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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:28 PM
Original message
Multiculturalism - A spectacular failure

Multiculturalism no longer provides a satisfactory answer to the complex nature of today's race relation issues

Trevor Phillips, chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, has taken a brave stand in this anxious atmosphere. Calling for greater integration of separatist Muslim communities, he proclaims that "multi-culturalism" has had its day. That breaks a taboo on the left, but acknowledges the growing disquiet out there where race is often less important than culture.

By acknowledging this, Phillips breaks with unctuous, unthinking platitudes about the richness of all diversity in a multicultural society, as if any difference was a self-evident asset. On the day a 17-year-old Muslim is charged with conspiracy to cause explosions, it doesn't feel so. Phillips says it was an error to let alien communities stay in their silos. He wants more teaching of British cultural values, even of Dickens and Shakespeare, and not just to black Britons but to white children, whose heritage is lost in a kind of cultural paralysis. Restore history to something more than a cursory trip around glib moral lessons to be learned from Hitler.


Embrace modern British values that include laws on equality for women. Muslim teaching on women staying one step behind will not do: respect for religion cannot take precedence over respect for British law. No, it doesn't mean tearing off schoolgirls' headscarves, but it does mean ensuring equality for them. "It's time to move on from multiculturalism," he says. "We argued for a right to respect - but not a right to preserve old cultures exactly as they were in a modern British society. Mainstream Muslims sign up to that." British society itself has changed on women, gays, race and sex and no group can withdraw from that new tolerance. "To be a British Muslim is not the same as being a Muslim in Riyadh or Islamabad." Phillips proposes a universal coming-of-age ceremony to give meaning to adult citizenship, along with the right to vote and eventually receipt of the matured baby bond.


The left, with its infinite ironising, recoils from national symbolism, vacating valuable ground necessary for any collective social democratic identity. The union flag that we mocked in the 1960s, worn as Carnaby Street bell-bottoms, does symbolise laws and values. So the sight of Muslim fanatics burning it outside the Regent's Park mosque is just as outrageous as the sight of BNP football hooligans waving it as they charge at Turkish football fans. It is our collective symbol. We blush to see it carried into wars we do not wish to join or plastered on the face of drunken, racist oiks. Most on the left are internationalists, inclined to regard community as a matter of choosing like-minded company: we feel closer to a US democrat or German SPD than to some British europhobe Tory. The left is lofty about the racism and insularity of those who fear migrants. But the context has changed.

Sometime soon, one or more Madrid-type horrors is expected in Britain with hundreds dead and thousands injured. Maybe a dirty nuclear bomb in a suitcase will blow up all over London or Manchester. Parliament is already a fortress. Atrocity will be done in the name of a rogue crazed creed, destroying the infidel for reward with heavenly virgins. Insatiable and unrealisable, there is no negotiation, no peace process, only long endurance in the face of lunacy. We will talk of causes: the Iraq war, the disgraceful failure of Bush-Blair to press peace on Israel-Palestine. We will admit blame for discrimination, school failure and unemployment among Bangladeshi and Pakistani young men. But we are looking into the face of an insane and unassuagable cult. No kind of multiculturalism "understands" this.

Which is why Trevor Phillips is right to see the danger to race relations ahead and take a crystal-clear policy direction now alongside the Muslim Council of Britain, with its wise letter asking mosques to report on terror suspects. It is hardly surprising that the whole toxic bundle of questions on immigration - legal and illegal - has brewed together under this fearful threat from a cult of west haters. There will be no surprise, either, if the Tories use any minor immigration scam to stir ill-founded fear of chaos on the borders, especially as May 1 EU expansion day approaches.,2... ....

Here is another interesting article:

"Discomfort of strangers

David Goodhart's essay challenging liberals to rethink their attitudes to diversity and the welfare state has provoked a bitter debate among progressive thinkers. Here, for the first time in a national newspaper, we publish it in full. ",9115,115...

