In his recent “View From the Summit” column on Nov. 4, Cody Enterprise reporter Leo Wolfson offered a more optimistic perspective on the philosophy of multiculturalism, an issue raised in the previous School of Thought column the “Divided State of America” on Oct. 28.
In his worthy response, Mr. Wolfson was honest enough to acknowledge the obvious detriments of multiculturalism (political/ideological bias, the idea that Americans live as modern-day slaves, the social justice mobs, etc.). At the same time, he argued for what he views as some of its redeeming qualities (giving equal time to people that “history has traditionally glossed over,” providing “differing perspectives,” etc.)
Wolfson’s article essentially reflected two main points: 1. original intent contextualizes toxic outcomes, and 2. the need to “embrace as many perspectives as possible.”
Concerning the first point, Wolfson says, “There are many well-intended efforts … appropriated by individuals who have different agendas than the original creator.” Noting that my article did not acknowledge the original creator’s “original intent” of multiculturalism, he cited the encylopedic definition of the same.
But as a journalist, Wolfson surely knows that sterile textbook definitions always get translated by their actual interpretation and application. Actions speak louder than words, as they say, and if a tree is producing bad fruit, you can usually conclude there’s something wrong with the roots.
He then asserted that to challenge a certain narrative “is beneficial as long as it doesn’t blot out facts.” But what if it does, would that make it … unbeneficial? Because the evidence is a bit overwhelming that is exactly what multiculturalism does – blots out, alters and manipulates the facts.
For example, when UCLA’s National Center for History in the Schools came out with its proposed guidelines for a national history curriculum, we witnessed the unveiling of this new standard: 31 core areas were completely void of any mention of the Constitution. There was only a passing reference made to George Washington and there was little or no mention of such historic Americans as Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, Daniel Webster, Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell.
Ah, but students were asked to evaluate the values of popular television shows like “Roseanne” and “The Simpsons.”
The distortions were so great, even the New York Times complained. Teaching students to admire Aztec architecture without saying a thing about the uncivilized Aztec practice of human sacrifice was even more than that bastion of ideological journalism could swallow.
Its treatment of World War II was also a joke. Giving minimal importance to the Pacific theatre and focusing endlessly on the internment of the Japanese Americans, it even suggested exercises that would help students relive those unhappy events. Curiously though, there was no reference to the cruelty of the Japanese (a la the Bataan Death March).
Thankfully, the U.S. Senate at the time voted 99-1 to repudiate the controversial National History Standards from UCLA. But the revisionists hardly surrendered. In fact, thousands of copies of this 271-page politically correct propaganda flooded into schools all across the country. Aggressive lobbying, along with letter-writing campaigns, served us all notice that they had only just begun. Indeed, they roared back with a fury, and our schools today are inundated with this egregious, skewed narrative of the past.
Over the last several decades, as one national pundit put it, “… our academic elites have decided that Western culture is racist, sexist and oppressive. And these attitudes now threaten to become the new standard in our schools …” One of their latest attempts has been the 1619 Project, which Wolfson pointedly referenced in his article. To his credit, he admitted it was laced with “… cynicism, pessimism, bias and distortion …”
Because multiculturalism’s starting point is not evidence but cleverly crafted ideology, it only makes sense to the intellectuals who coined it and the unsuspecting who buy it. It is the equivalent of forcing a square peg in a round hole, and like all vehicles of social engineering, it only works in ivory towers. Notwithstanding, it remains undeterred by what Thomas Huxley called “the tragedy of a fact killing a theory.”
Moreover, like anything dishonest and deceitful, multiculturalism attempts to redefine terms so as not to be discovered for the imposter that it is. It comes to us under the guise of liberty and the pretense of tolerance. It even sounds so … American. It is anything but.
What we need is not multiculturalism. What we need is what our Founding Fathers gave us – e pluribus unum – out of many, one.
The second point of Wolfson’s article – embracing as many perspectives as possible – is rooted of course in our nation’s philosophical paradigm shift (since the 1960’s) to post-modern relativism which contends that all views are equally valid.
Acknowledging and understanding differing perspectives, yes; embracing them, no – because all views are not equally valid. And therein lies the source of our nation’s cultural conflicts, which will not subside anytime soon until the underlying pre-suppositions are clearly discerned and either endorsed wholesale or soundly rejected by the populace.
To the victor, then, will go the prize: the hearts and minds of our children.