What is Multiculturalism and Has it Failed?

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Okay, so here I go again. Rant Time at Fuzzy Central. We all know that we can’t pray in schools, that we can’t say the Pledge of Allegiance with “under God” in it, that we can’ t display the nativity at Christmas in public schools (or the menorah, for that matter), and we all know what I think about that. Or if we don’t all know, let me just tell you, I think it’s ridiculous that we have to change our way of life here in the States to coddle a few radical atheists, the NAACP, and the ACLU, among others, who seek to wipe any evidence of God from public life. But wait a minute, it’s not GOD, it’s just the Judeo-Christian God. It turns out that a public school in California sponsors Muslim prayer during school hours, and that the University of Michigan is installing foot baths to accommodate Muslim students.

First of all, let me say that I am not attacking Islam in this post; I would be just as inflamed if they were allowing pagan worship time and building alters to Gaia (and not because I have anything against paganism, in fact, I feel drawn to many elements of some earth-based religions). I would be just as inflamed if they were setting aside time for people to worship . . . oh, I don’t know, shoes. My point here is that right after our (meaning Christian) rights are stomped on and dragged through courts (and we all remember the fun atheists who wanted the crosses removed from a National War Memorial and grand folks at Sea-tac who took down the Christmas trees rather than display a menorah), we allow these religious rites to be practiced. In public schools (the University of Michigan is a state school, and though they aren’t using tax money to install the foot baths, they are using tuition money; can you imagine the scandal and outrage if a state university wanted to use tuition money to pay for communion wafers and wine?). Christian clubs have been banned from some schools, but this school in Carver, CA is stopping everything to accommodate prayer in the middle of the day? Remember the big to do about having a “moment of silence” in schools to replace the pledge, the horror that the atheists proclaimed at the thought that kids might be silently praying to their own God?

Gaaah!! I’m so angry about this, about the unfairness, the inequity of it. Where’s the NAACP now? Where’s the ACLU? Who knows? Totally silent, but you can bet your bottom dollar that if that or any school held a Christian or Jewish prayer for its Christian or Jewish students that we’d hear them squawking into next week. Next month. And rightly so. If you want to erase all evidence of our culture, our religious beliefs, well, that seems to be A-OK. But to merely replace them with something else . . . well, that’s unconscionable.

And I’m still fuming at my first little snippet of some horror show called Christopher Hitchins. On Hannity’s America , he was saying that he wants his book (God is Not Great) to organize people to change the way that religion is taught in schools, the way that things are done in Iraq, American, and some other unspecified places . . . um, excuse me, but how is his imposition of his Unbelief any different or less malicious and offensive than the imposition of someone else���s belief? He still wants to dictate what is said or not in schools, he just wants it to be what he believes rather than what is currently taught or done. Bizarre. And he seemed totally unconscious of any hypocrisy in his annoyingly pedantic, self-righteous, holier than thou attitude. Bizarre squared.

I can���t stand people like him, people who claim that something is wrong with something, only to replace it with their own version of the exact same thing. Don���t teach creationism, you must teach evolution instead. Don���t believe in God, believe in the absence of God. Don���t teach safe sex through condom use, teach abstinence. Sorry, but that���s nothing but taking one imposed belief and replacing it with another; the way we used to cope with these things was in court or in the voting booths. Now, though, some random Brit turned American thinks he should dictate what we do in our classrooms in California and around the world (according to his own self-inflated statements).

And we let him because otherwise we���re not being politically correct, we���re not accepting his alternate belief system. But it���s not “alternate,” it���s no more ���alternate��� than anything bin Laden is saying: it���s my way or the highway, stop all that misguided God nonsense. And stop it right now. Well, you may find it misguided, Mr. Hitchins, but I don���t. I won���t force you to believe in or worship God; in fact, I think that we need to teach both creation and evolution, safe sex and abstinence . . . I���ve got this crazy notion that if you give people all sorts of information, they can then make their own choices, formulate and follow their own beliefs. And maybe just maybe, with exposure to other ideas and philosophies, they won’t try to ram their own down the throats of others. Obviously, though, I���m totally na��ve because such people don���t wish to allow that, they want it all closed off, shut down as fanciful and irrational (apparently Mr. Hitchins’ pet word for belief in God or any creator) and whatever else . . . how, please, is
that any different than shutting down atheism for any reason whatever?