Personally, I feel the multiculturalism is a betrayal of progressive causes. It's a recent invention. I long for the social democratic policies of yesteryear, which built the welfare state in Norway, and has made Norway the best country to live in 3 years running according to the UN.

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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. Blair is to multicultuarlism as Bush is to gay marriage
He's come up with his own cultural "wedge issue" as his weapon of mass distraction from his military troubles.

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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. You might be right, but Trevor Phillips is certainly no Blair poodle.
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glarius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. Canada had that honour bestowed by the UN for 7 years running
We are a little further down the list now, since your country took our place in first... We're 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th...Not sure which...Why, I don't know....As a Canadian, I see no difference in Canada, that would put us down the list....Anyway, multiculturalism works well for us!
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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. To not cut any corners: The problem is emerging with muslim immigration.
It helps destroys the communal sense of belonging which is neccessary to uphold the welfare state. Whether people think a welfare state is a good thing or not, is another issue.

I fear many nations in Europe will do the way of Denmark and adopt right wing governments.
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dpibel Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. We can sure sympathize with ya 'bout them Mooslims
Really feeling bad for the impending destruction of the cozy, white "communal sense of belonging."

Just hang in there big fella: the USofA survived assaults on its communal sense of belonging from the bog Irish, the wild Italians, the eastern Yurpeens, uppity native Blacks, and now the Hispaniards are after us. But through it all, we stood up tall, and did it our way. (We might not have survived the onslaught of the Scandinavians, except, fortunately, when they had their run at us, we had some places with nothing but bitter cold and trees to cut down, and they all flocked there like a Nordsky to lutefisk, if you know what I mean. They're still up there!)

So anyway: the key is just plain old stubbornness. Don't let 'em boss you around! Make sure they understand they're outsiders! If you don't, they'll just sneak in a pretend like they belong. I mean, jeez! Look at the Irish--you can hardly tell 'em apart from real Americans these days.

If that's not what you had in mind when using the ever-flexible term "multiculturalism," feel free to tell me what particular 10 pounds of shit you're stuffing in that 5-pound bag. I wouldn't presume to explain another's writing, but that post you asked for explanation about? This might 'bout cover it.

And I gotta ask ya, my good friend (because we did get acquainted over your last week's "things sure are lookin' dandy in Iraq" thread--wasn't that it?): why did you pick this particular website to come and post what are, most generously characterized, ideas which fall to the right of the vast majority of members (not all, mind you--I expect you'll have some really strong supporters on this one)?

Best to you.
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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. Hi there.... As I have posted on another thread...
I left DU for a few days after last weeks exchanges. It was tiresome and led nowhere. I think it was my last gasp as a war supporter. I said on another thread that I think it might be the right thing to pull out ASAP. I don't like it. But, among two horrible alternatives, it might just be the least one. :-(

If you want it spelled out: I think I might have been wrong about the war.

As for DU.. I am a social democrat politician in Norway. As was my father before me. I still remember during the presidential elections in the US in 1980 I sat up with my father as a 6 year old kid hoping Carter would win.

Then, during this primary campaign, I really liked John Edwards and found this place as an awsome place to discuss and to follow the primary campaign.

And after Edwards lost the campaign for the nomination I decided to stick around. I am really sorry if I have offended you. And, if I am not welcome in this community I will leave :-(

As for multiculturalism, I think things have changed in the US. It used to be a really strong imperative to learn the language. To integrate and become an "american" was integral to individual success. That is slowly changing.

I guess this is one of those issues we will not see the answer to in many many years.


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dpibel Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #15
35. A somewhat more stately and measured response
Having had a nice nappy and feeling somewhat less cranky, let me put it this way:

In the US, multiculturalism is a portmanteau word which can be invested with pretty much whatever meaning the user chooses. That permits it to be identified as the cure for all our ills and the very thing that is causing the illness. Without knowing exactly what a person means by "multiculturalism," it's impossible to engage in any dialogue on the topic, IMHO.

