The Continuing Tantrum

Sour Thoughts On Multiculturalism

Date

I guess somebody needs to explain multiculturalism to me. It's because I'm from West Virginia. We're slow up in the mountains, and dim, and have trouble understanding things that don't make any sense at all.

Be patient. Explain multiculturalism to me in block letters.

If my history's right, all kinds of folk used to come to America from every whichaplace. (I'm not sure that's a word even in West Virginia.) They'd go off to a ghetto and be miserable. You'd have Eye-talians and Irish and Jews and Scowegians, people from every place there was and probably from some there wasn't. Weren't.

Before long they'd start marrying right and left, apparently without looking. Pretty soon you had people named Heidi Torricelli O'Feinstein. They weren't sure what they were any more, so they decided to be Americans and not worry about it. It made good sense, because America was where they were. This gamboling about in the gene pool produced accidental monoculturalism, and it worked pretty well.

Hostilities died out because they were too complicated to remember. I mean, if the Germans were supposed to hate the Poles, and you were half German and your grandmother was a quarter Polish, then you had to hate an eighth of your grandmother--and no man could tell which eighth. The accounting alone made it impractical. People began to get along because it was the easy way out.

It works still. I'm mostly English, and months have gone by since I've shot at an Irishman.

But now, if I understand aright, we're going to be multicultural, and stay split up in different tribes and act like it's a good idea. (Separate but equal. Didn't we do that before?) We're going to have white, black, Hispanic, and Asian nations all in the same country. And we're all going to live together in peace and love and mutual respect, and have drumming circles and smoke ditchweed together.

Now, granted I'm simpleminded. I don't understand higher psychology. My school learning is pretty weak, like moonshine that didn't get run through the radiator enough. Still, before we get too multicultural, I figure we ought to see how it works for other folk.

Start with Canada, since it's stuck to us and can't get away. Canada has a pretty good dose of Frenchmen in Quebec, and they've been nothing but trouble. The country's always about to break apart because nobody can stand the French, and the French hate everybody. They'll never get used to each other.

Now, you might think, OK, that's just the Canadians. Maybe their brains froze or something. Maybe multiculturalism works better for other people.

Well, how about Mexico, which is multicultural in Indians? Last I heard, Mexicans and Indians were having a shooting war in Chiapas. So far, they haven't done much in the line of drumming circles. Maybe some scalpings, though.

Of course there's Yugoslavia, the world's motingator case of multiculturalism. You can't get much more multicultural. They've got cultures nobody can spell, all cutting each other's throats. So far they've produced nothing but shrapnel.

I begin to suspect that multiculturalism works fine, soon as one side kills the other off.

And in Indonesia the Indonesians butcher the East Timorese, and in Rwanda the Tutus chop up the Hutsis (or Tootsies, or somebody), and in the Sudan the Moslem northerners kill the southern animists, and Iraq gasses its Kurds.

In Malaysia the Malays can't stand the Chinese. In Ireland the Protestants and Catholics think they have to blow each other up every little while, like leaky air mattresses. The Vietnamese kick around the Montagnards, the Cambodians slaughter their Vietnamese, the Japanese hate their Koreans, and in South Africa the whites and blacks claw at each other like cats in a bag. In Israel the Arabs and Jews are no end multicultural, between explosions. The Christians and Moslems go at it in Lebanon, and the Guatemalans torture their Indians, the Tamils and Sinhalese in Ceylon shoot each other in droves, and. . . .

Yep, this multiculturalism business works pretty well. No one can deny it. Pretty soon there won't be anybody left.

While we're at it, how has multiculturalism done in the U. S. of A.? So far, it's the worst problem we've got, unless Hillary gets elected. We have a white European country with an utterly incompatible, inassimilable black African culture spread through it. We spend most of our national energy trying to straighten that one out. We've got crime, welfare, racial hatred, riots, burned cities, weird political stuff like affirmative action, constant lawsuits, fear, loathing, and ill will.

I don't guess we better try any more multiculturalism just yet. We don't have enough guns.

But that's just me. I hear now we're gonna ghettoize the Hispanics instead of assimilating them, so we can have more riots and cities going up in flames, and about a dozen generations of hostility, and car bombs if we get really multicultural. Hooboy. I've never heard of a better idea.

Except any other idea at all.

Fact is, people of different flavors just don't get along very well. Maybe we ought to. Maybe we all ought to love each other. Maybe we ought to be reasonable, though that's stretching it. But we aren't going to. We never have. So we better get busy and try to be one kind of people. That would be the smart thing to do. Still, it's worth a try.

Why do we deliberately adopt a guaranteed recipe for divisiveness? You'd think a track record of unrelieved multicultural disaster would be some slight contraindication to more of it. If you think that, you obviously don't have any experience of American politics. Still, you might ask, who is it that wants to inflict a multicultural morass on innocent Americans?

First, Democratic politicians trying to lock in voting blocs.

Second, the whole lemming pack of post-hippie professors, intellectuals, feminists, self-serving racial dissensionists, and aggressive vegetarians who have the touchiest of feely ideas and thirty seconds of experience in the real world. Thirty seconds aggregate, I mean. Why are they doing it?

Hard to say. They give me the impression of never having gotten over adolescence. They've confused America with their parents, and they're mad at it, and they're throwing a fit.

Me, I'm going back to Wheeling, where people are monocultural and talk the same and have the same DNA, and shoot pool in low dives. I mean, a bar fight at least makes some sense.