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BS: Multiculturalism

Le Scaramouche 07 Aug 05 - 06:11 PM
GUEST 07 Aug 05 - 06:21 PM
George Papavgeris 07 Aug 05 - 06:30 PM
curmudgeon 07 Aug 05 - 06:31 PM
freda underhill 07 Aug 05 - 06:31 PM
freda underhill 07 Aug 05 - 06:42 PM
John Hardly 07 Aug 05 - 06:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Aug 05 - 06:55 PM
Azizi 07 Aug 05 - 07:00 PM
dianavan 07 Aug 05 - 07:00 PM
John Hardly 07 Aug 05 - 07:06 PM
Azizi 07 Aug 05 - 07:10 PM
dianavan 07 Aug 05 - 07:18 PM
Azizi 07 Aug 05 - 07:29 PM
Shakey 07 Aug 05 - 07:47 PM
Shakey 07 Aug 05 - 07:50 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 05 - 07:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Aug 05 - 08:25 PM
Azizi 07 Aug 05 - 08:46 PM
John Hardly 07 Aug 05 - 08:55 PM
John Hardly 07 Aug 05 - 09:08 PM
CarolC 07 Aug 05 - 09:18 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 07 Aug 05 - 09:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Aug 05 - 11:27 PM
dianavan 08 Aug 05 - 12:20 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Aug 05 - 01:25 AM
Le Scaramouche 08 Aug 05 - 03:43 AM
Paco Rabanne 08 Aug 05 - 03:50 AM
George Papavgeris 08 Aug 05 - 03:53 AM
Paco Rabanne 08 Aug 05 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,David Hannam 08 Aug 05 - 04:36 AM
dianavan 08 Aug 05 - 05:05 AM
Le Scaramouche 08 Aug 05 - 05:06 AM
George Papavgeris 08 Aug 05 - 08:06 AM
Le Scaramouche 08 Aug 05 - 08:16 AM
John Hardly 08 Aug 05 - 08:18 AM
Le Scaramouche 08 Aug 05 - 08:30 AM
Le Scaramouche 08 Aug 05 - 08:41 AM
George Papavgeris 08 Aug 05 - 08:47 AM
Le Scaramouche 08 Aug 05 - 09:02 AM
John Hardly 08 Aug 05 - 09:07 AM
Le Scaramouche 08 Aug 05 - 09:12 AM
Azizi 08 Aug 05 - 09:53 AM
Le Scaramouche 08 Aug 05 - 10:11 AM
John Hardly 08 Aug 05 - 10:16 AM
Azizi 08 Aug 05 - 10:58 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 05 - 11:17 AM
George Papavgeris 08 Aug 05 - 12:20 PM
dianavan 08 Aug 05 - 12:34 PM
GUEST 08 Aug 05 - 01:35 PM
harpgirl 08 Aug 05 - 02:14 PM
GUEST 09 Aug 05 - 04:42 AM
John Hardly 09 Aug 05 - 08:13 AM
George Papavgeris 09 Aug 05 - 11:42 AM
Le Scaramouche 09 Aug 05 - 11:57 AM
George Papavgeris 09 Aug 05 - 12:40 PM

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Subject: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:11 PM

"No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee."

John Donne never penned a truer word. Worth remembering that multiculturalism doesn't mean to forsake one's own culture, but to be open and tolerant of others. It's the only way to go. Always has been, always will be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:21 PM

to be open and tolerant of others
That's a two way trip though isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:30 PM

Actually, it's a multiway trip. But each one is responsible for his/her own action and behaviours. And it's no bazaar - no bargaining.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: curmudgeon
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:31 PM

To Guest 6:21 - NO!

If the thoughtful do not lead by example, the thoughtless will prevail.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: freda underhill
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:31 PM

perfect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: freda underhill
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:42 PM

"Actually, it's a multiway trip" - perfect analogy because it acknowledges the complexity of any multicultural society.

sydney, a very multicultural city, is like a woven piece of cloth.

two way trip implies them and us, or "the norm" and "the other".

here, the norm is the woven piece of cloth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: John Hardly
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:48 PM

I think it's a naive notion that all cultures are equally valuable to humanity. I can think of several cultures that are, in fact, dangerous. I think that cultures have to battle out their value to the world, to a society, in the arena of ideas, philosophies, and, on the occassion that they are literally dangerous to human life, in the courts or even on the battlefield.

Diversity for diversity's sake is pollyanna, feel-good-ism.

I'm not in favor of a cultural monolith -- just not naive enough to claim that every culture is equally valid. I'm in favor of a huge diversity of cultures -- just not in favor of assuming all are equally acceptable of valuable to society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 06:55 PM

John, you're going to have to give a few examples if you expect to go unchallenged on your remarks it's a naive notion that all cultures are equally valuable to humanity. And even then, I expect you'd be challenged. Don't confuse factions of zealots with entire Cultures.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:00 PM

I am very much interested in the subject of multiculturalism. Of course multiculturalism is a complex subject that means different things to different people.

See this complete article from a newsletter from what I believe is a university in Minneopolis,Wisconsin:

"Something's wrong with multiculturalism at Macalester. There is a great deal of discontent that stems from the way this "core value" is defined and implemented. People here have different opinions about how Macalester should go about being multicultural, but almost everyone we know agrees that the brand of multiculturalism currently in place is wrong somehow.

One problem is the way Macalester defines multiculturalism-"the inclusion of people from multiple North American cultures." As if the differences between cultures elsewhere in the world are any less substantial because they exist within the context of often-arbitrarily imposed national boundaries. The use of the term "inclusion" is also problematic. Must the school simply "include" people from multiple cultures and pat itself on the back? Or is the issue more complicated?

But even if you accept the college's definition, there are problems in the way this definition is realized. The problem starts in admissions materials and the way the college presents itself to the outside world. From even a cursory reading of these materials, you'd think Macalester is a multicultural heaven. The photos show people of different colors happily interacting-it's not hard to imagine that they're sharing diverse stories from their different cultures. That's the type of wishful thinking that a lot of people are probably eager to buy into. Multiculturalism is included in the college's mission statement, approved by the trustees in 1992, so it's possible that the Macalester multicultural utopia really exists, right?

Wrong. Once you arrive here, you realize Macalester's brand of multiculturalism isn't all it's cracked up to be. Sure, statistics show that the population here is somewhat diverse, but the diversity doesn't manifest itself in the ways you're expecting. No sooner do you arrive than the process of segmentation begins. There is a predetermined role for everyone to play. Domestic students of color are pushed to fit into one of various cultural groups. International students of color belong to the internationalism core value, so they get left out of multiculturalism, sort of. Both groups are given the message that their race, culture or ethnicity is going to be their primary identity while they're here-whether they want it to be or not. White American students aren't part of this multiculturalism; they fall outside it. For them, multiculturalism is an exotic spectacle that can be observed from afar and sampled when it's convenient, while they spend most of their time participating in predominantly white groups and organizations.

Here's the typical experience that results. Too many students of color spend four years feeling frustrated in this foreign place, having to rely on each other for the support that the college doesn't adequately provide. They end up concluding that they provide little more than statistical value to a college eager to sucker in its next year's batch of recruits. White domestic students, many of whom have had strikingly little interaction with people of color before coming to Macalester, are taught that multiculturalism is an ideal that should be talked about a lot but doesn't really require any action on their part. These issues can be left for the "cultural" people to deal with-whites need not get involved. Multiculturalism doesn't concern them, while at the same time it implicitly exists for their benefit. This is the Macalester bubble devouring itself. The environment created by Macalester's version of multiculturalism often contradicts our brand-new, but crucial, core value of a "humane environment." It breeds mistrust of others' motives, rather than mutual respect.

Macalester teaches its students to draw back from difference, to segment themselves rather than integrate into a broader whole. Cultural identity is certainly important and we would be the last to say that it should be abandoned-but looking beyond one's own culture is also important and this is where, in many ways, Macalester falls short.

We value real multiculturalism. That's why we support strong affirmative action policies and support systems. Diversity-of all types, not only cultural-is essential to a good college education because graduating students have to survive in a diverse world. But survival isn't the only goal. More important, we're here at college to learn-to gain a better understanding of the world around us. This world is complex, and any understanding of it not informed by diverse perspectives will be clouded by stereotypes, miscommunications, and a normative worldview. And that's a shame.

This is obviously a complex issue and we're only able to scratch the surface in the space we have here. And we're only a few Mac Weekly editors sharing our opinion. We hope this editorial will contribute to a broader discussion of this issue. We're always eager to hear what you think.

The above editorial was written by the editorial board of The Mac Weekly, which consists of the editor-in-chief, managing editors and Opinion editors...."

Source: http://www.macalester.edu/~weekly/1200our.html

-snip-

The sentiments of this editorial board very much describe my experience in the mid 1960s as one of only 6 African American students who lived on campus at a small New Jersey liberal arts college. The six African American students were 3 females and 3 males-I wonder why that was??!! .

BTW, it didn't work. Other girls were wild about the Black football player...




Azizi


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: dianavan
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:00 PM

John - How do you determine the validity of a culture?

