“Diversity” and “Multiculturalism” Divide People from One Another

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Multiculturalism-blurred-people

Multiculturalism-blurred-people (Photo credit: openDemocracy)

Recently I heard of an incident at an American university. A student walked into a library conference room. A group of black women were in the room, and they began to stare at this student. Then the student noticed the sign that said, “Do not enter. African-American Women’s Group.” The student apologized, stating that she was sorry she interrupted their meeting. Silence. Stares. The student could not say anything else given the situation, so the student walked out of the conference room and found another room in which to study.

Besides being another lesson in today’s rudeness, is it really coincidental that the group meeting in the room was sponsored by the university’s diversity office? The office is committed to “identity” as the main factor influencing one’s behavior. “Identity” is a code word for “culture,” and usually it is a code word that means “black.” Such offices, influenced by Neo-Marxist thought and identity politics, may begin by sponsoring meetings with students from outside the United States. Later, however, they tend to degenerate into offices that divide black students from white students, and if there are sufficient numbers of Hispanic students, Hispanic students from the rest of students. Western culture is the enemy. “Eurocentrism” is the enemy. Grievances are magnified with people of European descent being labeled as cruel oppressors. No wonder the students were silent in the conference room and did not respond to a sincere apology. They were facing their mortal enemy.

Diversity training” and multiculturalism are not about uniting people. They divide groups from one another. Instead of recognizing the universal human propensity for evil, they focus only on the sins of Europeans and people of European descent. The special groups who are, by definition, oppressed, can do no wrong since anything they do that seems to be wrong is only due to the oppression of others. Special groups do not have to take responsibility for their actions. They do not have to repent of their sins. They have no sin.

Only in academia could such a worldview survive. Students trained under this model will alienate potential friends and potential employers. If they do not make friends of another race or culture, they will not blame themselves—it is the oppressing “other” that is at fault. If they are not hired or are fired because of a negative and hostile attitude toward their boss and co-workers, the failure to hire or firing is due to the oppressing class acting wrongly against them. Nothing is ever the responsibility of the Holy Ones; it is all the evil Eurocentric Devil that is at fault.

Given the cesspool of contemporary “diversity training,” the federal government should stop forcing schools to focus on so-called “diversity.” Schools should have the courage to fight setting up a multicultural office or a diversity office. The only things that will result from such an office will be increased racial tension, increased isolation of groups, setting up “special studies programs” with low academic standards for the Holy Ones to take, and a breakdown of civic discourse. Multiculturalism, based on flawed Marxist ideology, cannot support true diversity—it can only push its own elitism on those who do not fit into its special groups. Liberal university administrations are not doing their students a favor when they set up a diversity or multicultural program, however well-meaning they will be. It will only end in disaster and pain.

On “Diversity Training”

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Marxism's last stand?

Many public and private schools, colleges, universities, and businesses have mandatory classes in “Diversity Training,” usually taught by a diversity or multicultural officer. Some of this trend may be due to federal requirements (and in some states, state government requirements).

Now teaching employees about religious and cultural customs when they have co-workers from different cultural backgrounds can be useful. For example, the Nashville, Tennessee area has a large number of Iraqis, including Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. If a company hires people from more than one of these three groups, it is useful to educate employees on how to avoid conflicts or diminish conflict between people of different backgrounds.

The vast majority of diversity training is politically motivated and has been from the beginning. “Diversity training” to some multicultural officers focuses only on “traditionally underrepresented groups,” and creates a culture of entitlement and resentment in members of those groups. “People of color” and “Hispanics” are emphasized, while different religious faiths (other than Islam) and Asians are de-emphasized in such courses. The white male is considered the most evil entity in society, and they are automatically grouped into the class of the “oppressors.” In some classes white students have been asked to “confess” their racism, sexism or “homophobia.” Failure to confess such can lead to negative consequences, such as an unsatisfactory mark that could result in a student expelled from a college or university. Women, minorities, and homosexuals are always labeled as “the victims.” “The victims” can never be racist or sexist–only white males are in that class. The lesson of the splendid movie, “Crash,” that people of all backgrounds have their prejudices, is lost on many diversity trainers.

Multicultural officers sometimes say (and I have heard one state this) that they are concerned with “social justice.” Translate the term “social justice” as “socialism,” and you will get the meaning. “Social justice” is interpreted in Marxist categories of oppressed and oppressor. White males become the new bourgeois, and every other group becomes the new proletariat. The proletariat must transvalue the values of the bourgeois, and this means abrogating freedom of speech. One is only allowed to speak the narrative of the diversity trainer. Any deviation from the Puritanical norm of the politically correct will result in punishment which can be being thrown out of school as a student, a professor being dismissed, or someone who has worked faithfully for years at a business being fired. The rules of the politically correct multiculturalist are as follows:

1. Western civilization is evil and oppressive.

2. Only males can be sexist.

3. Only whites can be racist.

4. Social justice = the social platform of the Democratic party.

5. Believing that practicing homosexuality is morally wrong is homophobia and hate.

6. Refusing to acknowledge one’s hidden racism and sexism is a sign of moral turpitude.

7. Saying anything negative about feminism is a sign of moral turpitude.

8. Bringing up crime statistics regarding race automatically makes a person a racist.

9. If you do not believe that the majority of women in colleges and universities have been raped at least once in their lives, you hate women.

