Dem Leaders Back Off Multiculturalism?
We like our diversity. But how do we react when that "difference" leads to separation and alienation from the values that define what we hold in common? For the first time in a generation there is an unease, an anxiety, even at points a resentment that our very openness, our willingness to welcome difference, our pride in being home to many cultures, is being used against us; abused, indeed, in order to harm us. ...Reid saying the Muslims in our midst better become Americans, or else?! Pelosi giving up on multiculturalism and admitting it's more important to be American than just be in America?
People want to make sense of two emotions: our recognition of what we legitimately hold in common and what we legitimately hold distinct. When I decided to make this speech about multiculturalism and integration, some people entirely reasonably said that integration or lack of it was not the problem. The 9/11 bombers were integrated at one level in terms of lifestyle and work. Others in many communities live lives very much separate and set in their own community and own culture, but are no threat to anyone.
But this is, in truth, not what I mean when I talk of integration. Integration, in this context, is not about culture or lifestyle. It is about values. It is about integrating at the point of shared, common unifying American values. It isn't about what defines us as people, but as citizens, the rights and duties that go with being a member of our society.
Not a chance, actually. The speech was by another leading labor-minded liberal: Tony Blair. I just changed 7/7 to 9/11 and Britain to America. (Hat-tip to New Sisyphus for the text.)
Why does he understand what's going on and our Dem leaders continue to fret about profiling and hurt feelings? Why does Blair call the Brits to arms (of sorts) in the war on terror, while NanPo, Dirty Harry and the others call their legions to arms against anti-terror surveillance and racial profiling at security checks?
It is possible for a liberal to get this stuff right ... in Britain. Why not here?
Related Tags: War on terror, Multiculturalism, Profiling, Racial profiling, Islam, Blair, Pelosi, Reid