Now people
are talking about separation of church and state. Well, sure they are, that’s how we got our Christian God zapped out of public consciousness, but I’m not even sure it’s an issue of church and state. This is just one more piece of evidence, to my mind, that multiculturalism is a failed experiment. To be truly multicultural, all belief systems and cultural backgrounds and heritages must be honored and respected. Not replace one set with another, not squash the previously dominant ideology and hold up a different one in its stead, even several different ones. As long as one is being downtrodden, the experiment fails. How can we all live in harmony when someone, somewhere is not going to have their “rights” and belief system recognized? How do we establish peace and human compassion when only one culture’s needs are being met or when even one culture’s are not? Everyone is wrangling for top spot, that’s not multiculturalism, that’s business–and history–as usual.

Multiculturalism is great for anyone who is nonwhite and nonChristian and non-affluent. For everyone else, it’s just an excuse to silence one group, to subvert one people in the name of “equality.” How is that equal? How is that MULTIcultural? I can’t say “Merry Christmas,” but I can be told to “praise Allah” or that my religious beliefs make me uneducated (well, no one can say that one, actually, so how about ignorant, backward . . . oh, let’s just put it out there, I’m stupid and naive for believing in God, right?). Is there anything more wrong than taking away someone’s freedom of religion? Isn’t the whole point of “multiculturalism” to be inclusive? Or is that for everyone except white, western Christians?

__________________________________________________________

About the pic, I googled “multiculturalism,” and had a bit of a hard time finding a depiction that included a white person/character; as is, I settled for one that had a white female, hey, we’re downtrodden, too, right?

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23 thoughts on “What is Multiculturalism and Has it Failed?

  1. I am clapping and yelling you go Fuzzy! I could not agree more and feel if this trend continues we are in a world of trouble. This is why I have started taking my son to church. We are so quick to accept other religions, languages and so on. We have forgotton our own religion, language and rights. We need to start fighting for the our rights. We need to give everyone a choice and the education to make a good choice. :0). we can not make someone choose god. But we should give them the chance to understand and know the religion.

  2. They should have a 5 minute prayer or for some duration and have halls set up for religion or religions, so they can go pray before they go to classes. I don’t know why it is hard to do that. When I went to a Private School, we had such things, it worked well. But when I went to government school there was no prayers at all. That is why there are too many schools catered to religions, which will polarize America even more with too many divisions.

  3. You go girl! That is a true WTF! I agree with all you wrote. And, I agree with Chris V’s comment. This will create even more of a desire for religious schools. And, because the children attending those schools will not be exposed to other belief systems, more separatism and polarization.

    I agree with Bert too. We’ve all remained silent a little too long. And, it extends to more areas than just religion.

    Great post! Hugs!

  4. I think some have forgotten one of the reasons this country was founded . . religious freedom! Looks like our fore fathers would roll over in their patriotic graves at the mess that has been created here =)

  5. Gah, it’s exactly the same over here in the UK. I was amazed, frankly, to discover that Alex’s school still sing actual hymns with “God” in the lyrics. Nobody complains, the Muslim parents don’t mind in the slightest…it’s my honest belief that half the time our leaders are giving in to what they THINK is what the country wants, never mind going out there and actually asking people. No, we must tread on eggshells against the members of other religions, mustn’t offend them by having (zomg!) Christmas or something. Point of fact, must Muslims and in fact, members of any religion I know, get involved in some way at Christmas. Because they think it’s fun, and because it’s a part of our culture, never mind religion.
    Meh I’m rambling. But great blog, Fuzzy. Once again!

    BTW, I got Alex a t-shirt today that says “My way or the highway”. Heh 😛

  6. i cant seem to get through a comment here without going off on a huge, ranty tirade. suffice it to say, our government, be it republican or democrat; federal, state, or local, does not want us to think for ourselves about any issue. that is why there is such division in our society and this phony push for “multi-culturalism” which isn’t really multi, if you see what i mean. if we actually were allowed to think for ourselves and come to our own conclusions, a whole hell of a lot of politicians, lobbiests and business leaders would not have any influence. and i will end my comments there before i start calling for a revolution. 🙂

  7. Multiculturalism… hummm interesting work really…. what does it really mean? and is it really possible (as you so apty put above). Surely to be ‘multicultural’.. you need to create devices that ensure all cultures are able to exist/work/learn together … but is that not an oxymoron? I’m proud of my culture and my heritiage… i love to share it with others… and I love aspects of other peoples cultures…. but I’m not happy about the way UK cultures get compromised because another ‘cultures’ has different values and needs… In time perhaps think we will all somehow become ‘uni-cultural’.. a ‘one culture’ fits all… and wouldn’t that be sad… for all cultures…!!!

