School is about to start in Texas and all over the state children and teenagers are alternately awaiting and dreading the beginning of another 180-odd days of enlightenment that will be delivered by the finest teachers a sub-standard pay rate, a regressive labor union, and a back-end loaded retirement system can deliver (along with more than a few woefully underqualified football coaches who must darken a classroom doorway or two lest their irrelevance in the education process be noted). But this post is not about them.
Along with the life wisdom that will be dispensed this year will come an unhealthly dollop of multicultural spam thick and disgusting enough to stop an artery or a brain dead in its tracks. Western democracies, these fragile young minds will be told, are no better than any other form of society found on Earth, of which there are several that are – or were – just as laudable. In particular, no particular preference should be given to America and her traditional values of strict constructionism, Christianity, the Protestant work ethic, the rule of law, or even the English language itself. What is better, is relative to one’s perspective, after all. Or so they will hear.
Many parents and teachers regard multiculturalism as an indispensable educational supplement, a salutary influence that “enriches” the curriculum. But is it?
With the world’s continents bridged by the Internet and global commerce, multiculturalism claims to offer a real value: a cosmopolitan, rather than provincial, understanding of the world beyond the student’s immediate surroundings. But it is a peculiar kind of “broadening.” Multiculturalists would rather have students admire the primitive patterns of Navajo blankets, say, than learn why Islam’s medieval golden age of scientific progress was replaced by fervent piety and centuries of stagnation.
Leaf through a school textbook and you’ll find that there is a definite pattern behind multiculturalism’s reshaping of the curriculum.
What these textbooks reveal is a concerted effort to portray the most backward, impoverished and murderous cultures as advanced, prosperous and life-enhancing. Multiculturalism’s goal is not to teach about other cultures, but to promote–by means of distortions and half-truths–the notion that non-Western cultures are as good as, if not better than, Western culture. Far from “broadening” the curriculum, what multiculturalism seeks is to diminish the value of Western culture in the minds of students. But, given all the facts, the objective superiority of Western culture is apparent, so multiculturalists must artificially elevate other cultures and depreciate the West.
If students were to learn the truth of the hardscrabble life of primitive farming in, say, India, they would recognize that subsistence living is far inferior to life on any mechanized farm in Kansas, which demands so little manpower, yet yields so much. An informed, rational student would not swallow the “politically correct” conclusions he is fed by multiculturalism. If he were given the actual facts, he could recognize that where men are politically free, as in the West, they can prosper economically; that science and technology are superior to superstition; that man’s life is far longer, happier and safer in the West today than in any other culture in history.
It is a gross misconception to view multiculturalism as an effort to enrich education. By reshaping the curriculum, the purveyors of “diversity” in the classroom calculatedly seek to prevent students from grasping the objective value to human life of Western culture–a culture whose magnificent achievements have brought man from mud huts to moon landings.
Indeed. In America multiculturalism is arguably less malignant than in Europe. Yet on both continents it is still a corrosive, self-defeating mental balm intended to ease the minds of sensitive souls who feel the pain of other people’s injustices so intensely that they would destroy their own society rather than accept the guilt of having made a judgment against their way of life.
In my opinion a discussion of multiculturalism is most relevant in the context of Islam, its rejuvenated war against the west, and the reasons why Muslims are actively seeking to destroy the world’s democracies.
The Islamist goal is to destroy the virus of freedom and modernity before it infects the Islamic world, and to replace it with Islam. That is the core of the profound threat it poses to the west, a threat mounted through the pincer movement of both terrorism and cultural takeover.
But many in the west do deny it. They ignore the clear evidence of the goal of Islamising the west. They choose to believe instead that the reason for Islamist terror lies in the wrongs the west has done to the Islamic world —Iraq or Palestine, discrimination or Islamophobia. Indeed, even to speak in this way is to invite the deadly label of Islamophobia — a term invented to shut down legitimate and vital debate about Islamism. Far from defending core liberal values that are thus singled out for destruction, such people thus side with or appease those who attack them. So Europe — bastion of free speech — attacked those newspapers which published and re-published the Mohammed cartoons. And liberals committed to human rights march on the streets of London, behind banners saying Free Iraq and Free Palestine, shoulder to shoulder with Islamists who believe in death to gays.
