Thursday, August 23, 2007

Conservatives Cannot Stand 'Multiculturalism'

(h/t Blue Jersey)

Conservatives seem to have a hissy fit every time our educational system decides to start teaching our students about other cultures at the expense of American history and culture. This is highlighted in Elan Journo's ignorant rant in the article 'Multicultural' means anti-American. He states:

One text acclaims the inhabitants of West Africa in pre-Columbian times for having prosperous economies and for establishing a university in Timbuktu. But it ignores their brutal trade in slaves and the proliferation of far more consequential institutions of learning in Paris, Oxford and elsewhere in Europe.....

What these textbooks reveal is a concerted effort to portray the most backward, impoverished and murderous cultures as advanced, prosperous and life-enhancing. Multiculturalism's goal is not to teach about other cultures, but to promote -- by means of distortions and half-truths -- the notion that non-Western cultures are as good as, if not better than, Western culture.

Like many conservatives, he seems to have the America Uber Alles attitude. He misses the whole point these texts are trying to achieve in showing that these cultures weren't the backwards, barbaric peoples that Western history has always portrayed. They have culture, they have education and learning, they made advancements and contributions to human society. But Journo is automatically dismissive of these peoples because they aren't Western. All of a sudden, because they are not part of the Western civilized world they are inferior and their achievements are not important, only the dark side of their cultures which prove the superiority of Western culture.

He of course forgets slavery was not limited to the peoples of these African cultures, but was a crime also committed by the so called morally superior Western world. It also is important to note that slavery in the Western world was a much more brutal institution than in Africa since in the West the slaves brought from Africa were considered sub-human and had no chance in advancing in our society while slaves in many African societies typically had the ability to rise up in the ranks and even become a full member of the family of their former master. A slave in Africa had many more rights than a slave in the United States.

Also does he forget our slaughter of the indigenous tribes in our country? Or what about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II? Oh wait, I'm pointing out America's weaknesses and am thus anti-America and striving for the downfall of our country. If conservatives like Journo actually accepted to be educated in other cultures rather than only American history, then maybe they would actually have the ability to understand rather than bemoaning the teaching of the history of an inferior culture over that of the master race.

Suggested Reading:

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

African Perspectives on Colonialism, by A. Adu Boahen

The Life of Olaudah Equiano, by Olaudah Equiano

No comments: