We can breath a sigh of relief, the impeccably left wing Prospect magazine has told all “right on” people that multiculturalism has had it’s day. In the latest issue it has at last recognised what most have always known, that race and culture should be de-coupled.
For decades we were assured that differences of language, custom, values, religion didn’t matter as these were part of the varied tapestry of life which enriched us all. To disagree with the progressive mantra that all cultures were equally valuable was to invite accusations of racism; and by implication be associated with some of the most horrendous crimes in modern history.
Race and culture are not the same thing as any examination of cultural history, anthropology, or religion would testify. To entwine race and culture and say or imply that to ask for a degree of cultural uniformity is to demand the dominance of a single race is to propagate a pernicious lie.
Once race and culture are decoupled we then can acknowledge that not all cultures are to be valued equally or can co-exist amicably. We are able to enjoy the varied cultural expression available in Britain today, from Caribbean carnival to Chinese New Year. Fireworks, loud music and gaudy costumes, what’s not to like? However, what progressives are loath to admit is that not all cultural differences enhance our common life, that some cultural differences may actually endanger our common life.
The forced marriage of teenagers to their cousins is not racial it is cultural. Genital mutilation of young girls is not racial it is cultural. The creation of ghettos in the UK where women are still unable to speak English despite living here for decades is not racial it is cultural. How, in the name of diversity, can we bend over backwards to accommodate those who refuse to recognise diversity?
It is not even religion which demands such conduct. Islam, whilst it demands appalling punishments such as the death of apostates, does not require the activities outlined above.
Ordinary folk have been aware for years that cultural activities such as these have no place in any society with pretentions to being enlightened. Now our progressive intellectuals are beginning to acknowledge reality.
There are certain cultural expressions we have valued, the Bible, Greek philosophy, Roman law, Shakespearian drama and the novel as a literary form are a few. We do not value these out of cultural imperialism as the products of dead white males. We value them (and should teach them in our schools) because they are the cultural expressions which have shaped our society, they give us a common identity.
Every society depends upon a shared culture and set of values. We don’t all need to have the same faith, I wish everyone was a Christian but acknowledge that all stand before God as freely responsible individuals. If someone wishes to celebrate Hanukah, Eid, Wesak or even the Winter Festival beloved of secularists, let them get on with it and enjoy themselves. As long as they don’t frighten the horses, and I can tell them about Jesus.
We do though require certain customs and values to be shared if society is to cohere. We have a shared language, a shared set of moral values, a legal inheritance built upon shared ideals. Britain has been shaped by the values drawn from Scripture. Christianity tells us to love one’s neighbour, that strangers and family deserve equal standing before the law, equal respect for their freedom and privacy. We have not always done this terribly well but to deny this is to allow ideology to blind us to reality.
A Social Attitudes survey recently concluded that Sikh and Hindu immigrants wish to uphold those very values progressives wish to discard and which are consequently disappearing fast from the British landscape. Hard work, aspiration, diligence, education and family life are what they value. At the same time they abhor the degradation and moral squalor fast becoming accepted features of our modern urban landscape.
Sikhs and Hindus are able to remain Sikhs and Hindus whilst making a valuable and welcome contribution to British society. They are doing what countless immigrants have done throughout centuries, they have entered into our culture.
Unfortunately this wasn’t enough for the multiculturalists. They demanded we make room for opposing cultures alongside our own and that aspects of ours be discarded in order to make room for others. This is a recipe for cultural conflict and progressive muticulturalists should be ashamed of all they have done to foster the BNP.
If immigrants come it is not primarily to enrich the host nation’s culture, but because either politically or economically they felt disadvantaged in their home culture. The host culture has advantages for all, usually as a result of the ways in which it differs from their previous culture. They gain by immigration. For gain there is cost. The cost for the immigrant is to accept the values of the host.