10. If you are opposed to abortion, you hate women.

11. If you do not believe in Great Society programs, you are a racist and a hater.

12. If you oppose affirmative action, you are a racist and a hater.

13. If you defend teaching Western Civilization over World Civilization, you are a racist, a sexist, an ethnocentrist, and a hater.

14. If you are politically conservative, you are a hater.

15. If you criticize President Obama’s policies, then you are a racist.

16. If you criticize Michelle Obama, then you are a racist and a sexist.

Those are only the ones I can think of at the moment. There are many more rules, and it is difficult for anyone to know he has violated one (oops, I just violated one — if anyone uses “he” to refer to both males and females, he/she/it is a racist and a hater).

Diversity training is liberal propaganda. Multiculturalism is anti-Western propaganda. It is past time to halt such training or reformulate it to include teaching about the customs of actual cultures to avoid offense (for example, do not remove an icon from an Eastern Orthodox Christian’s room). Higher education is particularly suspect to such madness given its strong left-wing bias. There are schools who have not bowed to Baal, but they are fewer, and given government policy, under attack. The best route for those schools is to aggressively raise private funds and refuse to participate in the federal student grant and loan programs. A school that rejects federal aid entirely (such as Hillsdale College) can have the independence to be able to avoid the b..l…t of Marxist diversity programs.

Why Library Sales Have Such Good Choices in Books

September 20, 2011

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Historic works in a Bookshelf in the Prunksaal...

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I love library sales. Lately, I love them even more. The choices in books, especially the classics of Western literature, are incredible. Libraries are discarding good books so they can make room for those from a multicultural perspective. With all the officially accepted minority groups (African Americans, Arabs [Muslim Arabs, not Christian Arabs], Latinos, women [feminists only], homosexuals [only when they write on gay culture]), libraries are hard-pressed to include all these perspectives without discarding a large number of books. The books that suffer most are those that reflect the great tradition of Western Culture from its ancient roots in Sumeria, Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, Rome and Jewish and Christian thought to present day writers who focus on Western culture. Thus, poorly written, highly politicized books from a predominately Marxist perspective (Marx through the lens of Marcuse) replace literary classics, science books, and any other work that does not reflect a so-called “minority viewpoint.” For traditionalists, this situation provides a great opportunity. We can go to library sales, buy the fine books they have, and be enriched by the treasures of Western Culture. Those individuals who only read politicized pseud0-scholarly pablum will become dumber than ever. The bad thing about this situation is that people who visit libraries are exposed to intellectual left-wing multiculturalist ideology rather than to good, or even average, literature and scholarship. The course libraries and educational institutions have taken will leave the common person isolated from Western Culture unless he knows the Internet provides excellent options for reading great classic works. For more recent material, say, in popular science, the common person will have to look elsewhere than a library if he wants a good selection of books. Libraries today, especially academic libraries, are becoming more ideologically driven as library schools take over the values of multiculturalism, moral and epistemological relativism, and a lack of respect for Western civilization. Those of us who take advantage of the intellectual void in some libraries should buy wisely, read the books, and use their insights to live a better life–and to teach others the value of works that are classics, of informational guides in science–of any work that can increase knowledge and encourage wisdom, the wisdom that helps a person to develop good moral virtues. Hopefully students who miss good books in the library will go online to see which books are available. Years from now, what is left of Western Civilization might be preserved by some customer at a library sale.

Immigration and Multiculturalism: European Leaders are Wising Up; American Leaders are Not

February 11, 2011

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Protest by the Tea Parties Against Amnesty and...

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Some European leaders, such as President Sarkozy of France, Prime Minster Cameron of the U.K., and Chancellor Merkel of Germany, have openly stated that “multiculturalism has failed” (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110210/wl_afp/francepoliticsimmigrationsociety_20110210231042). If only the President of the United States or more people in Congress had the courage to say the same thing. It is ironic that those academics and journalists who focus on cultures being irreducibly different also believe that cultures with radically different world views can peacefully co-exist. Until about 1965, the dominant culture of the United States was based on British culture and European Protestant Christianity with an American revivalist flavor. Roman Catholics, such as John F. Kennedy, fit into the general culture because they accepted the notion that the Roman Catholic Church should not be favored over other churches–in addition, Roman Catholics of Irish and European background understood democracy and the freedoms guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution. But after another Lyndon Johnson disaster, the 1965 Immigration Act, which no longer favored European immigration over immigration from other countries, the old Angl0-Protestant culture began to be superseded by a Balkans-like “multicultural” society. Massive immigration, both legal and illegal, has altered the social landscape so rapidly that communities hardly have had time to react. As more immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, come to the country from Mexico and Central and South America, usually from countries that lack a tradition of democracy, millions of people are entering the United States without an adequate knowledge or appreciation of our democratic heritage. While most legal Hispanic immigrants want to learn English (and to give them credit, some illegal immigrants), many illegal immigrants want a permanently separate society in which Spanish is the only language taught in their communities. Local communities, especially in the South, which have been stable for over one hundred years, have turned into unstable gathering points for illegal immigrants where locals who have sacrificed much of their livelihood and lives for the land on which they live feeling unwelcome and driven out.

