A discussion at work today started a thought in my headone that begs to be aired. It's not politically correct, but then again, a lot of what I have to say isn't popular with the beautiful people.
The military organization to which I am attached deploys overseas on a regular basis. One of the places to which we occasionally deploy is Saudi Arabia. Before we deploy there, we are given a thorough briefing on the culture and mores of their brand of Islam, and are expected to adhere to a fairly rigorous set of restrictions, in order to avoid offending our hosts. (Similar restrictions are laid out for any military forces that visit the region, including Oman and the United Arab Emirates.) Until recently, American women stationed in Saudi Arabia had to wear an abaya (a head-to-toe robe) when they left the confines of the military base, and had to travel with a male (and in the back seat of the car) when off-base. Legal restrictions such as these, in our country, would be blocked as unconstitutional in a heartbeat (and rightly so). However, they are the law of the land in Saudi Arabia.
In any case, all of these restrictions are deployed in the name of "cultural sensitivity". Fair enoughwe are in their country, and we should follow their rules. I may not agree with the restrictions (or their religious context), but it is common courtesy to adapt to the laws and customs of a country that one is visiting or residing).
However, when we return to the US, we discover that we are expected to make exceptions for Islamic immigrants and other immigrant groups, again in the name of "cultural sensitivity". What about sensitivity to OUR culture? The multi-cultists claim that they are trying to reinforce the notion that no culture is superior to another (a notion which I disagree with, in and of itself), but their actions seem to indicate that they believe any culture is superior to our own, as long as it isn't European or patriarchal. Those who dare to disagree with their aims are branded racist, sexist, religiously intolerant, or xenophobic (or a combination of these terms).
This debate-in-my-mind recalls the agenda Pim Fortuyn was advocating. He advocated restrictions on immigration because he was afraid that his country's culture (one of the most tolerant in the world) would be destroyed by those who immigrated to the Netherlands, yet steadfastly refused to assimilate, to adopt the values of the country to which they had moved. Holland is not alone is this regardGermany, France, Belgium, and Sweden all have large immigrant populations that retain their culture, and form an underclass in their societies.
The same could be said of the United States, where Latinos and Asians who immigrate and assimilate prosper, but those who do not suffer from stagnant wages and lack political currency. Previous waves of immigration brought people who were unskilled, illiterate, and ignorant of English, but they ensured their children grew up as Americans, rather than Irish, or Greek, or Italian, or Dutch, or whatever. It is only in the past 30 years, with the rise of multiculturalism (the multi-cult), that this trend has changed. Now, immigrants are encouraged to "retain their heritage", rather than adapt to and enrich our American culture. The result is staggeringly high dropout rates, high unemployment, elevated crime levels in their communities, and more calls for reduced immigration. Immigration isn't the problem, lack of acculturization is the problem. It won't be solved until the hyphenated-American ethnic pressure groups stop destroying the urge to assimilate our new American citizens.
posted on May 23, 2002 05:26 PM