Multiculturalism - a no brainer

I strongly suspect that the video you’re linking to is a joke.

Beyond that, I’m not sure you’re point since if the video was real it’s extremely racist.

I don’t even know what “multiculturalism” means. In the U.S. there are a lot of different cultures who have to live together. That’s not an ideology, that’s a fact. One might as well speak of “gravityism” or “speed-of-lightism.”

A standard myth that’s been around forever. People said the same thing a hundred years ago; all that changes is the origin of the immigrants who supposedly are refusing to assimilate.

Well, it’s nice to know that UCLA is tolerant enough to welcome aspiring porn stars.

Not necessarily. It may also mean that, while all cultures are equally valid, mixing and matching them in a single location doesn’t work/creates conflict/whatever.

That being said, in almost all cases I’ve heard people rant against multiculturalism in RL, the speaker was a racist asshole (usually of the “Arabs go home !” variety), including our dearest President. So I tend to have a negative bias against that particular position.

I am (to an extent) and I do.

However, let me clarify: I’m not against immigration. Quite the opposite (I’m an immigrant myself). Australia is a big country and I believe there’s room for more people, just not in the State Capitals (until some serious investment in infrastructure is made, at least). I love the fact that there’s a great variety of food here, and I regularly see Indian women in Saris and Muslim men dressed in robes and Taqiyahs. That sort of “Multiculturalism” is absolutely fine with me.

The problem, IMHO is when “Multiculturalism” becomes used (ironically not always by members of the minority culture) as “an unassailable right to do whatever (generic) you want” , and disagreeing with the behaviour becomes “Racism”- in much the same way, IMHO, “Aspergers” is used by people who like being rude dicks as an unassailable defence to their rude dickery.

So, when I say that I’m against Multiculturalism, I’m not saying I don’t want foreigners moving here, because that’s the complete opposite of how I feel. However, I do think that if you move here, you need to accept there are going to be differences with how things are done from your old country, and whilst you have the right to comment upon those differences or respectfully disagree with some of them, you don’t get to decide (for hypothetical and slightly hyperbolic example) that the local fish & chip shop should stop putting bacon on their burgers or that the local council shouldn’t put Christmas decorations up.

Thing is, “all cultures aren’t equally good” (something I actually agree with as it happens) is perfectly compatible with multiculturalism. Tolerance doesn’t mean pretending that you like something. What isn’t compatible is trying to use the law or brute force to stamp out those allegedly inferior cultures. Especially when you are doing so with practices that aren’t harmful in themselves, but just offend you for being different; like speaking the “wrong” language.

I can see how given two “equally good” cultures there might be needless conflict by mixing them in a small space. I can concede that. But if two cultures view each other as equally good, then there would probably be less resistance to the other, and they’d probably “merge” together sooner than for example two conflicting cultures.

This I agree with. Some cultures value female circumcision, some cultures value your ‘caste’ of birth as a determinant of your role in life, some cultures value faith over science, etc. I think that if you CHOOSE to enter into a new culture then you should fully accept their rules, since you implicitly already did so when deciding to go there in the first place. It’s your right to lobby against them, in an effort to democratically change the culture (since this is what we do anyways over time), but to be expected to be granted some kind of exception based on the argument of “tolerance of culture” is totally inappropriate, IMHO.

Where do you draw the line? Should we allow female circumcision at the age of 8 if you belong to a different culture? Should we have separate laws for citizens depending on which culture they are members of? It’s all a little absurd. As for freedom of choice when it comes to food and clothing, sure - since we do not have laws regulating such things (though some places do) - but there should be no leeway when it comes to compromising our formal rules and our laws.

I can mostly agree with this. Not all differences in cultures manifest themselves as differences in laws. But the language example is not the best one. I live in a very metropolitan city. There are people who immigrated here in ~1900. They then had children that were born here. I’ve met some of those children who are now 60+, and some of them don’t speak english. They’ve lived their entire lives insulted from their adoptive country to such a degree that despite the fact that they were born here, they still cannot speak the language!

