“The Office for Diversity Education is committed to building and maintaining a more inclusive and welcoming environment for EVERYONE on the Newberry College Campus. Through educational initiatives and action, the Institution will focus on implementing and supporting the college’s commitment to promote personal and social acceptance, development, awareness and understanding of diversity, multiculturalism, and social equity.”
However, do multiculturalists really strive to be inclusive of “EVERYONE”?
In any society, there are those which desire more change, and those which desire more stability. It can be argued that a healthy society honors both change and stability. And where is the honoring of the value of stability amongst today’s leftists?
I appreciate the value in honoring diverse cultures. However, some cultures mostly want to be left alone. For example, in Japan, people seem to like their Japanese culture and want to keep it Japanese. They sometimes welcome new ideas, and they adapt these new ideas to themselves. Immigration is not very popular there, at least not massive immigration. Japanese culture is one of the cultures that we celebrate, as part of the wonderful diversity on planet earth.
So why, then, do campus multiculturalists not celebrate the large subculture in America that would prefer that our society stay mostly the same rather than undergoing massive demographic change?
Full disclosure: I personally enjoy other cultures. I love variety and diversity. I enjoy learning other languages, and sampling exotic cuisines.
However, I can’t help but notice that not everyone does, and those who don’t are also stakeholders in our society. In fact, a recent study conducted by a liberal researcher concluded that “[i]n the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings.” Civic engagement such as voting, volunteerism, and charity giving is significantly lower in diverse neighborhoods.
Multi-culturalists seem to believe that all cultures can get along together, if only they will learn to understand and welcome each other. Well, that’s a lovely theory, and maybe it’s true in theory. However, we have actual humans to deal with, and so it may be necessary to insert a certain amount of realism into the equation.
So first, let’s take an honest look at the cultures we have recently been importing in large numbers. Let’s look at some empirical data for how well multi-cultural theory is panning out. And here is the question:
Of these recent arrivals, is there any culture that produces a disproportionate amount of problems? (Problems could include high rates of crime, welfare dependency, demands for accommodation, and/or terrorism, for example.) If so, could this be an indication that the theory of all-cultures-can-get-along-together is not working out so well?
(Note: To determine the “rate” of a problem, it is necessary to consider share of population of a group. So for example, if Group A produces about 30% of our terrorism, and Group B produces about 40%, this is not enough information to determine the terrorism rates. If Group A is 1% of the population, and Group B is 50% of the population, then clearly Group A has a much higher rate of terrorism–about 37.5 times as high. In addition, it is necessary to define these groups in an apples-to-apples manner. For example, if Group A contains an entire ethnic group, and Group B contains self-defined radicals within an ethnic group, then this will skew the results.)
Where are the studies that honestly evaluate how to determine which cultures are compatible with each other? We know that individuals are not all compatible with each other. In theory, if any two individuals had enough training on how to communicate and honor each others’ differences, they could get along. However, in actual practice, it is necessary to be realistic and accept that humans are not always compatible. Even if they can manage to co-exist, they will not necessarily be happy with each other. Some people are happier with more distance between them.
If, in a forced marriage, the couple is miserable, is this the fault of the married couple? Or is it the fault of the ones forcing them together?
Now, I want to be very, very clear: I hold the value of accepting, understanding, and appreciating every individual who already has a right to be here. Every citizen deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt. There are individual members of every ethnic group whose values are 100% compatible with American values, who are patriotic Americans that love this country. They do not deserve to be hated because they identify as a member of a particular ethnic group. And on a campus with many ethnicities, it is important to treat every individual with respect.
So honoring individual citizens is an important value. However, it is not the only important value. For example, as a country, national security is also an important value, and deserves to be weighed against the laudable desire to be inclusive of those who are different.
If universities are to be institutions of fearless inquiry, then learning communication skills for understanding individuals who are different from us should not preclude a willingness to critically examine various cultures for both strengths and weaknesses.
For example, which religions/ethnicities today are doing a better/worse job at protecting religious minorities, women, gays, and freedom of expression, and in what ways? This type of question should be fair game for honest discussion in a university setting, and sources which promote our own culture should be included in the discussion. It should not be taboo to conclude that our culture is actually doing a very good job in relation to other cultures.
So anyway, I am not going to resolve these very thorny questions in this little post. I am simply making an appeal for some honest inquiry, and some openness to the possibility that different cultures may not in some cases be compatible—even if some individuals from within these cultures are. Even if co-existence is possible, it may require sacrifices which would be better considered in advance rather than after the fact. And it is possible to explore these questions without hating anyone. It is long past time to remove the taboo from this discussion.