Hence, my immediate reaction to a declaration that multiculturalism is an abject failure is to assume the worst. My bad.

Nonetheless, I find the declaration to be at best premature, and at worst a cover for reinstitutionalization of racism. (Not accusing you of the latter--I just see it a lot over here.)

I cannot even remotely speak to the experience of Norway, or of any of those other distant countries which are not the USofA. I am, for all my vaunted open-mindedness, still an American, and still lazy on a great number of issues. I am handicapped by living in an insular country. I visited the UK last year, and was fascinated (and a little horrified) that the Beeb was as likely to lead its news (a stultifying full hour, minimum, of an evening--never sell in America) with a US story as a Brit one. I suspect that there are many Europeans who know more about the US than many Americans do. Thus, I am at this moment equipped only to address the American experience.

As a first matter, I think there is a great myth about the American melting pot. As it has passed into the realm of received knowledge, the great melting pot is imagined to have been a country which actually followed the dictates of the Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty. America was the place which welcomed with open arms the world's tired, poor masses who were yearning to breathe free.

But I'm not sure when it ever was so. The experience of the Irish is a good case in point. Even though they had no severe language barrier--they spoke something like English, albeit with an immediately identifiable accent--it took forty or fifty years for them to establish general acceptance amongst "real" Americans. A part of that struggle for acceptance was, as a matter of fact, remaining insular. The real breakthrough was when the Boston and New York Irish communities attained sufficient numbers to act as a voting bloc and begin to establish political power. They did not do that as fully assimilated Americans; they did it as a community of shunned outsiders, who retained their native identity enough to act together.

You can trace the same path for Jewish and Italian immigrants. In fact, the throwaway jab about Scandinavians has more than a slight grain of truth. Even the whitest immigrants tended to start out banding together and working their way into the mainstream rather slowly. I spent my young years in the godforsaken state of Nebraska. Up in the desolate sandhills, there's a town called Dannebrog. Guess who settled that town? And they still celebrate their Danish heritage. There's a little town called Ord which is an outpost of Catholicism in a great wilderness of protestants; it was settled by Poles. The city of Seattle has a neighborhood called Ballard which holds an annual parade where people walk through the streets chanting "Lutefisk, lutefisk, lefsa, lefsa. We're from Ballard, ya sure you betcha!" There's a town on the Kitsap Peninsula (State of Washington again) that greets visitors with a big sign reading "Willkommen til Poulsbo." (I suspect I spelled that first word wrong; again, I'm an American so I speak but one language, instead of the 15 or 16 standard in the rest of the world.)

The short of it is: back in the day, assimilation was not some magic thing that happened the instant someone got their new name and stepped off Ellis Island. Sure, there were families where the kids instantly went to school and learned English as fast as they could. But I'd wager that there were a great many of the original immigrants who never learned English at all, or no more than enough to ask for groceries at the local market. (To engage in the American sport of citing anecdotal evidence as if it means something, I know a young woman who came from Korea when she was three. She started kindergarten knowing hardly a word of English. She learned the language on her own, and taught it to her two younger siblings. All three of them have college degrees. Her parents started a dry cleaning business, and are comfortable members of the American middle class. They speak exactly enough English to operate their business; at home they speak Korean, and that is the language they speak with their children. So good old-fashioned rapid assimilation is still present, but note that it is the younger generation which assimilates. Of course, they're all still Korean; my friend seeks out other Koreans--not that easy a task in Seattle--because she longs to speak the language and to maintain the cultural ties. To me, that's assimilation and multiculturalism.)

But it was true then, and it is true now, that some accents were more acceptable than others, and blonde white types could get cut more slack than swarthy Mediterranean sorts. Even at that, there was a certain acceptance that people with a common linguistic/national/ethnic background were going to go live in Irishtown, Germantown, or whatever part of the city those folks gathered in.

