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Immigration and Boutique Multiculturalism

Jaenelle Antas on the hypocrisy of the chattering classes.

Historically, the multiculturalist experiment has failed everywhere. It leads to deep division and conflict. In the West, the problem will never be solved as long as we have an establishment that keeps pretending that we can all get along, and that differences in the multicultural society are merely superficial differences of lifestyle and opinion.

Multiculturalism is more than just food, festivals, music, and clothes. If that were all that it was, then we could probably all just get along. For example, I really love chocolate and my boyfriend doesn’t; and he really loves the Grateful Dead, which I hate . . .  but we’ve still managed to live together for six years in relative harmony and with pretty much no bickering. I even put up with that ugly sweater of his; he just doesn’t get as many hugs when he wears it.

Having different cultures means having fundamental differences in values. A common “argument” (and I use that in the loosest sense of the term) is that “We’re all immigrants.” Well, that’s simply not true. Most of us aren’t immigrants. But for the sake of argument, I’ll assume the hypothetical proponent of this argument means we all came from immigrant families at some point. The difference between the immigrants that came here from Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries and those that come today from Third World countries is that our European ancestors shared a common culture. Yes, there are variations on European culture, as you move from one country to another, but Europe as a whole shares a common culture and a common history. We understand each other, we value the same things, we are alike in very fundamental ways. Our differences are largely superficial. European immigrants came to a country that was founded by other Europeans who established a government and way of life based on European Enlightenment principles—those of Locke, Mill, and other thinkers. European immigrants integrated relatively easily. And they wanted to integrate. They truly came for a better life, not an easier life. They knew it wouldn’t be easy. They knew many of them would die on the journey or during their first winter. But, disgusted and frustrated with the government policy in their homelands, they were willing to make these sacrifices.

Today’s immigrants to America are nothing like the European immigrants who came before. Today’s immigrants come from radically different cultural backgrounds. They have radically different ideas about notions we take for granted. For example, democracy, women’s rights, social responsibility, or freedom of religion, just to name a few. They have no common history with us, many of our most important ideas are as foreign to them as theirs are to us, and, instead of integrating, they form ethnic enclaves and isolate themselves from real Americans. These people do not come here for a better life and they are not willing to make sacrifices. They come because they have heard that there are a lot of free lunches being handed out over here. The majority of immigrants who come to this country, legally and illegally, are not skilled workers, but the dregs of their societies. They are not interested in what they can do for American society, but in what they can get out of it for themselves and their own people.

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