[Paleopsych] multiculturalism and freedom

Michael Christopher anonymous_animus at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 16 19:31:12 UTC 2005

Steve says:
>>I personally believe in the melting pot, not 

--Everyone envisions something different when they
hear those terms... I think the basic problem in our
society is not that people have differences. There
will always be differences and variations in culture
and language. What's missing is civility between
people who have different views that are not likely to
change. Language barriers can be overcome when people
want to overcome them. But not WANTING to overcome
barriers is a whole other problem.

We can't eliminate cultural or religious differences
or force everyone to adopt enough corporate culture to
be "typical fast-food Americans". A common national
mythology is always nice to have. A belief in the
wisdom of the Founding Fathers (even if they owned
slaves and had some blind spots about women and
children) and a basic understanding of the
constitution and how the government works is good. But
none of those things require the erasure of cultural
differences. People can speak Spanish and live a very
Mexican lifestyle in America, and still believe in the
Constitution and freedom and the need to be a good
citizen by voting and being honest on your taxes. But
if people lack civility and empathy, they'll find any
difference to pick on and make it a subject of
hostility. We need a cultural immune system that
tolerates, accepts or embraces difference, while
retaining the core values of freedom, equal treatment
under law, and human religious and rhetorical rights
that have fueled the American vision. 

Rather than focusing on making people more similar, we
should focus on giving people a shared appreciation of
how precious it is to have a place to live where you
can say what you want and worship your own deity or
non-deity in peace. Protecting that is what the long
term war on terrorism is really about.


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