In addition, millions of unassimilated Muslims have entered the United States. Secular Muslims fit well into a democratic culture; however, Muslims of a fundamentalist bent do not. The seeds for terrorism against the American people are today not as much with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan as in our own local communities. Although many Muslims are not fundamentalist, the United States has failed to take action even when officials knew a threat existed–as was the case in Fort Hood, Texas. The near-open border with Mexico is another place that Islamic terrorists might use as a crossing point. In the meantime, due to the political correctness and multiculturalism of the political left, of academic, and of the media, the United States fails to secure its borders and instead wastes lives, time, effort, and money into foreign wars that only serve to embitter our enemies more than before.

Europe has seen its very culture threatened by multiculturalism and by rapid immigration from non-Western cultures. In addition, some of these immigrants have carried out terrorist attacks against European nations. The European leaders understand that multiculturalism has failed. It will fail in the United States–it is already in the process of failing, as the Mexican illegal immigrants in California who refuse to play the Star Spangled Banner at ball games but instead play the Mexican national anthem with a Mexican flag flying high–witness. The drain of illegal immigrants who are not loyal to the U.S. and who desire the Southwest to be returned to Mexico has wrecked the state budgets of some states. In my home state, Tennessee, TennCare, the state insurance for the poor, was cut drastically when an unelected judge said that benefits had to be given to illegal immigrants. It is sheer madness for a country to allow massive illegal immigration (just what about the word “illegal” does the Left fail to understand?) by people from cultures hostile to the United States or at least not sympathetic to American ideals, to continue in this country. Hopefully soon an American political leader will have the courage to speak out as have the European leaders mentioned above.

Genuine vs. False “Diversity” and “Multiculturalism”

August 19, 2010

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Multiculturalism-blurred-people

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A few years ago a group of people from an accrediting agency for a particular school in the university were on campus. I was part of a group of faculty who taught core courses invited to talk with those individuals. One of them asked me how I included “diversity” and “multiculturalism” in my Introduction to Philosophy class. I replied that “We read a number of writers from very different cultures: Plato and Aristotle from Ancient Greece, St. Augustine from North Africa, St. Thomas Aquinas from medieval Italy. In order to discuss Aquinas adequately, I have to mention Maimonides, of the Jewish faith, and several Muslim Arab philosophers.” Needless to say, that is not what the woman asking me the question wished to hear.

But what I do in my teaching is teaching diversity. There is a huge difference between the culture of Ancient Greece and medieval Arab culture. The ancient philosopher Plotinus may have been influenced by Indian thought. Sometimes I refer to Buddhism’s view of causality as having some similarities to the modern philosopher David Hume. That is true multiculturalism–taking the best philosophy of many times and places and cultures and presenting it to students.

But there is an alternative view of diversity–one that understands “diversity” only in terms of race, gender, class, or sexual orientation. Frankly, this is an abysmally ignorant position. Region and local traditions are much more a part of cultural diversity than the aforementioned factors. Even with the same sex, race, class, or “sexual orientation,” there is a great deal of cultural diversity. Compare, for example, a black farmer from Tennessee with a black resident of Newark, New Jersey. Most of the time, the cultural difference between the two is extremely sharp. For another example, take so-called “homosexual culture.” A number of homosexual individuals, and I have met and talked with some of them, absolutely loathe the culture of “coming-out” and “in-your-face” of many homosexual rights advocacy groups. One told me once, “I don’t flaunt my sexuality; why should they flaunt theirs?” Yet “queer studies” tends to take homosexuals as a monolithic group. Thus, what is called “multiculturalism” falls into its own racial, sexual, and class stereotypes and refuses to recognize genuine diversity. Even “dead white European males” are diverse–compare Plato with Hume, or Kant with Nietzsche. Or in literature, compare Belloc with Wilde. Reducing individuals to their gender, race, class, and/or sexual orientation creates cartoons out of people, and both the particularity of the individual and the richness of his culture is lost. What is sad is that even liberal academics have told me that they realize such a simplistic account of diversity is totally flawed. But they tow the party line because those who promote the simplistic view of diversity are about power–and when they gain it, they wield it over other academics. As a result, diversity morphs into the politics of victimization–“I’m a victim, you’re a victim, he’s a victim, she’s a victim, wouldn’t you like to be a victim, too?” The so-called victim, who often lives in a middle-class household with an education provided by scholarships favorable to a “victimized” group, uses his so-called “victim” status to set himself as higher than others.

I will continue to be multicultural in the genuine sense. I do not exclude any philosopher from consideration in my readings on any grounds except quality and/or influence. My students get a better sense of diversity than any student who goes through a politically correct course in pseudo-diversity.