Every culture has value or it wouldn't have stood the test of time.

Culture isn't something that can be judged valid or invalid. It just is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: John Hardly
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:06 PM

Maybe it'd be a good time to define "culture" before we have a needless disagreement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:10 PM

Here is a link for a blog post that I found while surfing the web. In this post an Australian Senator, Andrew Bartlett, pays homage to the contributions of Al Grassby to multiculturalism in Australia:
Multiculturalism and Al Grassby


Here is an excerpt from that article:

"I believe [Al Grassby's] tireless promotion of multiculturalism needs to be acknowledged. This is different from and more important than promoting a fairer immigration system or higher migration – it involves actively promoting the extra value that each person's culture and heritage brings to our country.

Other people from a range of political persuasions played a part in opening up Australia's migration system and getting rid of the White Australia Policy, but few so strongly and consistently promoted multiculturalism.

Since Grassby's death was announced last weekend, more than one person from a migrant family has said to me how he was the first person who made them and their nationality feel welcomed and positively valued for what they were, rather than just as people who were meant to just get on with 'fitting in' and 'making a go of it' in Australia. This aspect of multiculturalism has sometimes been misrepresented as encouraging migrants to stay in so-called 'ethnic ghettos' and not become part of Australia - a total misunderstanding and indeed the exact opposite of what multiculturalism is about.

The full potential and value of multiculturalism comes from the 'value-add' Australia gets by fully connecting with all the positives that comes with a person's cultural and social heritage. Of course, the heritage of many people contains negatives, particularly when they come from a country riven by war or ethnic and religious hatreds. This is where the value comes from connecting with that part of Australia's culture which clearly shows that people can live peacefully and work together in a society despite their political, ethnic or religious differences.

This is also why Australia will never reach its full potential as a society (or as an economy) until we resolve the biggest divide that does infect our country, which is the one between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. Despite the very significant achievements and advances which multiculturalism continues to bring to Australia, which I believe our country should be very proud of, our failure to make much significant progress on reconciliation with indigenous Australians will always hold us back.

-snip-


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: dianavan
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:18 PM

Culture is a system of traditions and beliefs embedded in a common language and passed down from generation to generation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:29 PM

I agree with the definition that Dianavan provided.

Another way of saying that is that culture is a way of life.
It is both product & process.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Shakey
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:47 PM

How about a culture which treats women as second class citizens, disallows any but the state religion and murders gays and fornicators.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Shakey
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:50 PM

Or in certain african cultures where some children, who are deemed to be possesed, are physically and mentally abused with the full knowledge and approval of the people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 07:52 PM

Multiculturalism doesn't create discord. In the absence of multiculturalism, people will invent differences to fight about.

In the town of Accident, Maryland (USA), an all White (western and northern European ancestry), almost exclusively Christian area, there are three Lutheran churches. Two of them sit right next door to each other. This is because the members of one congregaton of White people of European ancestry who are all Lutherans, couldn't get along. So they split into two different factions instead of finding a way to stay together in harmony.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 08:25 PM

I'll wade in briefly, but I don't have time this evening to produce a scholarly tome on the subject.

Cultures, in my educated opinion, originally were bio-regional in origin. With the basis of similar foods and languages and from ways of learning to get along on the land and speaking and eating, religions arose. Autochthonous religions, based on the place and how to live on it. As some of these grew and became disconnected from the land, they became instead instruments of business, of industry, and of government, they became juggernauts that spread and shifted and became something more than cultures. They became commingled into everything from petty duchys to nations.

Many of the religions that remained close to the land where they rose. They are still associated with small populations and had at their hearts truly beficial human and eco-friendly beliefs. Those are the ones that today are appropriated and mimicked (and even then, the appropriation is largely imperfect, leading to the "Pollyanna" claim above). These are resisting being sucked in by larger industrial religions, and by nations in which many religions exist, with a few dominant. Others religious factions within the nation states are fighting to free themselves.

So we live in a political world that is all mixed up and disconnected from it's origins. I doubt you can sort it out to the point that you can uphold the claim it's a naive notion that all cultures are equally valuable to humanity stick. Because it begs the question "which ones are less valuable, and what do you propose to do about it?" There are thuggish factions everywhere. I'm not denying that for a moment. Within their own cultures they are often considered pariahs. But it is with extreme hubris that we begin to weigh the value of the cultures of others.

Food for thought.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 08:46 PM

"But it is with extreme hubris that we begin to weigh the value of the cultures of others."

It seems that this has always happened and is happening still.
Most people think their culture is better than any other. Indeed, a certain amount of pride in one's own group is healthy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: John Hardly
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 08:55 PM

I don't think it's hubris at all to consider a dangerous culture dangerous. We have to make those kind of judgements or else stick our heads in the sand an hope they will go away with a minimum of damage.

