Re: civil rights/60s/Multiculturalism

benjamin berry (
Sat, 11 May 1996 14:09:46 -0400

For some reason people who are not so-called minorities have difficulty
understanding the potential of multiculturalism as an approach to our
differences. I see the idea as one of celebrating who we are and educating
the societiety to the value of these differiences rather than attempting to
force everyone into an Anglo-American mold -- as was done with earlier
immigrants and is still being done with African Americans. Once we learn to
appreciate the differnence, the entire society will be enriched rather than
reduced to the bland whiteness no prescribed by the Pats (Buichannan and
Robertson) and others.
Benjamin Berry
Virginia Wesleyan College

>Andi (are we twinned somewhere?) asks if I cannot see that the benefits
>of multiculturalism relate to its exposure of the melting pot idea and
>its subsequent absorption of difference into the universal standard.
>Gosh, Andi, I thought that's what I said. . . .
>My objections to multiculturalism stem not from its recognition of real
>divisions; it stems from its failure to ground its ideology of difference
>in differences that shape most of our lives, e.g., economic. I say
>GROUND because I do not mean to imply that cultural differences are
>irrelevant in any sense, but that resistance (which is what I think
>multicultural agendas ought to be about and too often are not) ought to
>incorporate resistance to the forces that flatten peoples lives into the
>vanilla shape that makes subservience to oppressive ideologies (indeed,
>incorporation of those ideologies; the worst racism among peoples of
>color is not anti-white, it's anti-self) automatic.
>Candi Ellis