachings.  In Islam, to denigrate the role of religion in the arena of legislation would involve various blasphemies, a downgrading of religion, and a limitation of government power that does not comport with the totalistic nature of Sharia.

While I believe America’s religiosity, tolerance, economic opportunities, and limited numbers have contained the power of Muslims in our country, nonetheless, introducing them to this alien soil was a mistake and continuing to do so increases our collective endangerment.  This has been particularly apparent from the experience of Europe, where Muslims are more numerous, more radical, and substantially more aggressive than they are here.

Some legal basis should be found to stop the Victory Mosque, including a recognition that freedom of religion does not include the freedom of certain religions to conspire against the republic and threaten violence on non-believers.  These are essential aspects of most variants of Islam contra the happy clappy Religion of Peace talk from Bush and Obama and other elites.  Longer term, however, we must recognize that the false “freedom” of open borders is hurting the actual freedoms and inherited way of life of ordinary Americans.

The Freedom to Preserve Our Way of Life

The existence of individually good and decent Muslim American does not change the fact that the au courant restraints on our freedoms that we now endure are a direct consequence of the recent introduction of Muslims into country made up largely of European Christians.  Ours is a country accustomed to an historical balance of liberty and order based, in part, on the loyalty and fellow feeling of the vast majority of Americans. We are now searched at airports, eavesdropped on by the FBI, forced to pay for long foreign wars, and reluctant to “offend the Prophet,” all in the name of the counterfeit “freedom” to have aliens from the Third World living alongside of us.

It does not offend freedom to keep foreigners out of our country, any more than it infringes on natural liberty if I have walls around my home to keep out strangers. Real lovers of liberty should see that our freedoms depend upon restricting immigration of cultural aliens, particularly Muslims. If not, we will have the human rights’ equivalent of Gresham’s Law: the false freedom of open borders will replace all of the actual, historical freedoms we’ve come to cherish such as free travel, physical safety, privacy, free speech, artistic freedom, nonviolence in politics, and the rule of law.

There is an essential relationship between liberty and community. A community with a sense of collective identity, mutual interest, and trust can afford a substantial realm of freedom within its confines. Enemies in the gates, however, generate a climate of uncertainty, insecurity, and, ultimately, the suffocation of liberty. This occurs as people rationally conclude that the government’s first duty to provide order is threatened by the combination of dangerous interlopers taking advantage of freedoms that evolved under more peaceful and trusting conditions for the benefit of more peaceful and trustworthy people.

Obama does not feel loyal to this traditional American community, which he regards as racist, overly exclusive, and mean-spirited.   In conflicts between that (mostly white and Christian) majority and minority interests, he routinely sides with the latter, even though this is politically costly.  For him, this reaction is a long-cultivated instinct, just as his defense of Professor Gates against an ordinary Cambridge cop was quite natural and authentic.  Obama can’t help himself in these cases.  He is from the multicultural branch of leftism and wants to “keep it real” and not “sell out.” At best he feels sorry for the primitive, prejudiced New Yorkers who dare, in a very nonviolent and American way, say that enough is enough. 

But I feel contempt for Obama in return. 

These New Yorkers are good people, relatives in many cases of our murdered countrymen, and their patriotism and pride of place are far more admirable and pro-social than any of the corrosive, Marxist, black power trash that Obama believes.  Is it any wonder that the President who went to a Church that cheered 9/11 as our just punishment–“chickens coming home to roost”–wants to bring the insult of this event to its apotheosis?

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In many countries worldwide over the last 200 years, people have bordered one another and dueled over disputed lands:  Bessarabia, Kosovo, Danzig, Alsasce Lorraine, Ossetia, Palestine, etc.  Often different names for places, different languages, and a question of cultural supremacy was the root of the conflict.  Spiritual–not material–questions of whose culture, religion, language, heroes, symbols, and people would be dominant were the main issues.

America and Mexico share the largest frontier of a First and Third World country on Earth.  Mexicans in Mexico (and now in American public schools) are taught how America dastardly stole the Southwest.  It is brushed over that Mexico lost a war, signed a treaty, and even sold additional lands to the US some decades later in the form of the Gadsen Purchase.  Nonetheless, for them this is an ancient land, their ancient soil, and they want it.  Quite a few of them live here now, and where they have coalesced in large numbers, they have little respect for American claims over the symbols, culture, and language of their new home.