Is this okay? I’m pretty sure the answer is no. It implies you have no desire nor intention to integrate into the society that has openned their arms and accepted you. It means you don’t really wanna be here. It means that you don’t appear to have a lot of respect for our society.

As the Brit PM said in his speech (I believe it was the PM, but correct me if I’m wrong), however, it also means that some cultures don’t do a very good job of integrating new immigrants. Part of this is due to our “repect for multiculturism”, and part of it is due to our laziness I suppose. We certainly need to try harder to integrate, but if people don’t want to integrate… well, I believe forced education/schooling may be an alternative. It’s hard to support what many would see as forced indoctrination into a culture, but I believe that this is what they signed up for when they came here, and therefore have little right to protest. This isn’t the optimal solution, obviously, but what are other people’s comments on this?
As for opposing the idea that “all cultures are equally good” as constituting racism (“racism” really just means “culturism”), I think that’s a bit silly. “Racism” in it’s practical definition (that I use) means judging INDIVIDUALS based on your idea of the cultural group they belong to, INSTEAD OF judging them by their individual actions/abilities. Believing that a certain cultural idea, like female circumcision, is wrong does not constitute racism since you are not judging people, but a specific ACTION.

If I ran into a Somali man, I wouldn’t judge him poorly because some people in his culture practice female circumcision. But if he were to proudly declare his support for female circumcions, THEN I would. It’s all about judging individuals based on their individual merits, not by the group that you assume (rightly/wrongly) that they belong to. If he came into a job interview and shared such information on his thoughts about women, I wouldn’t hire him. And by doing so, I would not be racist - I’d simply be following my morals and ethics, which are also shared by my society/culture.

There’s no reason to think people like Jefferson, Lincoln, Ghandi or Darwin, were liars or deluded. Also, everyday observations about race/ethnicities do correspond almost perfectly to genetic clusters.

:rolleyes: Except for the little detail of them living in a society that was both more scientifically ignorant and deeply racist. And in some cases, being slaveowners and participants in genocide.

I’m not interested in your racist garbage.

It is amusing to watch people who clearly believe* The Bell Curve *was a legitimate book think that they’re making intelligent comments.

For they’re sake I hope they’ve never ridiculed creationists, because otherwise they owe them some major apologies.

Which simply reinforces the point that such “racial” categories are social constructs. People in a society that categorizes people by “race” are going to identify themselves according to manifestations of those “races.” Note that the study was done on people in the (race conscious) U.S. with a small control group thrown in from Taiwan. Since socially identified “race” is a huge factor in the U.S., this makes sense. It is also notable that the people surveyed were given a multiple choice test from which to identify themselves, limiting the possible options to only four categories.

Populations certainly exist. If we bundle groups of populations and arbitrarily assign them to a limited number of “races” then tell people to choose one to which to belong, we have made a socially determined decision. We have not demonstrated a biological relationship.

It’s not a joke. She meant what she said, and she has since apologized for saying it. She didn’t say “I was just joking,” she said “I don’t know why I thought it was okay to say that in public” or words to that effect.

I’d put it down to “American manners”.

As a proponent of multiculturalism and globalism, it is something to be striven for since it is the most accurate reflection of reality. Societies are not local anymore, nor even national but are subsets of a global society. Humanity is more fluid now and no longer subject to the strictures of geography. But several dominant and other dynamic cultures exist within humanity, and need to learn to, at best, to cooperate, or, at least, to co-exist with one another. The antitheses of multiculturalism are either cultural imperialism or cultural isolation. I don’t particularly care for either. Certainly nations can support their existing cultures and institutions, but they need to recognize that they are part of a global multicultural society and culture is far more dynamic now than in the past and subject to far more exogenous factors. Homogeneity seems purely emotionally based in my opinion and a cry for a nostalgia that is no longer possible.

