Multiculturalism is dead?

Here’s where this stems from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12371994

British Prime Minister David Cameron recently gave a speech in Munich that said ‘state multicultural has failed’ and shockingly enough, I kind of agreed with him.

People should not get the wrong idea about this. There is a historical tendency for Conservative leaders (British especially) to say racist or exclusionary ideas, but this is not one of those times.  While I think that saying multiculturalism has failed outright is a bit extreme, (and that using that comment to talk about terrorism is even crazier) the crux of his argument is true.

We aren’t being tolerant if we allow people who are closed minded in their own culture, with values that are in fact archaic. If western nations allow individuals from other countries to be disrespectful of women, alternate sexualities, and other cultures, just based on their culture, then we as a nation are not being tolerant, we are being blind.

It makes no sense for us to accept other people if they will not act like decent human beings.

This applies to Canada as well. I think his speech is critical to Canada considering how proud we are of our multicultural tendencies.

No one believes that we should stop diversity or begin a renewal of assimilation. I like to consider myself a Canadian, and I think I know enough about Canada’s history to understand that assimilation is a crazy idea that never works without terrible repercussions – Like the complete loss of culture and language. Canada, and most of the Western world, needs diversity as a reminder that the West isn’t always right. In fact we’re often wrong. Still, there is a difference between instilling Western culture and instilling Western values.  Canadians can teach people to be tolerant and open minded without teaching them to be white.

Now, criticisms. The obvious one first, we’re racist too, no denying that. My parents are Brazilian and Iranian and somehow they both think Jews want to control the world. Personally, I’m a bit homophobic. I’ve gotten better about it, but I still get uncomfortable when I see two guys teasing each other on the bus. At least I understand that I don’t really have a rational reason to feel that.

More important than political correctness, implementation of this sort of thing is a nightmare. It’s great to say we want to teach toleration without affecting culture, however, you have to be able to do it without building resentment in the people you’re trying to teach and we also have to be able to set an example. (Crazy idea right? Being decent people before preaching.) There’s also a matter of how…do we ask immigrants to enroll in a free couple week course? Do all immigrants take it? Do we just prosecute individuals as often as it comes to the court’s attention?

It’s also very easy to take advantage of this kind of belief. It becomes an ‘excellent’ reason to then be racist against foreigners because they’re supposedly backwards or intolerant of others. (Though on the bright side I’ve always wanted to be so hypocritical that logic incarnate comes round to slap me).

Honestly, Cameron is a little crazy if he thinks multiculturalism is a cause of terrorism. If terrorists (we seriously need a better word for this, it’s becoming comical) want to hide in your country, they’re not going to take the effort to adapt to a new environment. They’d probably be rather sneaky and seclude themselves as much as possible. If you’re getting home grown terrorists, it means your education system is doing something wrong.

God that was my longest rant in a while. Yeah, I have no real conclusion to this. If anyone wants to talk to me about it/call me a crazy lunatic, I’ll probably have something to say? So, comment?

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Posted on February 5, 2011, in Daily Life. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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