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Re: [teacherartexchange] regarding multiculturalism...good read.

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From: Woody Duncan (woodyduncan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Feb 11 2008 - 14:51:02 PST


Be very careful what you send out on the internet:

Too many people do not understand "tongue and cheek" arguments. As a
resident of New Mexico
I am appreciative of the wonderful mix of cultures we have here. Some
people, sadly are not so welcoming
and cringe whenever they hear any tongue other than english. It's a
shame misunderstanding and hate are
part of this world we live in. I am a very tolerant person except
when it comes to hate - there my tolerance
ends abruptly.

I enjoyed teaching in a very diverse inner city school in Kansas
City. It was a wonderfully enriching experience.
Years before - I was so glad I had a chance to grow up in the sort of
neighborhood where both rich and poor
lived, where people mixed together and got along. Later on - folks
who could afford it seemed to move
away to the suburbs leaving the city behind full of poor folks. In
america we seem to discard everything.
I'm glad I stayed, married, raised our children and later taught in
that same city. Those who moved away
missed out on much of the richness of that diversity.

Now I'm retired and in New Mexico, another rich example of diversity.
A diverse society is a rich society,
much like a varied landscape we have in New Mexico - full of rolling
hills, steep mountains and
unique valleys scattered here and there. Some folks would like to
bulldoze all the hills and make the world
level and boring. I prefer to be able to drive a few miles and
experience the many changes in the scenery.
Around the next bend in the road may be an exciting surprise.
                                                                        Life here is a beautiful metaphor, Woody

On Feb 11, 2008, at 7:01 AM, Shannon McGraw wrote:

> Instead of celebrating black history, Chinese, Mexican and everybody
> else's art....
>
>
> I have a plan to destroy America
>
> by Richard D. Lamm
>
> I have a secret plan to destroy America. If you believe, as many do,
> that America is too smug, too white bread, too self-satisfied, too
> rich,
> let's destroy America. It is not that hard to do. History shows that
> nations are more fragile than their citizens think. No nation in
> history
> has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all
> great
> civilizations rise and they all fall, and that "an autopsy of history
> would show that all great nations commit suicide." Here is my plan:
>
> 1. We must first make America a bilingual-bicultural country. History
> shows, in my opinion, that no nation can survive the tension, conflict
> and antagonism of two competing languages and cultures. It is a
> blessing
> for an individual to be bilingual; it is a curse for a society to be
> bilingual. One scholar, Seymour Martin Lipset, put it this way: "The
> histories of bilingual and bicultural societies that do not assimilate
> are histories of turmoil, tension and tragedy. Canada, Belgium,
> Malaysia, Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which
> minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and
> Cyprus
> have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces
> difficulties with its Basques, Bretons and Corsicans."
>
> 2. I would then invent "multiculturalism" and encourage immigrants to
> maintain their own culture. I would make it an article of belief that
> all cultures are equal: that there are no cultural differences that
> are
> important. I would declare it an article of faith that the black and
> Hispanic dropout rate is only due to prejudice and discrimination
> by the
> majority. Every other explanation is out-of-bounds.
>
> 3. We can make the United States a "Hispanic Quebec" without much
> effort.
> The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin
> Schwarz
> said in the Atlantic Monthly recently, "The apparent success of our
> own
> multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved, not
> by tolerance, but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once
> dictated
> ethnocentrically, and what it meant to be an American, we are left
> with
> only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together." I would
> encourage all
> immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the
> melting pot metaphor with a salad bowl metaphor. It is important to
> insure that we have various cultural sub-groups living in America
> reinforcing their differences, rather than Americans emphasizing their
> similarities.
>
> 4. Having done all this, I would make our fastest-growing demographic
> group the least educated. I would add a second underclass,
> unassimilated, undereducated and antagonistic to our population. I
> would
> have this second underclass have a 50 percent dropout rate from
> school.
>
> 5. I would then get the big foundations and big business to give these
> efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would
> establish the cult of victimology. I would get all minorities to think
> their lack of success was all the fault of the majority. I would
> start a
> grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority
> population.
>
> 6. I would establish dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I
> would "celebrate diversity." "Diversity" is a wonderfully seductive
> word. It stresses differences rather than commonalities. Diverse
> people
> worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other-that is, when
> they are
> not killing each other. A "diverse," peaceful or stable society is
> against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it
> takes
> to keep a nation together, and we can take advantage of this myopia.
>
> Look at the ancient Greeks. Dorf's "World History" tells us: "The
> Greeks
> believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common
> language and literature; and they worshiped the same gods. All Greece
> took part in the Olympic Games in honor of Zeus, and all Greeks
> venerated the shrine of Apollo at Delphi. A common enemy, Persia,
> threatened their liberty. Yet, all of these bonds together were not
> strong enough to overcome two factors ... (local patriotism and
> geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions ...)" If we
> can put the emphasis on the "pluribus,"
> instead of the "unum," we can balkanize America as surely as Kosovo.
>
> 7. Then I would place all these subjects off-limits-make it taboo to
> talk about. I would find a word similar to "heretic" in the 16th
> century
> that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like "racist",
> "xenophobe"
> halt argument and conversation. Having made America a
> bilingual-bicultural country, having established multiculturalism,
> having the large foundations fund the doctrine of "victimology," I
> would
> next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would
> develop
> a mantra -"because immigration has been good for America, it must
> always
> be good." I would make every individual immigrant sympatric and ignore
> the cumulative impact.
>
> 8. Lastly, I would censor Victor Davis Hanson's book "Mexifornia" -
> this
> book is dangerous; it exposes my plan to destroy America. So please,
> please-if you feel that America deserves to be destroyed-please,
> please-don't buy this book! This guy is on to my plan.
>
> "The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly
> limit
> the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate
> within
> that spectrum." -Noam Chomsky, American linguist and U.S. media and
> foreign policy critic.

Woody, Retired in Albuquerque
         mailto:woodyduncan@comcast.net

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