I can't hear that vogue word "diversity" without recalling the case, a year or two ago, of a Muslim FBI agent assigned to "wire" himself and eavesdrop on some Muslims suspected of terrorism. He refused: "A Muslim doesn't spy on fellow Muslims!" He wasn't fired, oh no! That would have lowered the FBI 's "diversity" quotient. He was merely reassigned. "Diversi-ty" trumped all else, such as his service oath.
This conjures a nightmare picture of a future America in which nothing any longer works because the well-meaning if simple-minded "diversity" of superficialities has metastasized into an ultimate and deadly "diversity" of convictions and worldview; thus there's no longer enough like-mindedness among the populace to make it a nation, not a mere anarchic mob.
Would-be leaders would pull the levers of society, but the wheels would no longer turn, each cog having been conceded not just the right to a mind of its own but the right to indulge that mind to the detriment of the community's well-being.
As this is written, we're witnessing another spasm of concern over immigration, in which the only certainty is that nothing will (or even can) be done, Teddy Kennedy's 1965 immigration act having already "diversified" us to the point of paralysis, at least on that issue.
Any proposed reasonable curb on immigration is instantly denounced as racism, a slur on the immigrants and their precious cultures. We've become too timid to give this demagogy the retort it deserves, and that we all cherish in our hearts.
"Yes indeed, we prefer our culture to yours. If you don't like ours, stay home and enjoy your own."
Assimilation simply must happen whenever any two or more peoples of radically differing cultures live side by side, if they're not to pile up grave problems for their progeny. Hindus and Muslims have lived cheek-by-jowl in India for centuries, yet are still merrily massacreing each other and blowing up each other's holy places. Peoples between whom the differences are small, of course, can get along. But there's a great gulf between Islam and most other faith cultures.
"Tolerationists" forever din it into us: The vast majority of Muslims really share our values.
It takes chutzpah to preach this; it takes blind faith to swallow it, given appearances. The "moderate" Muslim response to radical Islamic mischief is disappointingly anemic. Clearly they don't share "our" values (e.g. freedom of speech) half so dearly as they hold the most fundamentalist, literalist tenets of their faith, laid down in dark ages from which the rest of the world, like it or not, has moved on. Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh's fate for daring, not just to question, even merely to mention, Muslim treatment of women was 25 bullets.
"While Europe Slept," by Bruce Bawer (Doubleday, 2006), describes Muslim infiltration of major European countries, and the inability or refusal of reigning liberal ideologues in those countries to confront this cultural life-or-death crisis, or even admit that it exists.
They're hamstrung by that shibboleth, "diversity ... multiculturalism:" All peoples are equal, equally good, and it's just dandy to have whole heaps of them piling in on top of us. It'll "enrich" us! Never mind their scorn of us, and of "diversity," their Prophet's commanding them "Slay the idolators [us] wherever ye find them" (Koran, 9:5). Grotesquely, "tolerance" becomes "tolerance of intolerance," of pure evil (to wit Van Gogh's murder).
Western culture is good at criticizing itself. But in our own disdain for its more sordid superficialities we mustn't lose sight of its essential values and even, yes, its glories. Recently I read a book about Magna Carta and its legacy, one of many milestones of which no other culture has ever managed a parallel. Which Westerners often learn the hard way on being jailed in a foreign land whose language, alas, has no translation for habeas corpus. (Only Indo-European languages, for that matter, contain terms even for freedom itself) Cultures, writes Thomas Sowell, simply are not all equally good. And cultures compete. Which "means winners and losers, not merely a static display of 'multicultural diversity.' Even the more modest claim that history should teach 'mutual respect' for different cultures is suspect. There is much in the history of all people that does not deserve respect."
An earlier book made Bawer's case even grimmer: "The West is dying."
Governments discourage assimilation, actually underwrite their self-chosen "segregation."
In their ghettoes they enforce sharia (Muslim law), practice female genital mutilation, beat the wives and kiddies, and otherwise defy the host culture. Most of Europe's violent crime today is Muslim against "infidel" (i.e. everybody else). Politicians less than groveling before Muslim demands tend to become Theo van Goghs (i.e. dead).
Rank-and-file Europe is appalled. But it's ruled by an elite of super-liberal Social Democratic bureaucrats, academics, and journalists, ageing Marxists and '60s types, to whom "multiculturalism" is gospel, and for whom the global villains are Israel and America.
Their response to terrorism and the growing immigration crisis is exactly the same, says Bawer, as their response to Hitler in the 1930s: gutless appeasement.
Only at our gave peril do we lose sight of Jefferson's reminder that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
Not to mention the will to fight in its defense.