The trap of multiculturalism.


I have been struggling with explaining what it is that bothers me about “multiculturalism.” It is a word with a “nice ring to it.” It’s not a word that shouts a warning. It gives the impression that it is something to be “celebrated.” But, in my gut, it struck me as a danger.

It went against what I saw my parents do when rearing me. My Grandparents, many aunts and uncles, and my Dad were immigrants. But they encouraged and, frankly, expected me to “be an American.” I wasn’t taught Italian. I wasn’t inculcated with stories about the “old country” – other than to be told thousands of times that “America was better.”

To be honest, I thought it was probably a good idea to give “multiculturalism” a try. But, we have done that and so has Europe. The result is less than encouraging. In fact it is downright scary.

I have said many times that I favor legal immigration, but not ILLEGAL immigration. I thought I had a rationale for this stance. But my rationale wasn’t tied to multiculturalism. It should have been. And this little “tickle” in the back of the minds of millions of Americans, like me, is undoubtedly one of the reasons Donald Trump received more votes in the Republican Primary than any previous candidate in the history of our Party.

In the following article, a man who holds my deepest respect explains why it is a failure, and, more importantly, why it is a danger. Please read it.

Roy Filly

America: History’s Exception

Victor Davis Hanson

The history of nations is mostly characterized by ethnic and racial uniformity, not diversity.

Most national boundaries reflected linguistic, religious and ethnic homogeneity. Until the late 20th century, diversity was considered a liability, not a strength.

Countries and societies that were ethnically homogeneous, such as ancient Germanic tribes or modern Japan, felt that they were inherently more stable and secure than the alternative, whether late imperial Rome or contemporary America.

Many societies created words to highlight their own racial purity. At times, “Volk” in German and “Raza” in Spanish (and “Razza” in Italian) meant more than just shared language, residence or culture; those words also included a racial essence. Even today, it would be hard for someone Japanese to be fully accepted as a Mexican citizen, or for a native-born Mexican to migrate and become a Japanese citizen.

Many cultures reflected their suspicion of diversity by using pejorative nouns for the “other.” In Hebrew, the “goyim” were all the other non-Jewish nations and peoples. “Odar” in Armenian denoted the rest of the world that was not ethnically Armenian. For Japanese, the “gaijin” are those who by nationality, ethnicity and race cannot become fully Japanese. In 18th-century Castilian Spain, “gringo” meant any foreign, non-native speakers of Spanish.

The Balkan states were the powder kegs of 20th-century world wars because different groups wanted to change national boundaries to reflect their separate ethnicities.

The premise of Nazi Germany was to incorporate all the German “Volk” into one vast racially and linguistically harmonious “Reich” — even if it meant destroying the national borders of Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland.

The constitution of Mexico unapologetically predicates national immigration policies on not endangering Mexico’s ethnic makeup.

Countries, ancient and modern, that have tried to unite diverse tribes have usually fared poorly. The Italian Roman Republic lasted about 500 years. In contrast, the multiracial Roman Empire that after the Edict of Caracalla in AD 212 made all its diverse peoples equal citizens endured little more than two (often violent) centuries.

Vast ethnically diverse empires such as those of the Austro-Hungarians, the Ottomans and the Soviets used deadly force to keep their bickering ethnic factions in line — and from killing each other.

Modern states such as multicultural or multi-tribal Rwanda, Iraq and Lebanon have often proved deadly failures. Europe is trying to emulate the multiracial but unified culture of the United States. But the European Union may well tear itself apart trying to assimilate millions of disparate migrants who are reluctant to fully assimilate.

America is history’s exception. It began as a republic founded by European migrants. Like the homogenous citizens of most other nations, they were likely on a trajectory to incorporate racial sameness as the mark of citizenship. But the ultimate logic of America’s unique Constitution was different. So the United States steadily evolved to define Americans by their shared values, not by their superficial appearance. Eventually, anyone who was willing to give up his prior identity and assume a new American persona became American.

The United States has always cherished its “melting pot” ethos of e pluribus unum — of blending diverse peoples into one through assimilation, integration and intermarriage.

When immigration was controlled, measured and coupled with a confident approach to assimilation, America thrived. Various ethnic groups enriched America with diverse art, food, music and literature while accepting a common culture of American values and institutions.

Problems arose only when immigration was often illegal, in mass and without emphasis on assimilation.

Sometime in the late 20th century, America largely gave up on multiracialism under one common culture and opted instead for multiculturalism, in which each particular ethnic group retained its tribal chauvinism and saw itself as separate from the whole.

Hyphenated names suddenly became popular. The government tracked Americans’ often complicated ethnic lineage. Jobs and college admissions were sometimes predicated on racial pedigrees and quotas. Courts ruled that present discrimination was allowable compensation for past discrimination.

Schools began to teach that difference and diversity were preferable to sameness and unity. Edgar Allan Poe and Langston Hughes were categorized as “white male” or “black” rather than as “American” authors.

Past discrimination and injustice may explain the current backlash against melting-pot unity. And America’s exalted idealism has made it criticized as less than good when it was not always perfect.

Nonetheless, for those who see America becoming a multicultural state of unassimilated tribes and competing racial groups, history will not be kind. The history of state multiculturalism is one of discord, violence, chaos and implosion.

So far, America has beaten the odds and remained multiracial rather than multicultural, thereby becoming the most powerful nation in the world.

We should remember that diversity is an ornament, but unity is our strength.

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About Roy Filly

Please read my first blog in which I describe myself and my goals.
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3 Responses to The trap of multiculturalism.

  1. Dick Toomey says:

    Immigrants seeking to become citizens must take this oath: I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

    You think this should take care of it. But if we allow 20MM illegals to float around, we dynamite any chance for unity. Plus we have large segments of citizens born here whose attitudes and goals fly in the face of the oath they didn’t have to take.

    We are a free country only if we honor and respect our laws. As such, I’m for purging the hyphenated. Let them live where their hearts reside.

  2. Roxanne A. says:

    Yes, it’s right that any immigrant into the US pledge support of the Constitution, the laws, and the ideas of the Declaration of Independence. But the rest about preforming work of national importance when required by law, or “service” of any kind “required by law”- is totally subverting of the ideas of individual rights. No one, not immigrant or natural born citizen’s life is owed to the state. Not 5 minutes or 5 months or years. Either you have an absolute right to your life, or you don’t. There is no maybe, there are absolutes. The right to live is absolute, and not as permission from the government of your society you choose to live in.

    If some urgent life threatening situation occurs, there will be no need to require service. Either the society is worth preserving and people volunteer, or it isn’t and they don’t. No one has the right to impress or commandeer anyone else, no matter how earth shaking or “unselfish” the motive.

  3. Roxanne A. says:

    https://ari.aynrand.org/issues/culture-and-society/education–multiculturalism/Global-Balkanization
    Global Balkanization by Ayn Rand | 1977

    In this 1977 lecture delivered at Boston’s Ford Hall Forum, Ayn Rand examines the meaning of “ethnicity” and the consequences of “modern tribalism” in politics. Drawing her title from the Balkan Peninsula, where ethnic groups have splintered and warred against each other for centuries, Rand argues that the global trend toward political organization based on race, language, and religion bodes ill for the future of Western civilization.

    This recording is 89 minutes long, including Q&A.

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