Why is a liberal society so reluctant to defend its own most cherished values of freedom and tolerance?
My answer, which I believe to be the fundamentally correct one, is that people in the west have lost the ability to make independent judgments about what is right and wrong. In one respect, the cause of this is obvious: objective standards have been replaced by rules of tolerance. Everything is acceptable under the new way of thinking, even the path toward appeasing a terrible, ruthless enemy.
This is true. But the truth is, as always, more complex than that. The one exception I take to Journo’s article is this sentence: “Many parents and teachers regard multiculturalism as an indispensable educational supplement”.
In reality, many, many more parents and teachers understand that multiculturalism is a waste of educational resources at best and a divisive element that is undermining western society at the worst. But they do not act on their knowledge. Why? Because they are held in check by the power structure that, in significant ways, has already been corrupted.
It is difficult or impossible for an individual to act against the forces of multiculturalism because its proponents have one very effective weapon – that of victimhood, alleged or otherwise – and are not overly discriminating in its use. To oppose them is to be a woman-hater, a gay-basher, a racist, or a Christian fundamentalist wacko. Political correctness demands obedience.
Melanie Phillips again:
Many people think multiculturalism just means showing respect and tolerance to other cultures and faiths. If that were so, it should be unarguable. We should all support respect and tolerance. But that’s not what multiculturalism is at all. It holds that all minority values must have equal status to those of the majority. Any attempt to uphold majority values over minorities is a form of prejudice. That turns minorities into a cultural battering ram to destroy the very idea of being a majority culture at all.
Multiculturalism has produced furthermore two particularly lethal effects. First, it has left all immigrants abandoned, and none more lethally so than young Muslims. For if there is no longer an overarching culture, there is nothing into which minorities can integrate. Many young Muslims in Britain, stranded between the backward Asian village culture of their parents and the drug, alcohol and sex-saturated decadence that passes for western civilisation, are filled with disgust and self-disgust. They are then given, in our multicultural schools and wider culture, absolutely nothing to educate them about or fill them with respect and affection for the western society of which they are citizens.
Melanie wrote this months before the Brits in their wisdom decided that Winston Churchill wasn’t relevant to children’s history lessons any longer. Not relevant? Sorry, but there wouldn’t be a United Kingdom if not for Churchill. The courage he exhibited in the face of the Nazi attacks is needed in Europe now just as much as it was during WW II. Sadly, it is sorely lacking there as the Brits, while standing more or less with America abroad, consistently appease Muslims at home in the U.K and are losing their national identity as a result. Winston Churchill once noted, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping that it will eat him last.” Yet this is exactly what his country is doing in its domestic policy. Small wonder he had to be excised from history.
Easy for a damn Yankee to say, isn’t it? After all, America’s Muslim population isn’t as virulent as that of Europe. That brings me to my most important point, the question of where it will stop.
It will stop, this business of allowing Muslim viewpoints to disproportionally impact western civilization from within. It is only a question of when that happens. Will Americans, the British, et al, decide act on their own initiative and say, “No more Muslim foot baths will be paid for with tax dollars when Christian organizations are banned from campus” or “We’ll run cartoons of Mohammed the Mad Bomber whether you like it or not”? Or will they wait until the war against the west is utterly undeniable, like the Allies watching Poland burn?
At the risk of plagiarizing Ms. Phillips, here’s one more quote that says it all:
Liberals also think they are superior in intelligence to everyone else. So they don’t understand that the Islamists are actually playing them for suckers, exploiting the intrinsic weakness of a liberal society they correctly assess as decadent: no longer prepared to fight for its values because it no longer even knows what they are.
What we are living through in the west is nothing short of a repudiation of the Enlightenment, a repudiation of reason; and its substitution by irrationality, obscurantism, bigotry and clerical totalitarianism — all facilitated by our so-called ‘liberal’ society, and all in the name of ‘human rights’. Western liberalism now embraces its Islamist mortal enemies and attacks its American and Israeli allies in the fight to defend civilisation.
We are giving the Islamists the message that we are theirs for the taking. This is how liberalism may disappear up its own backside.
In short, we must stand up for what we know to be right and demand that our public institutions do the same.
Cross-posted at The Van Der Galiën Gazette.