Now, in this day of instant communications and instant results, there seems to be no patience for that process: "You people have been here en masse for 10 years and you still can't speak decent English, and you still practice your foreign rituals. Why don't you do like the real immigrants did, and blend in forthwith." This attitude is fostered by the huge media platform afforded the jingos and closet segregationists, whose real problem is the existence of dusky others, and who are really quite happy that they don't fit in right away. What better reason to send 'em back where they came from?

I would argue that America has always been multicultural, in the sense that new arrivals tended to segregate, partly from necessity, and partly for comfort. There has always been, and remains, an identification with the traditions of the country of origin. The assimilation process has always been slow, but the realization of that fact has passed from the accepted mythology. The acceptance or rejection of the survival of tradition does seem to be related to how "foreign" those traditions are (e.g., while Catholics have long been disfavored--look no further than the 1960 question of JFK's electability--they at least identified as Christian, albeit of a rather misguided sort; the same cannot be said of Muslims).

The odd part of it is this: In America, there's a great myth that the whole world wants to come here so they can live the American dream, currently held to be the right to get richer than hell. A lot of these non-white immigrants who are impatiently told to get with the program do exactly what the American dream calls for: they start small businesses and start accumulating wealth. What's the result? You can drive through towns in the heartland of America and see signs on motels reading "American owned." People feel free to joke that all the convenience stores are owned by those dadgum immigrants.

So we fall back on cultural differences: sure, they're living the American dream, but they don't talk right, they aren't becoming good Protestants, and they don't look like us.

When I react negatively to proclamations that assimilation is a great failure, that's what I'm talking about.

Now. What do you mean?

And I really don't intend to try to ban you from DU, or even suggest that you shouldn't be here. I would say that you've hit on a couple of rather hot-button issues, so you shouldn't be too surprised if you get more than a little vociferous (and, in my case, rather vicious) reaction. My snarky ranting aside, I'm really quite enjoying these exchanges. I freely admit that you have a much better viewpoint on the world than do I, so I really shouldn't be quite so quick to mount my tall steed.

On your Iraq war thread, I will say this: I suspect that there were some others who, like me, were a bit startled to discover that Norway is a member of the great Coalition of the Ummmmm, Ummmmm, Whatever. Please understand that while our Fierce Warrior Chieftain has touted his coalition far and wide, he's been rather closed-mouthed about who's in the club. Granting that, while I pay more attention than the average American, I still don't pay as much as I could, I was really rather surprised to learn that there are Norwegian soldiers in Iraq. To me, that goes a long way toward explaining your devotion to making that invasion a good thing. If I had my druthers, I'd like to believe that my countrymen are not participating in a gigantic, tragic scam. But on that one, I may actually be better in touch with the propaganda and lies than your are: I have to swim in it every day.

Best to you. And what in the world are you doing going to sleep? You posted at 1:22 in the afternoon. (Isn't everybody on American time?)

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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. Alright. As a good Norwegian I am dead drunk at the moment.
Brought a girl home....Shees i better find anothre way to spend easter.. :hi:

I will get back to you tomorrow...

God bless progressive causes.

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dpibel Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Aqavit will kill you n/t

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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
34. Going to bed now, but it would be great if you could answer me

Have a good night..
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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Another question: Do you think Canada has been better at
providing an inclusive society than many European countries have? I have a Pakistani friend who is unable to get a job. He is well educated with a business degree from on of the best business schools in Asia, and speaks perfect Norwegian. He mentioned that Pakistani friends of his in Canada seemed to be doing very well.
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glarius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I think in most areas it's working well
Medical doctors have had a problem being certified, but recently there has been an effort to remedy that...Although it's not fixed yet... :)
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Canada's not so obsessed with staying lily white...
(Actually, they realize they never were lily white.)

So he'd probably be better off leaving Norway to the Norwegians.