We make those judgements within our own culture - we demand women's rights for ourselves based on the value and equality of women. It's not hubris to think that the women of other cultures are just as valuable as the women of our own. That's not hubris -- that human rights.

And what does that say of the opposite evaluation? Other cultures are allowed to abuse their women because who are we to make a judgement on the value of their culture?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: John Hardly
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 09:08 PM

And I'm anxious to meet the multicultralist mudcatter who just can't wait to embrace the fundamentalist Christian *wink*.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 09:18 PM

But dangerous to whom? By all standards, and from the perspective of the majority of countries in the world, the United States is the most dangerous nation in the world. We certainly have the firepower to do more damage to the world than any other nation.

And the women of Iraq are now facing the likelihood that they will have fewer rights now that Iraq has been "liberated" by the US than they had before the invasion and occupation. So trying to liberate women in countries in which they are oppressed using force of arms has a tendency to backfire on the very people we claim to be trying to help.

We (the US) are a warrior culture. Warriors have their place within cultures, but they should never be allowed to run the show.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 09:54 PM

Possibly correct!

But neither is a woman one o' those!

Especially Isla Cameron !!

It's true ideally anyway.

But---

In fact, though, we are all islands---unless we choose to make it otherwise.

So what do we do?

We disenfanchise Socialism in all it's many forms and all it's small inroads into modern American life...

and replace it with Enron----and all the unknown Enrons that will never come to light because we have the scapegoat convicted and locked up.

The suggestion, though, is that we all either buy into the stock market---

or a lottery ticket.

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Aug 05 - 11:27 PM

The point of my badly typed message earlier was that Captial-C Culture is a much broader term than the splinter factions I think you are implying in your earlier response. If you are discussing Moslem fundamentalists who within that group have a faction who practice terrorism, then be clear about it. But don't suggest that being Moslem is enough to place a Culture on your world list of undesirables.

Also, what goes around comes around. If you are standing in your priviledged EurAmerican position while impacting the rest of the world in measurable and unfair ways, and don't recognize that the way we live is an incitement to riot, then you're missing a big part of the story. It doesn't start from where your eyeballs view the world, it starts behind you, way way behind you, and you're a part of the picture, even if you can't see yourself.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: dianavan
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 12:20 AM

John - Christian Fundamentalism is not a culture, its a religion.

I'm not sure if hubris is the correct term. Judging other cultures by the norms of our own culture is called ethno-centricism. It means that our judgement of other cultures is biased by our own cultural perspective.

Women have demanded equal rights in our society and the government agencies have helped to make it so. Those human rights belong to women of all religions but only in the nations who have made it law. Don't confuse government with religion or culture.

There is no Muslim culture. Islam is a religion. There are a variety of Middle Eastern cultures. There are Kurds, Persians and Arabs to name a few. In some countries (Iran) religion and government are one in the same. Thats an example of why its important to keep governments secular and separate from religion in a healthy multicultural society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 01:25 AM

Hubris is exactly the right term, from my point of view. The whole point I've been trying to make is that there is NO POSITION from which one culture can "judge" another and actually come up with a meaningful decision regarding their "value." To attempt it is folly, is self-centered, is self-important, is ethno-centric, and if you think you can actually do such a thing, is extreme hubris.

John recognized the problem to begin with when he suggested an accurate definition of "Culture" be put in place. The definition above (Culture is a system of traditions and beliefs embedded in a common language and passed down from generation to generation. ) has the problem of all definitons--it is too brief, only providing a whiff of what Cultures contain. Then there are the many exceptions to the rule because of the commingling of traditions and beliefs and languages within the regions I mentioned above. There is no neat Venn Diagram to show those intersections and overlaps, and it would require layer upon layer of diagrams to cover all aspects.

The original post questioned the idea of Multiculturalism. When given some thought, it implies that mutual regard for each culture allows several to comfortably coexist, not merging into a homogeneous one culture. The gender equality and treatment questions are at best a subset of this.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 03:43 AM

All cultures have something good about them. Look at rembetika or fado.
Multiculturalism I think means being open, understanding that there is more to the world than you and that others aren't necessarily wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 03:50 AM

Multiculturalism? Bollocks!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 03:53 AM

Eloquent argument, ted, but could you elaborate a little?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 04:16 AM

Hmmm..... Not really El Greko. This is Mudcat after all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: GUEST,David Hannam
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 04:36 AM

Multi-Culturalism - that which seeks to adjoin the various cultures, identity's, ethnicity through enforced union, by means of economic migrancy so as to create for big business an initial fortune of cheap labour, so as not longer need the neccesary high wages for the native population. The destruction of the rich tapestry of culture and ethnicity that is in the world through the over-eagerness of government to create a mish-mash of ethnicity, so as to destroy all ethnic individuality instead of celebrating that individuality they seek to destroy it as they regard individuality and pride in ones own culture, heritage, identity as a threat, a threat because a united nation/s with a common bond can stage uprising.