And I would say that those cities which are more cosmopolitan are more suited to the new dynamic than those which are not. I don’t think every city needs to cosmopolitan, but that those cities which are will be more successful since their citizens do not limit their options and are more engaged in the new global society. Policies which hinder that natural development of a cosmopolitan multicultural society will only hurt their polities. Conversely, policies which encourage that development will be more beneficial.

As far as immigration and acculturation or assimilation, that possesses a new dynamic also. Historically, immigration was a one-way trip - one left the old country and never looked back. Modern transportation and communications have changed that. Trips back home are far more common. It is easier to stay in contact with one’s family and stay in tune with one’s home country or culture. Some immigrants may still wish to adopt to their new country, but it is much easier to not do so now, and many immigrants only see their move as the pursuit of an economic opportunity without having to sacrifice their original culture. In the past that sacrifice was more of an imperative if one wanted economic success, but it is far from the case now.

I think that immigrants do have an obligation to respect the cultural norms of their host country and follow the legal codes of that country. Tolerance is a two-way street. That is if you live in a country that advocates freedom of religion, speech and association, you cannot complain if the media there bashes your home country or religion or if your children decide to adopt that host culture and/or marry a member of that culture. You can dislike it, but you forfeited your rights to disapprove of it. You decided that life abroad was better than life at home. If one’s home culture is that important, then stay where it is the norm.

Granted, refugee populations that fled a country for whatever reason may desire less assimilation and ultimately desire to return or create an enclave, but they are still guests, and need to show respect as well, and if their children decide to adopt the host country’s culture, well, that is life. Welcome to the club. It ain’t fair, and even though one can try to make it as unfair as possible, that does not mean one can impose their views on another, especially parents on their children. They can hope that their kids will follow their footsteps, and encourage them to do so, but I do not think anyone is allowed to force another to follow a particular way of life.

Even liberalism and multiculturalism. They should not be imposed, but neither should they be prohibited. Which I suppose is still a liberal imposition, but I hope that we have learned that it is better than the alternative. I would rather live in a chaotic liberal multicultural society than an ordered stagnant isolationist one. As long as we intend to share this planet with as many inhabitants as possible, chaos will be dominant. I think it more beneficial to learn how to live amidst that chaos, than impose artificial standards to create a false order or harmony. Or rather I see harmony not as creating a ‘lake with no ripples’, or order out of chaos, but learning how to ride the waves and enjoy the chaos of nature.

But I am Chaotic Neutral, so what do you expect.

As I posted in another thread, there are counter-examples that clearly demonstrate this is incorrect.

Take the matter of blackouts. In the 1970s, NYC experienced a major blackout, leading to widespread looting, rioting, etc. In 2004, a goodly bit of the NE of North America experienced a major blackout (including my own city of Toronto - said to be ‘the most multicultural city in the world’) - and there was no looting, no rioting. The population pulled together, much as in Japan.

Now, a blackout obviously isn’t anywhere near as serious as an earthquake/tsunami, but that’s not the point - as a trigger for looting and rioting, it is even better. More stuff to steal for one, and people are not shell-shocked by the disaster for another. The police are rendered relatively impotent by a lack of power at night, alarms don’t work, no lights, etc. all aid the criminals.

The relative lack of looting and rioting in 2004 cannot be explained by a lack of “multiculturalism”. As stated, Toronto is extremely “multicultural”, and NYC - which did experience rioting under the same circumstances in the 1970s - has not grown less “multicultural” since then!

Godwinized in only five posts. Is that a record?

The proper response here is to point out that Stalin and Mao killed more people than the Axis, and they did it while mouthing a lot of happy talk about peace and brotherhood. Any time a leftie starts talking about Hitler, he should immediately be reminded of Stalin and Mao.

Considering the number of death threats Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter get, I’d say it’s your side that’s out for blood.

Are you seriously suggesting that Chairman “Cultural Revolution for teh WIN” Mao was a proponent of multiculturalism?

Yeah, right. The future is always going to be like the past. There’s never going to be a wave of immigrants who refuse to assimilate and insist on remaining outsiders.