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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. "obsessed about staying lily white" - well, what can i say.
Do you think Trevor Phillips is obsessed about the UK staying lily white?
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Interrobang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #5
37. Speaking as a Canadian... answer would have to be an unqualified "maybe." I worked for 6 months at a firm in Toronto which specialised in placing foreign students at Canadian universities and helping them with all aspects of that process. We saw a lot of people come through the door who were desperately trying to get into a Canadian university, *any* Canadian university, just so they could get some "Canadian experience."

I think the most tragic case I saw personally was a guy with several advanced degrees from a couple of the best universities in South Asia, who'd worked for a couple of years in Japan at one of the big corporations (I want to say Sony, but it was a few years ago), who spoke seven languages (including fluent Japanese and very good English, although he spoke English like a Bangladeshi Japanese person, if you can imagine) and had two or three years' experience programming computers for the kaisha in question -- and couldn't find a job in Canada!!

There's a lot of institutional racism here. On the other hand, I'd be inclined to say there's less than in the US, but I could just be a nasty partisan talking out of my ass, but I don't *think* so...
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orwell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
6. Rome Burns
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 01:59 PM by orwell
Multiculturalism is a meaningless buzzword bandied about to hide the top-down, anti-liberal, authoritarian policies of the current ruling class. Ask someone to clearly define what they mean by the term and they often recite a cobbled together collection of talking points.

This "strong father", paternalistic mindset is quickly becoming an antiquated thorn in the side of global problem solving that demands creative ideas from all cultures, rather than catchy rhetoric or ossified thinking. It is a faux "problem" designed to separate rather than unite, obfuscate rather than reveal.

Meanwhile, Rome burns and the West's "great leaders" fiddle.

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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I love your prose. Unfortunately I don't understand it :-)
:hi: What do you mean?
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orwell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. War on Peace
I mean what I wrote.

As someone who believes strongly in liberty and justice, I welcome cultural diversity. I see it not as something that weakens the social fabric, but rather as something that strengthens it.

Culture is primarily rooted in myth and custom. While myths seem to be cross-cultural, customs are not. So that which could unite the world, descends instead into that which divides it.

Take for example the war between religions that is currently erupting globally. While all of the world's dominant religions share a mythical connection in a belief of a wider spiritual reality, wars erupt over the symbols of the myth ie. my God is the right God and your's isn't.

It is in the elite, ruling class' interest to foster this fake dichotomy. If people see each other as similar rather than different, a significant portion of elite power is undermined. It is not "multiculturalism" that is at fault, but how the differences among social customs are defined as "bad", "dangerous", "weird" and other such derogatory terms associated with that which we don't understand.

You have to create an enemy to wield power. That is what the word "multiculturalism" is designed to do. It plays to people's inherent fears of that which they don't understand. That only serves one purpose, to permanently wage the "War on Peace."


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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. Alright.. That was better. :-) Remember that I am not a native speaker.
I think that you writing makes a lot of sense. I agree that the elite wants to split us. But, here we change paths radically. I think multiculuralism split us, and allow the right wing alliance between corporations and politicans to divide and conquer.

I have spent a lot of times discussing this with my Pakistani friend who is a devout muslim. He actually supports bin Laden and Hamas, but at the same time is smart and friendly and very likable.

What I was telling him all the time was the to me the muslim and jewish fates were dividing because they shared a focus familiar to the Bush administration - Them against us. He actually agreed, but blamed it on the worldwide persecution of muslims.

I do agree that diversity in general is very good. As long as everyone are united on the core issues of democracy and human rights. My point is that support for even these bedrock issues, are being undermined.

You are free to disagree.
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orwell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #18
28. Consent of the Governed
"I think multiculturalism split us, and allow the right wing alliance between corporations and politicians to divide and conquer.

The reason that you believe this is because we don't have multiculturalism. If people were tolerant of different cultures, and they were officially supported rather than officially undermined, our cultural similarities would draw us together rather than our differences separating us.