Multi-culturalism, responsible for hate-race-crimes such as racist murder of Kriss Donald, tortured and killed by muslim racists. Stephen Lawrence, killed by white racists, stabbed.

Government convince the public multi-culturalism works, and celebrate the idea though festivals, such as the Notting Hill Festival, however, cost of such a festival £5.6million in 2002 and resulted in spates of murder and theft.

Multi-culturalism, resonsible for the recent anti-free speech laws designed to stifle free-debate. Critisizm of religions such as Islam may be punishable by conviction.

Multi-culturalism - Failed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: dianavan
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 05:05 AM

"Multi-culturalism, responsible for hate-race-crimes such as racist murder of Kriss Donald, tortured and killed by muslim racists. Stephen Lawrence, killed by white racists, stabbed."

Then why is it working in Canada and other parts of the world?

Multi-culturalism is not responsible for the violence of racists. Racism is motivated by hate. Hate and fear of the unknown.

You're a coward and a racist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 05:06 AM

Lovely. Roderick Spode himself couldn't have put it better.
When will you be able to see that multiculturalism doesn't mean imposing or force-feeding???
What harm can it do to be aware of others?
Frankly what you are describing is a MONOCULTURE.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 08:06 AM

I preferred flamenco ted's response, David; at least his had humour. While yours is a characteristic demagog's twisting of words to fit a story.

After all, you have already agreed that both Kriss' and Anthony Walkers murders are equally abhorrent. But you then accuse multiculturalism for being the cause of such murders. Seriously flawed logic.

Multiculturalism is a backdrop. It can neither provide the motive for such crimes, nor the weapons. It does provide the opportunity, but so what? Without motive there is no crime.

So, where does the motive come from? Simple - from monoculturalism, from the wish to impose one's will on others, from the wish for a cockamammied "purity", from the wish for "ethnic cleansing". They are all monocultural characteristics.

And that was the reason why I earlier accused you (as I still do) of being morally responsible for murders such as Anthony's (and Kriss'); because the monoculturalistic messages you promote provide the motives for such killings. And that is why your attempt at riposte by accusing my multicultralistic beliefs as being responsible for Kriss' and other black-on-white crimes is - how shall I put it.... laughable?

If that's the best argument that the BNP can provide, I can't see your 1 million minority (which you call a majority in your twisted ways) increasing by much, if at all. And if it ever becomes a majority, me and my pet pig will fly out of here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 08:16 AM

Ahh, but note the language he uses to describe the two murders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: John Hardly
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 08:18 AM

hmmm...

So, if "Culture" isn't about ideals and philosophies, then it sounds an awful lot like nostalgia and fashion -- not necessarily in that order.

And the desire for "multiculturalism" sounds like 2 parts patronizing ("oh look! ...aren't they cute?!" -As I observe around the N. Indiana Amish community) and 2 parts nostalgia (we must preserve this culture at all cost ~~~ whether or not the culturally engaged actually wish to preserve their culture), and 2 parts liberal self-loathing (oh, if only we could be have those really cool attributes that the people whom we are not have!).

If it's not about clashing ideals then I would submit that everything else that is classified as "Culture" is merely giving way to progress, as ever.

We don't talk about an American culture. There is no American culture -- certainly not one that we want to "preserve". That's because American culture is dominant and, in the midst of it, we realize that its culture is merely defined by progress -- the next new thing. We are in the midst of seeing how culture evolves. From the middle, we can only look at other cultures and define them. We don't see ourselves.

Cultures aren't deemed superior and then foisted upon other cultures. New cultures are deemed superior and adopted by other cultures. The Brits didn't force feed us the Beatles. We happily adopted the Beatles as the one of the biggest cultural advancements of our generation. We can still listen to Glenn Miller if we'd like to -- but our culture is changed forever. Nobody is FORCING the technological age on more primative cultures. The other cultures see the benefits of technological advancement and WANT to advance themselves -- their older cultural ties are easily, volitionally discarded when a newer, easier, healthier, safer way of living is made availible.

Advancement for advancement's sake is not wise.

Neither is nostalgia something that needs to be prompted -- we're nostalgic beings.

There's nothing superior about being "different" unless there's something wrong with "same".