Once upon a time, perhaps 30-50 years ago, the fewer Mexicans that lived here were more fully assimilated, particularly in smaller towns where they worked in agriculture. They were eager to fit it, not least because their differences were often a source of derision by natives. It was a painful process, but it yielded great dividends for everyone concerned. (Of course, there’s always been some tension, as in the infamous Zoot Suit Riots.)  It’s noteworthy in the video above that one of the young American-flag-wearing students was part Mexican, though he has chosen his American identity.  His type, once more common, is becoming the minority.  The very numerous Mexican-Americans are reinforced every year by huge numbers of native newcomers from Mexico, are cordoned off in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods, enjoy a parallel media and a compliant education system, and see nothing but declining pride and confidence by Americans, as exemplified by this school principal’s idea that it’s “disrespectful” to wear an American flag in America on Cinco de Mayo.

A little cultural pride by immigrants is to be expected, though it’s dangerous for it to be tolerated without parallel displays of loyalty.  But in this instance it’s more fraught with political and social meaning because there is, in effect, a colonization of the American southwest taken place, complete with linguistic, political, economic, and social ascendancy, complete disrespect for our laws and customs, and mass departure by native born Americans.  This is not about having a few margaritas at Chilis and seeing a native dance.  Most Americans enjoy such things.  It’s about whether native born Americans and our country’s sacred symbols will be complete displaced, as the Serbs have been displaced from Kosovo, the Germans from Alsasce Lorraine and Danzig, the Romanians from Bessarabia, and so many others have been pushed off their lands by a more confident, more numerous, and more organized group.   If there’s one thing a video like this should convey, more than anything else, it’s that diversity is anything but our strength when it involves the migration of large numbers of very different people that have no interest in assimilating into their new, chosen land.

There is already a Mexico, and it’s hardly a paradise.  If we don’t want to see the entire Southwest turn into Tampaulipas North, then we need to kick out the illegals and forcibly erase the cultural pride and expressions of those that choose to live here, just as they (and their taskmasters in the media and academia) are trying to erase ours.

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Almost every society has a ghetto of some sort: a typically urban area of high crime, high poverty, and alienation. In France, atypically, these areas obtain an official status. While all nations have poverty and crime, the expansion of these “no go” ghettos within Paris and other cities points to the rapid Arabization and Islamification of a nation that is losing its way–indeed, this in a nation whose gallantry once inspired all of Europe during the Crusades.

Rick Darby reports:

Bordeaux. Aix-en-Provence. Arles. Nice. Paris, City of Light and all that. How they capture the imagination. History, architecture, wonderful food and wine, civilization and its refinements.

Only, they and more than 700 other cities and towns in France include what are called Zones Urbaines Sensibles (ZUS). No, not “sensible urban areas.” Sensible translates more accurately as “sensitive.” That is, n0-go areas for police and non-North African, non-West African, or non-Muslim French people.

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I recently completed Diversity: Invention of a Concept, by Peter Wood. This is the first of several book reviews I’ll be writing of books generously sent to me by my readers.

Diversity has become one of the defining ideals of our age, surpassing in certain respects our earlier commitments to formal equality, liberty, the rule of law, and merit. The diversity concept, unlike more exotic ideas such as multiculturalism, is important because it has spread outside the academy into the world of business and politics. Every mainstream institution from Hollywood and the art world to the education establishment and business trumpets its commitment to diversity. Yet diversity has undergone little criticism. Unlike affirmative action, which was earlier justified as a form of reparations for white injustice to blacks, diversity is a “feel good” idea that purports to benefit everyone, even members of the majority. Minorities advantaged by affirmative action obviously benefit by receiving positions and admissions they would otherwise not receive. But privileged groups also benefit according to diversity’s partisans because they are now exposed beneficially to different perspectives, ideas, and cultures.

Earlier works such as Dinesh D’Souza’s End of Racism (1995) and Alan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind (1987) dealt with narrower issues: the continuing social problems facing black Americans and the decline of standards in the academy respectively. Both of these works were authored in an age when diversity was less accepted as an aspirational ideal than it is at present. Wood’s contribution is unique. . . .


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