Monday, April 12, 2010

De’Von “Van” Weatherspoon OP-ED: On Multiculturalism and Political Correctness

By De’Von “Van” Weatherspoon

Recently I have wondered about multiculturalism. Is it a good thing? Or is it bad? The opinions are various and so are the facts surrounding these opinions. It is because of these various opinions and facts that I have recently been on a mission to discover my sentiments, exactly, on this issue.

According to Webster’s, the definition of multiculturalism is—of, relating to, reflecting, or adapted to diverse cultures. This by itself does not mean much, but when coupled with current political thought, the definition becomes encouraging the celebration, on an equal plane, of all the different cultural groups in an attempt to erase cultural differences, biases, and to hopefully syncretise these different cultures into a new national character.

How long can a nation exist in which there is no established national culture? Consider the history of the late Austro-Hungarian Empire, or of the Balkans. Because of post-war settlements that redrew virtually all of Eurasia, there were now countries with cultural groups so vastly different that its consequences can still be seen today. Consider the Middle East too.

John Derbyshire, a writer with National Review, has long criticised multiculturalism by calling it the Diversity Theorem; “The Diversity Theorem: Groups of people from anywhere in the world, mixed together in any numbers and proportions whatsoever, will eventually settle down as a harmonious society, appreciating—nay, celebrating!—their differences… which will of course soon disappear entirely.”

I am no white supremacist, but I do believe that countries are allowed to and should be allowed to continue to partake in what makes the English, well English, or the French, just that—French. Consider much of Western Europe today. It is essentially a dying culture. Horribly low birthrates, inabilities to effectively assimilate immigrants, and widespread apathy have contributed to the slow, in some cases fast, decline and death of these cultures.

Many African Americans argue that to be against multiculturalism is to be racist. I do not believe so. As African Americans, we do not belong to any African culture. There are remains of course, but we are not fully African, nor are we fully European. All previous attempts to create some new African American culture has largely failed (think of Kwanza). With that said, we have largely adopted Western Culture, and as African Americans, we have made contributions and been a part of it for over 400 years.

America was founded with very strong protestant and English ideals, ethics and culture. Sure there were, as well as now, WASPs, but many of these WASPs played significant roles in the emancipation movement. The numerous Congregational Societies that funded and help found many schools for African Americans. Surely racist WASPs would not have done so!

My intention in writing this is not to say that “White is Right,” but rather to look at whether multiculturalism is really positive for the future of America and any nation. Multiculturalism might one day make Florida and the Southwest a separate kind of America. I fear that one day, I will want to go to Arizona and find myself in a Kosovo/ Serbian situation.

Modern politics has demanded political correctness, but at a great cost. This is the cost of truly having a meaningful discussion on serious issues. Instead, people now hide behind facades, too afraid to discuss or talk because of fear they will be called racist, Uncle Tom, or other unsightly epithets. I do not think that it’s an oxymoron for African Americans to believe in an Anglo-American heritage; we helped shape it. Ergo, I see nothing wrong with wanting to protect that culture. Only small minded people associate Anglo-American with race. It can be associated with that, but it is so much more. It is about language, culture, religion. I protect America’s special Anglo-American relationship and culture as much as I would if I were French, or Spanish.

Why has today’s society demonized countries wanting to protect their cultures by trying to assimilate immigrants into it? Do countries not have a right to shape their own culture? Share your thoughts with me.

About The Author: De’Von “Van” Weatherspoon is a new student at Morehouse College He is from the great state of Michigan and describes himself as a “Hamiltonian-Rockefeller Republican

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