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 08:30 AM

Nobody is saying 'foist'.
Keep an open mind, it can't hurt.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 08:41 AM

One's culture is like a family. Is your family better than any other, hard to say, but it is your family.
If I'm tolerant or want to understand someone's culture, it doesn't mean I turn a back on mine, or pass judgement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 08:47 AM

Agree John Hardly - no room for patronising in multiculturalism, none for nostalgia either (except by choice in things like appreciating old music). No foisting, no imposing. Just acceptance of other cultures' existence next to ours (whatever "ours" is), learning the good things from each other, and avoiding the bad things.

I would argue that a culture that co-exists with others in such a way has a better chance of developing, through learning from others; while a culture that accepts only itself and does not give a hoot for others leads to an incestuous reinfocing of its own characteristics, good and bad, with reduced opportunities for development.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 09:02 AM

Best post so far. Thanks, El Greko.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: John Hardly
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 09:07 AM

"I would argue that a culture that co-exists with others in such a way has a better chance of developing, through learning from others;"

Yes, that's what I'm saying. Further, I'm saying that the whole idea behind "multiculturalism" seems to be that the "better chance of developing" is a negative goal. Developing is, by it's very nature, one "culture" being swallowed up by another. And the fact that you had to add the parenthetical "whatever ours is" illustrates my point -- that the "dominating culture" is not necessarily anything of the sort ("dominating culture"). No, it is nothing more than the dominant "culture" reflecting the advancements of an era.

Hey, LF, there really is no need to be nasty. I'm really not sure why a disagreement must lead one to conclude that one's mind in not open. Am I to conclude the same of your mind simply because we don't agree?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 09:12 AM

John, not at all what I intended. Sorry if it sounded that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 09:53 AM

John Hardly, you said "We don't talk about an American culture. There is no American culture -- certainly not one that we want to "preserve". That's because American culture is dominant and, in the midst of it, we realize that its culture is merely defined by progress -- the next new thing."

-snip-

My question to you: If "there is no American culture", how then can American culture be dominant?"

I googled the key words "American culture" and got 75,200,000 hits.

Here is an excerpt from one of the first ten websites that are listed:

How to tell if you're American

Not long ago, one of those earnest-freshman puppydogs on the Net declared that there was "no such thing as American culture." Right. Fish have also been known to doubt the existence of water.

The following is a first crack at an ostensive definition of 'American culture'-- things shared by the vast majority (let's say 90%) of native-born Americans. Many of these won't sound 'cultural' at all to Americans; they'll sound like just descriptions of the way things are. But each one of them would be contested in one or more non-American cultures...

If you're American...
You believe deep down in the First Amendment, guaranteed by the government and perhaps by God.|

You're familiar with David Letterman, Mary Tyler Moore, Saturday Night Live, Bewitched, the Flintstones, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby, Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Donald Duck, the Fonz, Archie Bunker, Star Trek, the Honeymooners, the Addams Family, the Three Stooges, and Beetle Bailey.

You know how baseball, basketball, and American football are played. If you're male, you can argue intricate points about their rules. On the other hand (and unless you're under about 20), you don't care that much for soccer.

You count yourself fortunate if you get three weeks of vacation a year.

If you died tonight...
You're fairly likely to believe in God; if not, you've certainly been approached by people asking whether you know that you're going to Heaven.

You think of McDonald's, Burger King, KFC etc. as cheap food.
You probably own a telephone and a TV. Your place is heated in the winter and has its own bathroom. You do your laundry in a machine. You don't kill your own food. You don't have a dirt floor. You eat at a table, sitting on chairs.

You don't consider insects, dogs, cats, monkeys, or guinea pigs to be food.

A bathroom may not have a bathtub in it, but it certainly has a toilet.

It seems natural to you that the telephone system, railroads, auto manufacturers, airlines, and power companies are privately run; indeed, you can hardly picture things working differently.

You expect, as a matter of course, that the phones will work. Getting a new phone is routine.

The train system, by contrast, isn't very good. Trains don't go any faster than cars; you're better off taking a plane.

You find a two-party system natural. You expect the politicians of both parties to be responsive to business, strong on defense, and concerned with the middle class. You find parliamentary systems (such as Italy's) inefficient and comic.

You don't expect to hear socialism seriously defended. Communism, fuhgeddaboudit.

Between "black" and "white" there are no other races. Someone with one black and one white parent looks black to you.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

You take a strong court system for granted, even if you don't use it. You know that if you went into business and had problems with a customer, partner, or supplier, you could take them to court.

