Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Adventures in Multi-Culturism and Tolerance
A tavern owner near Cincinnati is vowing not to take down a window sign that declares, ÂFor Service, Speak English.Â
The Ohio Civil Rights Commission ruled this week that the sign at the Pleasure Inn in Mason violates state discrimination laws and creates an affront to Hispanics.
But tavern owner Tom Ullum says the sign is meant to be tongue in cheek. He says he has Mexican customers all the time and he doesnÂt discriminate.
Perhaps, we should outlaw speaking English. After all, it is the language of oppression, colonialism, slave masters, etc.
Dudley Council in England outlaws graven images of pigs appeasesee Muslims.
Novelty pig calendars and toys have been banned by bosses at Dudley Council in case Muslim staff are offended.Too bad Muslims can't learn to be as tolerant as the members of that other Mid-Eastern religion that outlaws pork, the Jews.
Workers in the council's benefits department have been told to remove or cover up all pig products including toys, porcelain, calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet.
It comes after a Muslim worker said they were offended by pig-shaped stress relievers delivered to the authority.
-More here at the Express and Star
I'm offended by those that think the whole world should conform to their expectations and meet their demands. I am also offended by those who acquiesce and/or support such demands and attitudes.
More of the same at Virginia Tech University, single-sex classes for visiting Saudi professors.
I don't understand how so many people think that we have some sort of obligation to appease each and every demand by each and every group. When our soldiers are Saudidie Arabia and other Muslim countries they are taught and expected to act in accordance with the Muslim customs for men and women, etc. Why can't the Muslims be expected to accept the way we act and behave here. This is OUR country.
When in Rome...
To almost everyone I know, multiculturalism is an oppresive force, where everyone must bend over backwards to please everyone of every belief structure everywhere. To the folks who go with this interpretation, all cultures are equal and as valid as the next, and any behavior or intolerance or difference can be excused because it is a "cultural" difference.
I know some folks who believe that this is a line that should be toed to 'celebrate' our diversity. I know a lot more people who chafe under this interpretation.
I personally missed the boat on that whole debate, and define 'multiculturalism' in a fundamentally different, and in my opinion, more positive light.
My definition started waay back in high school, where the only literature we read was literature written by white people. Now, I adore the works of Faulkner, Twain, some Shakespeare, Homer; the musings of Aristotle, Socrates, Cato; the poetry of Poe and Cummings, to name a few. Sharra's "The Killer Angels" is one of the most powerful books a man can read. But I've got to tell you, when we got to F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby," I was wondering why in the world we had to read about the terrible lives of rich, white Yankees. I was fed more of the same with "A Seperate Peace." When we went over Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" I reached my breaking point.
One poem by Langston Hughes, "A Letter from Birmingham Jail," and Zora Neale Hurston were all optional.
The only history we spent any time on was the history of white people in Europe and North America. Now, I know that there's some pretty important nuggets of information when you're dealing with Charlemagne, the Magna Carta, the Founding Fathers, Jefferson, Jackson, Lee, Roosevelt, Roosevelt, Eisenhower et al, but it ain't like they had the only things going on!
I mean, we even spent time worrying about Grover Cleveland's paternity issues.
We spent about 5 minutes on the Trail of Tears, the Underground Railroad was one group presentation and we didn't even touch Birmingham 1963.
At the same time, I'm devouring my Dad's National Geographic collection thinking: "Some of this stuff might be important, too."
That's how I define "multiculturalism." Not a faux respect of "diversity" for fear of offending anyone, but getting our hands onto the real history of this Nation and world. I love seeing the world through the eyes of others in literature, watching how tidbits of every culture spices up our mixing pot. I love to see how language changes over the course of a generation. I love to see the conflict of popular culture vs staying true to your roots especially seen through the eyes of folks who can afford washing machines for the first time in 1950.
Let me put my idea of multiculturalism another way, one that's a little easier to understand:
I love Southern Soul Food, Yankee Deli Sandwiches, Sushi, Chicago Pizza, Carolina Pork Barbecue, Sweet GeorgiAlabama Barbecue, and Fiery Texas Barbecue, Sweet Tea, Hot Tea, Green Tea, Waffle House Coffee, Cuban Sandwiches, Cal-Mex Burritos, Cracklins, Chinese Buffets, Wussy Granola Organic Food, Lemonade, Bourbon Whiskey, Black Jamaican Rum, Napa Valley Cabrenet Sauvignon, Australian Shiraz, Gumbo, Fried Shrimp Po' Boys, Fried Chicken and Grits, Collard Greens with Hamhocks, Cheeseburgers, Patty Melts, Tuna Salad, PB & J, Bagels & Lakhs with Capers, Dutch Green Beans, FRENCH FRIES, Belgian Fries, Fried Potatoes, Baked Potatoes (loaded), Omaha Steaks (medium rare), Macaroni and Cheese is INDEED a vegetable, Eggplant Parmesean, Chicken Parmesean, Carnegie Deli Cheesecake, Mate, Chai Tea, Pan-Seared Tuna with Soy Sauce and Wusabi, Jello, Jello Pudding Pops, Whoppers, Tater Tots, Fried Cod, Fried Turkey, Turducken, Vidalia Onion Soup and French Bread.
I like to think stuff like that is the true 'celebration' of multicultrualism that is evident in American society. And if I'm a 'traitor' to my culture because I don't eat at McDonalds or Applebees, then they can kiss my cracker rear end.
I the rural area where I live we have plenty of Mexicans that come to work in the farms. For the most part they are hard workers. Our church has a Spanish language Mass every Sunday since our pastor is fluent in Spanish. We have a very good authentic Mexican restaurant owned and run by real Mexicans. I eat there regularly. My 16 year old son eats there so often that the waiters know what he wants when he walks in. I have never met nor heard of any of the Mexicans in our area expecting special treatment.
Indeed, in the Ohio case, no Spanish speaking person complained. Not mentioned in the story I linked to is the fact that the complaint was filed by a fair housing agency with headquarters another county. Sounds like liberal do gooders driving around looking for trouble.
""Housing Opportunities Made Equal, a Mount Auburn-based agency that handles fair-housing issues for eight counties including Warren, filed a complaint with the commission in July after callers complained.
"I really think it's an affront to Hispanic families in the area, and I'm glad that the commission agreed that it's illegal discrimination," said Elizabeth Brown, HOME's executive director" More here""
Why is affronting someone a crime? Are we really helping the problem when we force others to acquiesce? At what point do we cross the line to this:Main Entry: to·tal·i·tar·i·an·ism
1 : centralized control by an autocratic authority
2 : the political concept that the citizen should be totally subject to an absolute state authority
Of course, "diversity training or cultural sensitivity training" is New Speak for brainwashing and official harassment until you see everything their way.
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