For example, most cultures want their children to grow up in a better world than they live in. This is cultural similarity rather than difference. Most religions wish to be free to worship in their own manner. Most cultures wish to be free from fear, celebrate the harvest, sing songs, gather to dance. These are things that join us both through myth and symbolism.

As far as your friend supporting bin Laden and Hamas, you are guilty of concentrating on what separates you rather than what binds you. You have chosen two points of contention rather than what I would guess are many points of agreement. I would offer that the reason you two are concentrating on your differences is because that is what the elites, through their propaganda arms, wishes you to concentrate on.

Whether it is a fundamentalist Christian preacher like Falwell denigrating a Muslim prophet or a fundamentalist Muslim like bin Laden whipping up his followers to bomb a US target, the idea is the same. Someone in control is pointing you toward hatred instead of understanding. They do this to consolidate their power, using your own fear. And you are playing into it. You are living their script. So your mind is in that same prison of darkness.

At the end of your post you assert a core truth:

I do agree that diversity in general is very good.

This truth comes out of our collective unconscious. It hearkens to our genetic disposition toward diversity, what some have called maximum noveltywhat I would call the breath of spirit, our expression of free will.

But then you qualify it by putting your own cultural conditions on "diversity". While I too favor human rights, I find the term far too limiting. I extend it farther to celebrate all life, both human and Gaian (environmental).

On the other hand, Democracy may not be functional on some of the large scales it is now employed. Democracy challenges every citizen to be educated and involved. I see little of that in modern America. I think, at least in the case of the US, we have become far too large to be a vibrant Democracy.

But if a nation wants to become a theocracy for example, that should be their right as well. As long as it is by the consent of the governed. In this respect I feel the founders of the US had it right. If rights are inalienable, they must flow from the people, not from the monarch.

Anything else is tyranny.

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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. I've got to go, I'll give you a more thorough answer tomorrow.
But, what amazed me (AND HIM), is how much we had in common. Even though I supported the Iraq war (He calls me a neocon), suppored the killing of Yassin, and HE supports Al Qaeda. We STILL are good friends.. I still feel a bit bad about it, but confused.

Have a good night.

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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
12. So let me get this straight.
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 03:00 PM by SMIRKY_W_BINLADEN
Europeans have been fucking around with everyone else's land and resources for centuries. Imposing their will on others. Now some people are worried about us darkies moving in and keeping our cultures too? Oh the horror of it all.
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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Well personally, I am a Sami. I guess that still makes me a "whity"
as my friends in Singapore used to call me.

And I think in the ballance of things, the Norwegian government has been largely a blessing towards our people. Many in our community disagree, as is their right. It was bad before ww II where programs of "Noregianisation" were forced upon our people, but policies post war have been IMHO very good.

I think your post is unessecarily antagonistic. In many people's opinion, fundamentalism muslim values run counter to progressive values. Why bring race into it? If Trevor Phillips says it, and pretty much no one in Brittain has fought so hard for the rights of coloured people, I at least will listen to him.

I thought people at DU fought for progressive values. In your case, I think I might have been wrong.

"darkies" - I love the level of political dialogue.
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. It seems you're also wrong about the war also. But that's another topic.
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 03:44 PM by SMIRKY_W_BINLADEN
Fundamentalism of every kind runs against progressive values. That is true. But also blanket statements about so called multiculturalism are exactly what the right wing has used to discredit minorities and their cultures. As far as "darkies", that's how many xenophobes envision their so called opponents. So I was being sarcastic.

Everybody has something to offer and the right to practice their beliefs as they see fit. If we're talking about so called terrorists. There are laws against criminal behavior. These things do not happen in a vacuum and there is a reason many people have to leave their countries of origin. Europe and the USA have been very unkind with their actions towards the so called third world. Now we're "flooding" their countries. What comes around goes around. Let's help these countries and not exploit them. That way people stay where they can be most comfortable with their own values.