  8. Bert, I totally agree, we need to stop being cowed by everyone, including ourselves, I mean we feel like we’re being “mean” or “biased” when we stand up for our own culture, and what is that? No other group feels that way or thinks that way. Unless someone’s a white supremecist, there is nothing wrong with standing up for our own culture, beliefs, and you’re right, language.

    Chris, I completely agree with you in that if this trend continues, more religious schools will begin, and then everyone will be cut off from everyone else. But what to do about it? We’re a mixed society of atheists, Christians, Hindis, Jews, Muslims . . . how do we allow everyone freedom. And everyone should mean everyone, too, not just anyone but Christians. You have to wonder where the polarization is coming from? Is it coming FROM America or TO America?

    Exactly right, LO, and what can we do about it? Things aren’t looking good. And thanks for the compliment. Yay!

    So true, Laurie, so true! 😀

    Tally, I think that’s a great point because you do have to wonder where all this comes from. Like yours, my experience has been that everyone is pretty accepting of others in terms of race and religion. So where does all this come from? The radical groups and their leaders? ARE the squeaky wheels getting the grease? I can’t imagine it’s just the politicians, as many of them (over here, anyway) have everything to lose by catering to all these groups at the loss of their own. Yay! Alex’s new shirt. 😀 And thanks so much for the kind words about the post. Makes me smile. 😀

    Kerry, you’re so right that government doesn’t want us thinking for ourselves, but as I was just saying to Tally, it makes no sense that our largely white, male, upper class government officials are happy to wipe out their own culture. Someone doesn’t want us thinking, though, and maybe it’s about power and not about multiculturalism (whatever that is). Hmmmm. Yay, food for thought. Oh, and please do feel free to rant away; I sure did!! 😀

    Okay, Treesparrow, that uniculture you describe, the one size fits all, with everyone’s watered down . . . that just gives me the heebie jeebies. And it makes me sad. But it does seem likely. All too likely, really, doesn’t it?

    Allowing prayers in schools IS good, Azad, but it is bad if only one religious group gets to pray in school. Don’t you think? I mean what if only Christians were allowed to pray in schools and no one else? And that is my problem here, that only one group is allowed. I think that part is wrong.

  9. I don’t know if multiculturalism has failed or if we are just experiencing growing pains.
    I do consider myself to be liberal, however, I believe that tolerance has gotten us into more trouble than not. We have created this mess by insisting on human rights and equality. We have created a “me” society where people insist on putting themselves first instead of 1. Jesus 2. Others 3. Youself which the Bible teaches.
    As a Christian, it scares me because it looks to me like Satan has been doing a great job in bringing down our Christian culture. He is so crafty and sly and makes everything look good at first until things are out of control and there appears to be no turning back. I do believe in the power of prayer and believe that God can turn anything around. However, Christianity has lost its cool. . .especially in the corporate church with good reason. When people in high places use it for their personal agenda, it doesn’t make it look good to be a Christian.
    I DO believe in equality and try not to push my beliefs on others but am not afraid to take a stand. But what is so equal about giving up our rights and being expected to tolerate other’s? For example (only): why can the black race hold its own music award show, beauty pageant etc. Can you imagine the backlash if there was an all white music awards or Miss white USA?
    I don’t know the answers to our problems except to hold on to what we believe and not be afraid to speak out.
    Good for you for taking your stand and posting this blog.

  10. Multiculturalism…..has it failed? Well, no it hasn’t because it never existed in any truly meaningful way. It is a theory, an ideal to aspire to. But we have come nowhere near to achieving it, and on the evidence of what you have written, are as far from it as we always were. I love the idea of multiculturalism. All cultures have many wonderful things to share with others, and in a balanced tolerant society, it would be wonderful. But when has there EVER been a balanced tolerant society? I can’t think of a time.
    I’ve no idea (I am writing this immediately after reading your blog without research) what ACLU or NAACP are, but from the gist of your argument I can guess. So what are we looking at here? Seems to me atheistic radical fundamentalism. Not surprising it exists, in a world where religious fundalmentalism is rife, it’s a foregone conclusion. That said, I am in NO WAY condoning their actions. I am an atheist. I do not believe in a god or a creator. However, I am moderate in my belief (take note that I call it a belief, this is important). I find the actions of radical atheists in demanding the removal of crosses from a place of remembrance as offensive as you do. We moderate atheists would always support your view that everyone is entitled to follow their own beliefs, free from persecution or marginalisation. This is something I have always advocated. Just because I don’t believe in god doesn’t mean I want you to stop believing. However, I have to also stand in defense of atheism as a formal belief-system. In most Western countries, there is, under law, a protection of an individual’s right to follow their religious beliefs. And yet in many of the same countries, there is NO recourse in law for the atheist because atheism is not recognised as a belief-system, rather as a lack of belief in one of the major religions. It is also taught by many of the major religions that the ‘unbeliever’ ie the atheist, is the cause of most of mankinds problems. Sorry, but with that kind of thing being aimed at us, is there any wonder fundamentalism finds root? If I had children of my own, I would expect the school I send them to, to give me an assurance that a religious point of view will not be forced on them (individually). However, that doesn’t mean I would expect the whole school to suddenly stop teaching the principal religion of the country. Moderation and balance are what is needed, but I really struggle to see how we will ever achieve it with foaming-at-the-mouth fundamentalists of both sides baying for the removal of the rights of the other. Because it’s us poor saps caught in-between them who really lose out.

