Multiculturalism Isn`t About Culture
June 27, 2011, 03:15 PM
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Steve Sailer's article Sunday night (June 26, 2011) at VDARE's home page has a section about attempts of Asian New Yorkers "to unite as a race to pursue power in America..."

However, Steve makes clear that this isn't an organic movement, driven from the grassroots; instead, these Asians are being "prodded by the [mainstream media]."

That would be in keeping with a passage from Richard Bernstein's wonderful 1995 book, Dictatorship of Virtue: How the Battle Over Multiculturalism Is Reshaping Our Schools, Our Country, Our Lives:

[Multiculturalists] rarely, at least as I have gotten to know them, know much about culture at all and even more rarely about somebody's else's culture. There are interesting and worthy and certainly very well-intentioned people within the ranks of what I call the ideological multiculturalists. And yet their lack of curiosity about the real cultural richness of the world, or their reduction of that richness to a few rhapsodic cliches, seems to confirm that culture is not really what is at issue in multiculturalism. At best, the ideological multiculturalists reiterate a few obsessively sincere phrases about the holistic spirit of Native American cultures or about how things are done in what they call the Asian culture or the African-American culture.

The Asian culture, it happens, is something I know a bit about, having spent five years at Harvard striving for a Ph.D. in a joint program called History and East Asian Languages and, after that, living either as a student (for one year) or as a journalist (for six years) in China and Southeast Asia. At least I know enough to know that there is no such thing as the "Asian culture." There are dozens of cultures that exist in that vast geographical domain called Asia. When the multiculturalists speak, tremulous with respect, of the "Asian culture," it is out of goodness of heart, but not much actual knowledge. [from page 5; paragraph break inserted by PN, for readability]

The book stands on its own as a sustained, sober, and powerful analysis and commentary on the various madnesses that have overtaken American society in the names of multiculturalism, diversity, anti-racism, and all that. But adding armor to Bernstein's critique of all that is this: He's a self-identified liberal who, from 1982 until the end of 2010, was a staff writer for ... the New York Times!

Here's another favorite passage of mine from Dictatorship of Virtue, reproduced here to, perhaps, inveigle you to delve into the book yourself:

The most popular text of the first half of the twentieth century, David Saville Muzzey's An American History, was first published in 1911....

He provided a powerful description of the treatment of the Indians, who, he said, "were cheated by rascally government officials, fed on rotten rations, debauched of whiskey, and robbed of their lands." Muzzey, however, portrayed the Indians as primitives and savages. In his 1941 revision, he talked of the treatment of the Indians as �a chapter of dishonor� for white men, but the Indians themselves, he said, �nowhere advanced beyond the stage of barbarism ... They had some noble qualities, such as dignity, courage, and endurance, but at bottom they were a treacherous, cruel people who inflicted terrible tortures upon their captured enemies.�

Even the great revisionist historian and liberal hero Charles Beard, writing in the prologue to his History of the American People, published in 1918, had to explain why he gave so little space to the North American Indians. �They are interesting and picturesque, but they made no impression on the civilization of the United States,� he said, showing a tough-mindedness that would be excoriated now. [from page 247]