I guess what I'm saying is that there should be no surprises here.

PS what's a "whity"?
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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. A "whity" is what the Singaporeans I know called white people.
I still remember the shock I had, when I met some of my Singaporean (Chinese) friends, and one if them stated, "relax, his alright for a whity"

I think we agree more than you would admit. The social democrats have spent over hundred years fighting the influnce of Christian fundamentalist dogma. Now, large sections on our immigrant community are far worse, and we just allow that without a protest. Do you know how many gay people we have in our muslim community.


What does that tell you?

The ironic thing is that the criticism against multiculturalism in Norway comes pretty much ONLY from immigrants. Norwegian don't say a thing.

My personal opinion is more immigration, but tougher demands when they get here.

Have you heard of Mullah Krekar? He is one of Bush's supposed links between Al Qaeda and Hussein. He is/was the spiritual leader of Ansar al Islam. In any case he isn't exactly a good progressive, or even supports democracy. When he got to Norway, the state immediately gave him money to start up a mosque where he spouted out his fundamentalist version of islam. I guess my point is, if you want to be an extremist fundie, at least the state should not finance it.

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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. So it's the same as whitey, is used here then.
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 04:10 PM by SMIRKY_W_BINLADEN
I'm at work so I didn't get it right away.

I'm not a fan of any religion so I'm not even going to get started. Especially where the state is concerned. In a way the west has been doing business with the very same people that do not allow change in "their" countries of origin. Europe and other rich nations have allowed a tiny fanatical majority to rule over a shit load of poor people. So that they can get their resources cheap.

The problem is that we ourselves have not allowed progressive secular voices in those countries to expand. Because that would mean nationalizing resources and maybe heavens forbid share the wealth much like Europe does. That's where colonialism and neo-liberalism come in.

I think we owe a big debt to the "global south". The problem is that they are pissed and no steps have been taken to help them where it counts the most. So it's going to manifest in the ugliest and most ignorant forms as we can see. As long as exploitation continues so will the poor desperate people continue to react this way. Some people might be uneducated but they can surely see through our hypocrisy.

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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Thanks for good constructive answers.
I really appreciate it :hi:

I do largely agree with you.

Let me just finish with that I (and some other lefties) viewd the Iraq war as just that, really going for the root causes of terrorism. I guess the veil is slowly being lifted before our eyes.

I still hope that the Iraq war end result will be just that, but I must admit it looks VERY unlikely at the moment.

Have a good night, and a good easter.

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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #22
36. I have to say you're one hell of a polite guy..... later. I'm out.
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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. One more point. If the US, had allowed the mideast to
go socialist during the cold war, perhaps the world would be a better place right now.

It is richly ironical that som of America's biggest allies during the cold war was Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Mossadeque (sp?) surely would have been better than Khomeini.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #20
42. nothing strange about that
being called "whitey". you will at times be called that in jamaica and many other countries too...if you're american, white or not.

it's the american culture, you love it or you hate it.
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. exactly...five seconds of so-called mutliculturalism
vs. a few centuries of the reverse...and those with the power declare "it" dead, useless, divisive...and so on. sounds a lot like what happened with affirmative action.
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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. *sigh*
Multiculturalism exists, whether or not people choose to recognize it. People exist and carry their cultural experiences with them. As a liberal, I support anyone that celebrates their own culture (even "whity." There is a difference between A St. Patrick Day march and a Klan Rally.).

Attacking multiculturalism is an attack on anyone not in the dominant culture. It's not multiculturalism that causes "culture wars," it's the people that cling to white privilege.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Multiculturalism exists on St Patrick's Day!
In the newish tradition, many bars planned all-day (or several day) celebrations. A few traditionally Irish places featured some traditionally Irish music. But lots of places wanted to celebrate & there are only so many Houston trad bands.

