Multiculturalism is the cultural diversity of communities within a given society and the policies that promote this diversity.
As a descriptive term, multiculturalism is the simple fact of cultural diversity and the demographic make-up of a specific place, sometimes at the organizational level, e.g., schools, churches, businesses, neighborhoods, cities, or nations.
As a prescriptive term, multiculturalism promotes ideologies and policies that foster this diversity or its institutionalization.
In this sense, multiculturalism is a society “at ease” with the rich tapestry of human life and the desire amongst people to express their own identity in the manner they see fit.
All of which I completely agree with until it comes to cultures and ideologies that clash with irreconcilable differences.
In America and around the world, “irreconcilable differences” have long been an (acceptable solution) to dissolve, and/or, terminate a relationship between two people, i.e., a marriage.
When two people in America can’t resolve their differences, our laws provides for a permanent separation, i.e., a divorce.
Accordingly it puzzles me why (for the sake of tranquility), and the good of all concerned, why is there (not) a provision in our Constitution for America to separate, and/or, “divorce” itself from a culture and ideology that is totally adverse to the culture and ideas of America?
In 2011, after decades of multiculturalism in the Netherlands, the Dutch government (in its wisdom) has finally concluded that Christians and Muslims simply cannot live together and practice their ideology and faith without clashing.
God did not create everyone alike for a reason, he made us in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colors and gave us “free will” to journey and follow an individual path.
In Wikipedia’s description of multiculturalism they make a point of identifying cultures and ideals that are (at ease) with each other, not in conflict.
Multicultural ideologies or policies vary widely, ranging from the advocacy of equal respect to the various cultures in a society, to a policy of promoting the maintenance of cultural diversity, to policies in which people of various ethnic and religious groups are addressed by the authorities as defined by the group they belong to.
America, since its inception has stood tall and proud of its acceptance of everyone on an equal plane. Our founding fathers understood diversity and tolerance, however as it is (my considered opinion) that diversity should have no yoke, it is also (my held opinion) that tolerance can be stretched beyond its breaking point.
Two main different and seemingly inconsistent strategies have developed through different government policies and strategies.
As an individual that has predominantly guided his life via his God-given “common sense,” I have so far in my journey of 72 years “avoided” picking up a rattlesnake.
I have enjoyed friendships with individuals of pretty much every tone and hue on the color wheel as well as individuals of many ethnicities and faiths.
One of my best friends, Ed, of Mexican descent, born in Van Nuys, California is my (personal) best example of (cohesion) and loyalty between one Homo sapien and another.
According to Webster:“co·he·sion,” n. (in context) The act, process, or condition of cohering: exhibited strong cohesion in the family unit.
Ed is like a brother to me, not because we served in Vietnam together, but rather because when we returned home from Vietnam, Ed to Massachusetts and I to California.
Ed spent 20 years searching for me, until one evening four years ago my phone rang just passed 7:30 mountain/central time and an inquiring voice expounded; “Is this the “Chuck” that served in Company A, (bla-bla-bla), in 1965?
Only family does that.
Question: for all those of you who might be wondering why I didn’t spend 20 years looking for Ed?
Simple, Ed is a better man and a better brother than I am.
The first focuses on interaction and communication between different cultures.
Returning to reference my friend/brother Ed, Ed and I both believe in God, he and his way and me in mine.
Ed and I are different, we’re from different backgrounds and different ethnicities, albeit our relationship is not hindered by the fact that he turns a deeper hue of Brown in the sun, while I burn to a brilliant lobster red. (No Bullsh*t).
These days when Ed and I talk on the phone, we discuss whether or not the weather rock in our yards are wet, dry or white, as we both live at a latitude that provide all of nature’s seasons, albeit the turning of the leaves in Spearfish Canyon are indeed a beautiful site, our fall doesn’t hold a candle to New Hampshire’s. (But then, mom always liked Ed best). 🙂
Interactions of cultures provide opportunities for the cultural differences to communicate and interact to create a friendly environment, and/or, multiculturalism.
However, in adherence with common sense, (in my opinion), when you have two cultures so far apart in ideology and faith that neither can accept the other without forsaking their own, it’s far better to live apart than to “endeavor” to live together.
As oil and water “don’t mix” and “won’t mix,” except under (extreme pressure), neither will Christians and Muslims ever come to peacefully coexist.
It is absolutely not within the nature of these differing faiths and cultures to combine, anymore than it is in the nature of a butterfly…
..to reside with a mantis.
Cultural isolation can protect the sovereignty, independence and uniqueness of a culture or a nation and still contribute to global cultural diversity.
A common aspect of many policies following the second approach is that they avoid presenting any specific ethnic, religious, or cultural community values as central.
Multiculturalism is often contrasted with the concepts of assimilationism and has been described as a “salad bowl” or “cultural mosaic” rather than a “melting pot”. (Source, Wikipedia and the Gatestone Institute.org).
In conclusion, and/or my two cents…
Where ideology and faith have common ground I am 100% in favor of America’s policy of sharing our good fortune. Albeit with that said, America’s good fortune was not had by kicking over a rock, America’s good fortune has been a long hard fought battle over more than three millennium.
America didn’t just happen, it was built by men and women seeking freedom from adversity, tyranny and greed, one rifle ball at a time, sacrificing life and limb to extricate themselves from under the boots of the (elitists) and the money lenders, and here we are again…
According to Webster:“e·lit“ist,” (in context) n. The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority.
Truth forges understanding, I’ll be back tomorrow