Andrew Belonsky

Allen West's Attack On Multiculturalism Goes Against American Grain

Filed By Andrew Belonsky | February 15, 2011 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Allen West, CPAC, multiculturalism, News

Representative Allen West wrapped up CPAC with a fiery speech that brought the crowd to its feet. Too bad the Republican's right wing policies, AllenWest1.jpgparticularly his criticism of multiculturalism, could bring America to its knees.

West's keynote speech, built around a "new dawn in America," had all the of the ideological hallmarks his conservative colleagues expected, including declarations that the deficit will destroy us, ruminations on the importance of religion and attacks on "liberal" media and institutions, including the EPA.

And then there was his assertion that multiculturalism must be stopped.

"I believe we should celebrate the diversity of the melting pot called America," said Florida Rep. West, after declaring our national language is in peril, a veiled critique of illegal immigration. "But we must never allow multiculturalism to grow on steroids and define itself as making American culture subservient. And, yes, there is a definitive American culture." I'm not entirely sure that's true.

The Congressman claims to respect the melting pot, but how can that be? One can't respect the melting pot while also criticizing multiculturalism, because they are one and the same. Even if you don't foster multiculturalism, it will always pump through America's veins, because this nation was built on its ability to host myriad cultures.

West and his right-wing allies pride themselves on "traditional values and culture." The thing about tradition, however, is that it's it's rooted in the past. To the right, American culture shouldn't evolve. It should hark back to a bygone era, one in which the nuclear family reigned supreme and our nation's culture was defined by those in power, not the man on the street. But such an America no longer exists.

That tradition has been swept away, becoming more Americana, an antiquated, borderline campy pop culture, than an actual representation of the nation today. There can be no one American culture, but rather a culture created by Americans of all shapes, sizes, religions and races.

To celebrate a singular national culture restricts access to those who don't fit the conservative mold, thereby creating an "us versus them" mentality that threatens to erode the unity our forefathers of every color and creed fought so hard to establish.

If West wants to see a "new dawn" in America, he would use his pulpit and power to encourage diversity, rather than closing the doors to progress.

(Crossposted at Death and Taxes Magazine.)


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While blacks do have a right to think along conservative lines ... I'll never understand blacks who are that conservative.

... kinda like blue-collar whites who make $42K/yr and who vote Republican because they dream they'll be mega-millionaires in just a few years. Drowning in their own delusions, they also can't see how politically self-destructive they are ...

how can someone hold a sign up showing hanging gay this man should be reported and held and charged for a hate crime if this is not one then what is plese someone indtify him and take this to the police in this retatd red neck state i sure they still marrie the brothere and sister with that attutide what a sick twisted thing to pass in this day and age every one who vote this way should be voted out of office the next round up or maybe if were lucky they will just go away like a bad dream because this sury is a bad dream in this day and age why no vote to ban black woman vote woman vore or bring back slavery that make about as much scnce we should refuse to buy from anything that comes out of this state vist that state or support them in anyway if we all did that then who would be getting bent over so to speak

I believe there is a definite American culture. It is the culmination of the many peoples who have come together and learned to coexist.

There is nothing wrong with having traditions or values. We should learn from the past and hold on to what we still hold true and respectable.

When we combine the two and have the arrogance to tout them as the solution for the masses is where people err. It then becomes the views of a few or the one. Morality should never be dictated.

Only in consensus of the whole do we achieve fairness.

T is wrong.

The word "consensus", by definition, means everyone in a group is satisfied with a decision. This is probabilistically impossible for large groups.

If "T" is using "consensus" to mean "majority" he does not understand that history is replete with examples of the ruling majority oppressing others.

We can take this to a local level to show how this can play out. Suppose I got five of my friends and we went into a local convenience store and voted with the owner whether we should take all his money. The vote would be 5:1 in favor of robbing him. Would we be right to rob him?

Human rights are fundamental and should not be subject to the vote. They should be an assumption of any civilized society.


Yipes - my math leaves something to be desired this morning. Meant to say 6:1.

One more time; please don't feed the animals. This guy craves publicity. He's a moron. Move on.

"But we must never allow multiculturalism to grow on steroids and define itself as making American culture subservient. And, yes, there is a definitive American culture."

Except that's how we became a huge and dominate country, by being multicultural and welcoming immigrants. Oy.

I was not refering to Human rights in my reply. Those are inherent and I have said so many times before. My reply even stated morality should not be dictated.

When it comes to traditions and values, the only two things I was talking of, we as a society can come to a consensus on what we hold dear.

Discussion and compromise is never wrong. It allows all involved to speak their mind and find a workable solution. You may not like the views of some people but unless you take time to listen, educate, and rebut then you are just as guilty as those you seek to chastise.

Thank you for your reply Nerissa. I'm sorry if my statement was not more clear.

T