Friday, July 08, 2011

It's the assimilation, stupid!

Of all places, the New York Times has a sensible essay on the failures of multiculturism in Europe, and especially in Britain, though the same issues apply to the United States today. The op-ed is entitled "Assimilation's Failure," but of course the problem is quite the opposite: not assimilation's failure but the failure to assimilate.

Britain never tried to assimilate its minorities, nor did France or Germany or any other European country that I know of. Even a tourist in London can click off the ethnic/religious/racial/national groups as he goes down the street: there a Sikih, there a Muslim, there a Nigerian.... Who's the true minority in London now? Why, it's the Englishman!

A Polish friend tells the story of riding in a London taxi which came to a screeching halt to avoid hitting a brown-skinned man in a turban. "Bloody British passport!" cried the driver, a reference to the policy that allowed any resident of the British Empire to claim the highly valued, dark blue hardcover book that was then the UK passport.

"I'm a British passport too," Basia chided him.

"Yes, love," he answered, "but you're different." Right: different because she was white, she was pretty, she was conventionally dressed, and she spoke English without a notable accent. In other words, she had assimilated.

In multiculturalism lies the destruction of cultures. European countries are now paying the price of that mistake, and the United States seems ready to follow them. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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