After publishing my article at the American Thinker on the myopic view of the term “multiculturalism” and the opportunity that is being missed by conservatives to advance ideas, this morning alone, I have received a spate of utterly jejune e-mails that either intentionally misrepresent my arguments, or simply recite talking points with no supporting argumentation. I’m going to take the time to address the three main “arguments.”
Argument #1: Mr. Okeem, you’re a liberal because you are engaging in the creation of new definitions for words. This is postmodernism. Words and meanings matter, and you cannot just create definitions! Multiculturalism is bad.
This is humorous for many reasons, but mainly because people who hold this view are probably so deficient in education that they probably believe “academia” is a fatal blood condition. As I argued in the piece, “multiculturalism” is a sociological concept that carries a whole host of varying meanings. That’s not postmodernism; it’s called social science. In academia, there is something known as “competing ideas.” This is the process in which academicians posit definitions for abstract terms and theories in order to shed new light on various topics and more concretely understand ideas. Thus, to argue that multiculturalism has one meaning, and anyone who disagrees is a postmodernist, is idiotic.
If I were to argue that there is no such thing as bad multiculturalism or good multiculturalism, then perhaps one could argue that is postmodernism. However, I explicitly denounce cultural relativism and present clear guidelines for what constitutes multiculturalism that wrecks/corrects societies. How is this consistent with the postmodernist tenet of suggesting that there is no such thing as objective truth? “Multiculturalism” is not akin to the iron scientific law of gravity; it is a demonstrably abstract theory used to describe different social patterns. Categorizing as “postmodernism” the emergence of new hypotheses and explanations for an abstract sociological term is the height of anti-intellectualism and idiocy.
The argument that suggests multiculturalism is ALL bad is just as ridiculous as one saying, “Water is bad to drink!” because of an experience one had drinking seawater. Well, the relevant point is that seawater isn’t good to drink. However, seawater isn’t the only kind of water, so to dismiss all water as being bad to drink because of a bad experience with seawater is daft.
Liberal multiculturalism is toxic, but it does not follow that because liberal multiculturalism is toxic, all multiculturalism is toxic.
Argument #2: Mr. Okeem, what you fail to understand is that what you list as remedies has nothing to do with culture and everything to do with common sense. We just need better implementation of our policies.
Again, this is silly. So why are conservative policies in all the areas I listed not being implemented? Oh, that’s right, because of a liberal culture that has infused the country.
If liberalism is inherently nonsensical, which it is, and America has adopted a liberal culture in public policy making, how is it possible to divorce culture from common sense?
The point is that American culture has been infiltrated by the absurdity of liberalism and needs to be remedied by common sense principles. How these conservative principles are arrived at doesn’t bother me; however, to argue that America merely has an implementation problem as opposed to a cultural problem is to be utterly naïve of the cultural malignancy of liberalism.
Argument #3: Mr. Okeem, you’re un-American for talking about multiculturalism positively! Multiculturalism is evil and all about hating white people! America should never look to other societies for guidance, and to suggest that is un-American!
This is absurd. The refusal of some to accept the obvious fact that multiculturalism has a wide array of definitions is stunning, but putting that aside, the idea that it is un-American to look for guidance from other outside societies is fantastically historically illiterate.
The Founding Fathers took the idea of separation of powers from French thinker Montesquieu, as well as borrowing many more of his theories. How is this not a brand of positive multiculturalism that I am advocating for? According to those who think America can never borrow from other societies, I am as un-American as the Founding Founders who thought it was perfectly rational to adopt the common sense policies and ideas of others outside the nation – including from the dreaded French.
I used to believe that liberals had a monopoly on obtuse people who cannot handle ideas that do not conform to their simplistic talking points; however, I must say it is quite displeasing to discover that the right has its fair share of people who will refuse to understand points, misrepresent positions, and just refuse to accept facts when their common beliefs are challenged. I have no problem with people disagreeing with me, but if you are going to do so, at least have a modicum of intellectual honesty.
Also, the idea of labeling people as “liberal” or “postmodernist” because they dare to think independently is highly idiotic—especially when they are very critical of liberalism and their unmistakably clear intention in writing is to advance conservative ideas. Talking points are wonderful, but it’s always good to try and think independently.