Just a few days ago, when I was eating with my Chinese friends in our dining hall and heard some five students make fun of Chinese phrases and culture, I was not surprised. And those kids should not be surprised either that I have written “our dining hall” and not “the superiors’” dining hall that we so wrongly happened to be in.
And how beautiful that this first week was so full of assemblies celebrating “diversity.”
It is just as if we were in the real world.
So let’s give what has happened in our school some political flair.
Our school administration is trying to embrace multiculturalism, which initially recognizes different cultures, conserves them in societies and does not exclude at least in theory. How heavenly, if only it did not fail in so many trials. Many people have criticized multiculturalism because it creates some kind of inequality, since it recognizes people based on background and not as fully equal citizens. Also, we have connected multiculturalism with crime — just search the word on YouTube and you will find tens of videos titled “Why Germany Has a Rape Problem and Latvia Hasn’t.”
What the kids would probably want is assimilation, when the minority culture takes the dominant and generally imposed cultures’ qualities by repression, force or just because of time. All of us remember Native Americans in blazers and polo shirts, but that is too new. Even your oldest teacher is not going to remember this, but many Ancient Roman borders were for keeping immigrants out, the ones inside “civilized” with the Latin language and culture. And another example: remember the pagan – Christian relationships? How funny it awfully sounds like making refugees Christian.
And what about the German Parallelgesellschaft? Let me ask in a comprehendible way: do you support having a Chinatown or Little Italy in New York? Parallel societies come into play when different ethnic groups organize themselves for a reduced contact with others. They are in every society unless you are living in a dictatorship (since no difference would exist because of assimilation). You will probably not understand how dangerous it is considering it seems like it is just between the former two, but just take a Google Street View in one of the places I saw most as a child, a Turkish community in Berlin. A North African one in Paris. A Kurdish one in Stockholm. An Indian one in London.
Just this week, Denmark declared many Muslim communities “ghettos” with a new series of laws. They also want non-Western children to take more than 30 hours of classes every week about “Danish culture”, doubled punishments for the crimes these people commit, more police surveillance and much more. The last one sounds like the Gestapo, the Nazi police force.
Just this week, the French couldn’t sleep from the sounds of a riot. A riot against the police killing North Africans. France has seen a lot of these stories, from rapes, and murders to torture, and the victim is somehow generally an immigrant. Some French papers gave this a different perspective, though, saying that just like these killed people, the police were also struggling under pressure and suicide rates have gone up.
Just this week, the German coalition government has tightened its immigration policies.
Just this week, a lot has happened. Just this week, we have seen that no one will ever be welcome anywhere.
But let’s be real. Imagine someone who comes from a society that does not recognize homosexuality and is against equal rights. This person immigrates to Netherlands and refuses contact with homosexuals, even harasses them. This person is as guilty as a government which wants people to not celebrate New Year but Christmas.
However, we have two minutes until midnight. And we still have much to talk about.
How much change can we bring to society? I wrote this article and you read it, and hopefully now you will not stare down distinct people in the metro. Great. We are all proud of you.
But let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was the PM of Sweden, Stefan Löfven. He had an open-to-multiculturalism image and many did not find him suitable for Europe during an immigrant crisis. Then there came the PM of Denmark, Lars Rasmussen. They met in Sweden just a few months ago and never seemed to argue. He never said anything.
And that’s why we, yes the two of us, now have to inform even more people. Sweden has nearly 10 million people, Denmark has almost 6. So don’t start your Pre-Calculus homework, we have some work to do. I’m offering you Köttbullar and Danish pastries (it is originally Austrian!) as incentives.