  11. Great post…and I can see by the comments everyone is quite passionate about it. I think its a shame that we preach multiculturalism as a nation but always think our own personal religion should be in the forefront. We should teach all the different cultures and religious philosophies and let an educated public decide for themselves. Isn’t that what freedom and equality are all about? When we as a people stop trying to force our beliefs and ideals down others throats, the world will be a better place. each to their own but if you can’t say Merry Christmas…..then no Muslim footbath either….fair is fair!

  12. Hmmmmmmmmmm a new pair of Doc Martins for fuzzy lol

    Only kidding, you can borrow mine, it really pi$$es me off when the Bolitically Correct, no there is no typo, (its a combinational word meaning Bollox and Politics,) get on their soap boxes and tell us that we have to stop everything that our countries were built on to allow for others to take over.

    At least when we did it in the middle ages, we called it “the crusades” and we gave them a fair chance of defending themselves in a straight out fight!!

    So, to give you an idea of how much I think they’ll try to change the good ol’ United States of Britain, here’s my new Multi-national Anthem.

    Multi denominational deity save our gracious leader,
    Long live our noble leader,
    Multi denominational deity save our leader.

    Send them slightly better off than the others,
    happy and glorious,
    Long to reign over us as long as we see fit to have a non multi cultured leader as the head demographic for our new found lands,
    Multi denominational deity save our leader.

    If you know the UK anthem’s words, trust me that will make sense!

    NOSE BLEED TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. I love your comments, Nancy and second them. You are so right about the Miss White USA or White Music Awards, etc. Just couldn’t happen, and maybe it shouldn’t, but by the same token, nor should “Black” awards, etc. Silly. Divisive. And just plain wrong. Thanks for your support, too! Yay!! 😀

    Wow, Mitch, that’s just a great comment, too! I am so with you on it be the radicals who are doing all this, causing all this roiling resentment, etc. It’ll all blow one of these days, I’m sure, people are getting sick of the double and triple standards, I feel. Well, I’m getting sick of it, and it sounds like you are, as well. And others here. As far as the laws protecting atheists’ beliefs, well, that’s part of my issue, I’m afraid, because a lot of the noise comes from them (the crosses being removed from war memorials, for example), they claim their right as the separation of church and state and their freedom of religion. Whatever. Pisses me off. And you, too, I’m glad to hear. No one forces anyone to worship anything here, but to say that one group can’t pray or have Christmas decorations because some atheist or Jew or Muslim or whatever might drive by and be offended is just insanity. Wth? I’m not offended by a Star of David, and I wouldn’t be offended by an atheist symbol (though I guess that’d be strange. Hmmmm . . . wonder what it might be? Maybe you should invent one!).

    Rivergirl, I definitely see what you are saying, but I really believe that most Christians accept that there are other religions out there and that our society is such that we need to “allow” them to practice as they see fit. The problem doesn’t seem to be us, it’s that we can’t while everyone else can. Our rights are being stamped out, while everyone else’s are held up as “multicultural.” It’s ridiculous and anger making. I don’t see how a nativity display is forcing anything on anyone. Anymore than a menorah is going to make me Jewish or make me want to renounce Christ as my Savior. Gaaah, it’s a mess! 😀

    LOL, Monty, I am so with you on that one!! And see? Just when you thought you were safe from an aneurism on my page . . . hehe. 😀

    Right you are, Azad! Yay!

  14. Perhaps it would be most fair to have no education at all. Our society can become more dunb, dumber and dumbest. It would be better if we just went back to survival of the fittest. Might makes right. Then those types of people that created America the first time will create it again. Then let the rest of the world squander in ignorance. It’s so very frustrating!

  15. Hei Fuzz.

    No matter how much ‘grand talk’ there is about the multi-thingie,
    in every place there are always the most dominant cultures oppressing the lesser ones;
    sometimes harshly, other times less so as they are the top-dog, they want to and insist of keeping their leading role in the society in question.