You'd respect someone who speaks French, German, or Japanese-- but you very likely don't yourself speak them well enough to communicate with a monolingual foreigner. You're a bit more ambivalent about Spanish; you think the schools should teach kids English.
It's not all that necessary to learn foreign languages anyway. You can travel the continent using nothing but English-- and get by pretty well in the rest of the world, too.

You think a tax level of 30% is scandalously high.

School is free through high school (at least, it's an option, even if you went to private school); college isn't, unless you get a scholarship.
College is (normally, and excluding graduate study) four years long.

Everybody knows that
Mustard comes in jars. Shaving cream comes in cans. Milk comes in plastic jugs or cardboard boxes, and occasionally in bottles.

The date comes second: 11/22/63. (And you know what happened on that date.)

The decimal point is a dot. Certainly not a comma.
A billion is a thousand times a million.

World War II was a just war, and (granted all the suffering of course) ended all right. It was a time when the country came together and did what was right. And instead of insisting on vengeance, the US very generously rebuilt Europe instead, with the Marshall Plan.

You expect marriages to be made for love, not arranged by third parties. Getting married by a judge is an option, but not a requirement; most marriages happen in church. You have a best man and a maid or matron of honor at the wedding-- a friend or a sibling. And, naturally, a man gets only one wife at a time.

If a man has sex with another man, he's a homosexual.

Once you're introduced to someone (well, besides the President and other lofty figures), you can call them by their first name.

If you're a woman, you don't go to the beach topless.

A hotel room has a private bath.

You'd rather a film be subtitled than dubbed (if you go to foreign films at all).

You seriously expect to be able to transact business, or deal with the government, without paying bribes.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, you would question his ability to govern.

Just about any store will take your credit card.

A company can fire just about anybody it wants, unless it discriminates by doing so.

You like your bacon crisp (unless it's Canadian bacon, of course).
Labor Day is in the fall.

Contributions to world civilization
You've probably seen Star Wars, ET, Home Alone, Casablanca, and Snow White. If you're under forty, add Blazing Saddles, Terminator, Jaws, and 2001; otherwise, add Gone with the Wind, A Night at the Opera, Psycho, and Citizen Kane.

You know the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Elvis, Chuck Berry, Michael Jackson, Simon & Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt. If not, you know Frank Sinatra, Al Jolson, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, and Kate Smith


And Much More HERE


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 10:11 AM

Don't forget canned laughter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: John Hardly
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 10:16 AM

So you're saying you want to preserve and embrace that?

I actually do think that there is an American culture. It's just that, relative to any discussion I've ever seen on "multiculturalism" whatever the thing is that we live in the midst of (apparently NOT "culture"), is the enemy that threatens all other cultures (the "multi" in "multicultural") -- thereby excluding us from being a culture. We are the enemy.

And I'm just saying that I don't think that's how it all works.

I can't stand contemporary Christian music. It makes me want to hurl. One of my MAJOR complaints with CCM was that it is (to my ear) patently imitative. ...and in the pursuit of Art, I would like to think of Chirstianity as the impetus for great creativity, NOT imitation.

When I expressed this disdain to a young fan of CCM, he rightly (and very respectfully for such a young whippersnapper) corrected me. It was impropper logic for me to assume that CCM was imitative. It was just as likely (as pointed out by my young friend) that both CCM AND pop music were merely both responding to technological and environmental changes simultaneously. Damn. The kid was right. The kid was right logically.

It's not a we/they. EVERY culture is forced to change by technological and environmental change. Some accept and seem, by that acceptance, to lead. Others don't accept and cloister. Others don't accept yet still demand that everyone else accept their stubborn refusal to accept as somehow superior. And still others don't accept, but don't expect anyone else to accomodate to their whim.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 10:58 AM

BTW, my post previous to this one defined "American" as a person who is from the United States, which I believe is the most common definition of "American".

IMO, groups of people who are generally described as hypenated races and/or ethnic groups in the United States [such as African Americans", "Native Americans", and "Latinos"] would probably accept 99% of what that iink defined as describing what an American knows believes, and expects. After all, in my opinion, African Americans, Native Americans; and "Latino-Americans are just as much American as Anglo-Americans {European-Americans}.

I believe that is a matter of course for most Americans to understand that there are different nationalities in Europe and that those different nationalities have different languages, musical styles, dress, customs, traditional celebrations, etc. It is also a matter of course for most Americans to accept that these indices are, to a lesser or greater degree, remembered & celebrated by Americans who descend from those nations {and sometimes by Americans who don't descend from those nations such as occurs to a limited degree with the wearing of clothes that are the color green on the Irish-American celebration of "Saint Patrick's Day"}.