So, you could go drink your Guinness & listen to the blues. Or zydeco. Or rock "en Espanol".

And more places were offering crawfish boils than corned beef & cabbage.

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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
13. we don't need culture wars anymore
we have real wars.
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #13
24. we may not need them
but we've got them anyway, and not as a result of multiculturalism.
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gator_in_Ontario Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
25. multi-culturalism
It will work in the long run, I think. Change in thinking is so much slower than technological change. Sometimes we are so impatient. Technology changes like a snowball rolling down a mountain, and our brains are still snowflakes falling gently...we will catch up (or NOT...and, if NOT, we do it at our own peril).
Most people are good, or at least have good intentions. It is the powerful, evil FEW that can hold the rest of us back, if we let them.
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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Perhaps "multi-culturalism" is to divise a word.
I love diversity. 95 percent of Norwegian agrees.

It's just that when people openly starts to work against democracy, womens righths, gays rights that I have to put my foot down.

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DrWeird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
30. Yes, multiculturalism is a plague on good society.
The final solution is the pure strength of will.
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dpibel Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #30
40. Too subtle, Doc
But good.
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DrWeird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. I love the sound they make when they go over people's heads.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
31. As an immigrant to Britain myself, i see no multiculturalism
It is an old British monarchy and white aristocracy that have created
some ghettos for folks from the empire. Though the media culture has
embraced this oxymoron, the official culture of Britain has not at
all... it is still state-Christianity, a monarch, crony capitalism
as much as all the candidates for the American presidency are
Protestant, Yale skull and bones white men, and the congress
disproportionately white men. It is a white man's lie, this

Go to southhall yourself and get a vibe for how represented these
people feel by the British government. Because the country has never
formally set up a quality immigration programme, the unofficial
immigrants have to set up life on their own, and as such have not
the official rights of "locals". Heck, they're even talking about
offering second tier citizenship to immigrants... how generous.

Either you embrace the immigrants 100% in a single country, or you
divide them off in to a separate world. Britain is, as a nation,
entirely multicultural, with waves of settlers and invaders from
various periods of history and no "original" inhabitants... just
older immigrants.

Your Norway, KurtNielson, has a minuscule population compared to the
US, and were we to give you another 5 million immigrants tomorrow,
you'd discover the real stresses of immigration. It is purely
because the nation is not stressed that you can be holier than thou
in such a chat.

I think Britain should put ALL its immigrants, even temporary ones,
on the path to becoming full and equal British citizens. They should
ditch the monarchy, or change over to Scottie dogs or Siamese cats
as they're cheaper and cause less trouble with their romances. ;-)

I also find Britain to be a very fair and lovely nation to live in,
and i wholly respect the conundrum they face, but it is mostly
because of ignorance, that they fear immigrants, and were the culture
to actually embrace them, that *I* could run for parliament as an
immigrant, what is the point of pretending. Immigrants are the
lowest class, just like Mexicans are in America, and collectively
"we" are labeled as "hangers-on" "benefits-fraudsters" "cheats"
"terrorists", "medical tourists", and god knows what else, as we
can't fight back. We have no official voice. I know they try, but
they should hire some real immigrants in to the home office.
Someone like *me* who has seen this from the other side, could help
them a great deal in smoothing the immigration process that no
new immigrants are divided off in to separativity.

Also, i think it wise to accept that some cultures are more difficult
to integrate... and to set immigration number quotas so that the
most difficult come in smaller numbers, and that the more easily
integrated in larger numbers. This is the failure in Britain,
accepting too many from "far" cultures and too few from close cultures
like America, Canada, Australia and nations where the value structure
is quite similar to britain... This inability to discriminate
on what immigrants to best incorporate successfully in to being
British, is a gross failure of the home office... not of
the woolly metaphor "multiculturalism".

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KurtNilsen Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Respond tomorrow. Thanks a lot for a thoughtful answer
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