    Good entry. HUGZ from Rii xx HAVE A GRAND WEEKEND.

  16. Thanks, Heyman!! Always good to see you here!

    And I so agree, Rii, there really will always be a dominant culture in every society; it does seem to be a part of human nature, doesn’t it? And yay! thanks for the kind compliment. Huggs

  17. Oh Fuzzy, you already know how I feel about this!
    If there really is a “Hell”, Satan is sitting on his throne and laughing and smiling happily at what fools are running this world we live in!
    Is it any wonder that people feel more and more hopelss these days and that there is so much depression in this world? When Christian people are not given their HUMAN RIGHT to believe, to have faith, to pray.
    I want to scream it from the roof tops… GOD IS GOOD, WAKE UP AND MAKE A STAND! If we fought as hard for our rights as other minority groups, we might just get somewhere, but since most Christians will sit back and accept what they are told to do, we get nowhere!
    All this being politically correct is a bunch of bullshit!

    I could not have even come close to such an awesome rant as this one!
    You are so right on all counts.

    Merry Christmas Fuzzy, May GOD Bless you and be with you always!

  18. Fuzzy, you are so right, but it takes a Fuzzy to say it. I get very depressed about what’s happening here. All these changes (and today I read in the newspaper that they are demanding the rewriting or banning of a range of books because they have golliwogs or black characters in them)are aimed at appeasing someone, but I am not really sure who. WE are (still I think) a predominantly Christian country. What’s wrong with having Christian symbols around in it? Whay should we take them away when we have non-Christian immigrants or atheist journalists around? And I wholeheartedly agreee, why should one man’s strange views be imposed on us rather than the ‘strange’ views of rather larger numbers of people? I listened to a debate on the radio the other morning between Christopher and his brother Peter, who didn’t agree with his brother’s book; I lost patience with the pair of them. When I was at school, we had a morning service; anyone who felt uncomfortable with that was permitted to go somewhere else and pray to their God. Atheists were asked to stay and listen, in case they found something to believe in presumably, but also because our God doesn’t distinguish between believers and unbelievers when it comes to saving souls. This seems to me a suitable solution to not imposing our religion on those who come to live here or who lose their belief. Actually, I felt much the same about the imposition of ‘multiculturalism’; why can’t we all just get on with our lives instead of having someone, Hitchens or Government or some foreign religious leader, telling us what to do. It’s amazing how people get on and live their lives together when they’re left to their own devices. They even marry each other sometimes, or would do if some foreign religion-following relative or foreign religious leader didn’t object.

  19. And I smiled when I read your thought of worshipping shoes. Wasn’t it strange how, even when you were being angry and exciting, the first word that came into your head was ‘shoes’. Anyway, I have often wondered (so perhaps I’m even strager) how it would be if I demanded preferential treatment – in a job application for example, because, although not gay, I do have this thing about shoes. I sleep with them and have a long-lasting relationship with them and am thinking of adopting a pair of bootees. But I never got round to testing the extent of my rights in this way. Meanwhile I’m able-bodied, straight, male and have no change in my ethnic origins until you get back to about the 15th century; you try and get a job with those credentials. Maybe I should pretend to be an atheist?

  20. LOL, Maggie, you are too funny and good. And yes, may GOD bless you and keep you well, too!! 😀 I don’t know if it’s a great rant, but boy did I need it! I’m just so simmering about the whole politically correct moral authority who’ve deemed everyone except certain white Christians as worthy of notice and of a place in society at large; we’re being shuffled off into a corner, and we’re just sitting there smiling about it, implicitly accepting that we’ve had our day in the sun, and it’s past. Grrrr. Big huggs and welcome backs to you, my friend!!

    Hey Neil and thanks for the wonderful comments! It’s a real shame, all of it. And of course the only ones speaking out against the imposition of multiculturalism as it’s being carried out today in the States are the far right people to whom no one listens, anyway, because they are about a breath from being card carrying, sheet wearing, cross burning white supremecists. Sigh. You don’t have to despise and diminish your own culture and religion to make room for others, yet that’s what we do, what we allow to be done by our silence. We condone it, and that’s perhaps a worse sin. Well, for those who believe in sin. And LOL at your second comment! I’ve got a colleague who is part Portuguese (alas not Brazilian, or that would have been an auto-“in”), and who spent a couple hours online trying to work out how she could work that into an “angle” when she was applying for post doctoral fellowships, etc. Crazy sounding? Maybe. Reality? Definitely. It’s a crazy world we have now, and you’re right, the least you could do is be gay. Or an atheist, for God’s sake! hehe

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