Hopefully more Anglo-Americans 'get' that along with the "standard" [mainstream] American culture there are cultural "sub-groups" among Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos-each having their own languages.

And hopefully, more Americans will realize that there are multiple "sub-groups" among African Americans. I'm not just talking region, gender, economic class, religion, sexual orientation, or cultural interests since every population group in the United States can be subdivided by those demographics.

I'm referring to the fact that there are significant sub-groups of African Americans who identify themselves {and may be identified by others} by a nation other than the United States where they or one or more of their parents or grandparents were born.

I'm not referring here to African Americans who are first generation racially mixed such as Tiger Woods or Barak Obama-though I'm certain that they must have experienced some cultural overlays from their White birth mothers and [on Barak Obama's part-perhaps also from his Kenyan birth father].

The point that I'm trying to make is that a significant number of   African Americans were born not in the United States but in Haiti, or Guyana, or Jamaica, or Trinidad, or Nigeria, or Ghana, or Kenya, or The Gambia, or Ethiopia, or Somalia-to name the places of birth of some African Americans who I personally know. As a result of their nation of origin, these people's culture will differ in greater or lesser degrees from other Americans and other African-Americans.

Furthermore, there are a significant number of African Americans who have two Black birth parent but one or both of these birth parents or birth grandparents were not born in the United States {see my list above of those African Americans who I know}.

Of course all this depends on how you define "African American".
But I believe that without question African Americans are far more diverse than most people, particularly most Anglo-Americans think.

And, btw, I strongly feel that it is a good thing that African Americans are made up of diverse, multicultural people.

I also strongly feel that it is a good thing that the United States and many other nations in the world are multicultural.

In time, I believe that Mudcat will have more people of color as regular posters. And I strongly believe that will also be a good thing.



Azizi


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 11:17 AM

Another long one brewing


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 12:20 PM

Hi John H, your words about CCM made me cringe; I dislike it, just like you, and for the same reasons.

There is a term that we have in Greek, that I don't know how to translate properly into English. It is "Conscripted music", and refere to any music written not for art's sake, but to promote a message, whether militaristic, religious, political etc. I abhor any kind of conscripted music, and CCM is such a case. I particularly liked your statement about creativity versus imitation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: dianavan
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 12:34 PM

I don't think America (the U.S.) can be said to be truly multi-cultural in as much as the emphasis is on assimilation rather preservation of cultural heritage (the melting pot).

In a multi-cultural society, each culture is encouraged to preserve their own language, traditions and beliefs while respecting others. The common society is governed by laws which apply equally to all cultures within the nation.

Yes, there is an American (U.S.) culture and many sub-cultures within American culture but they are not equal to the dominant American culture. When a person from another culture adopts the customs of the dominant culture and rejects their own, they become assimilated. It was once thought that assimilation was the answer to harmony but studies have shown that it is far better for individuals to retain their own cultural identity while living in a multi-cultural society. This promotes strong family ties, language skills and security for the individual.

Cultural genocide occurs when the dominant culture forces a distinct culture to assimilate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 01:35 PM

Ahh, but note the language he uses to describe the two murders.

?


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: harpgirl
Date: 08 Aug 05 - 02:14 PM

Get on the same page with this Wikipedia definition:Multiculturalism


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 04:42 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: John Hardly
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 08:13 AM

"It is "Conscripted music", and refere to any music written not for art's sake, but to promote a message, whether militaristic, religious, political etc. I abhor any kind of conscripted music, and CCM is such a case"

zackly!

I think it's a far better goal of art to try to communicate the "universals" of our common humanity. That doesn't mean that the content need be lofty -- humor is a huge part of our common humanity.

...and I would qualify that I can enjoy the craft of some "conscripted music". For instance, I enjoy the emotion and musical craft of some protest music, even though that craft has been sacrificed on the altar of its content. Ohio, For What It's Worth, etc are very interesting musically and emotionally, though they are "conscripted", or "propaganda".

I think there are occasions when one work can contain both art and propaganda, though the risk is always that the propaganda will outweigh the art.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 11:42 AM

In a funny way, I would not include most protest songs in the "conscripted" category anyway. I guess it's OK if they were written as an outlet of the writer's emotions and thoughts - but not to serve a particular organisation. After all, every song presumably has something to tell, some message to pass. To be "conscripted" its creation must have served some other purpose than simply the writer's need to express themselves.

And sure, there is a fine line between simply "expressing oneself" and propaganda, and the distinction isn't clear sometimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 11:57 AM

A radio jingle is conscriped I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Multiculturalism
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 12:40 PM

Yep. Irrespective of the fact that I cannot forget dozens of the buggers that clutter my memory from way back!


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