Skip to comments.It's Now Official: Individuals and Cultural Diversity Determine Right or Wrong
Posted on 08/01/2002 8:53:11 AM PDT by shipofstate
It's Now Official: Individuals and Cultural Diversity Determine Right or Wrong
by William R. Darcy
Sometimes the signposts of massive cultural change are not always evident. Being sympathetic to the plight of individuals and being tolerant of the opinions of others has always been a strength of America. And in a nation of immigrants it has always been easier (but not easy) to curb the natural human tendency to be suspicious and downright hostile to those of another clan or country. But since the 1960s, and with increasing force in the 1990s, those tendencies have been transformed into a view that other cultures, especially non-Western ones, are equally good or better than America's.
The view of the New England puritans, of Washington, Jefferson, Adams and the other founders of the nation, and of Ronald Reagan was that America was a special culture and government, the "city on a hill" that was a shining example and ideal to which all peoples should aspire. It was viewed as a duty of citizenship that new immigrants should quickly learn the language and rules and celebrate the unique freedoms and opportunity of America derived from the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
As recently as 1968, the now leftist labor union, the National Education Association, published "The American Citizen's Handbook," edited by Joy Elmer Morgan, which was first published in 1941. The opening sentence of the 1968 edition of the Handbook states that, "It is a high privilege to be a citizen of the United States." The book describes the Constitution as "the greatest single document in the entire struggle of mankind for orderly self-government" and the history of the United States as showing "the hand of Providence." One of the primary reasons for the greatness of the "uniquely American civilization" says Mr. Morgan is "a common system of purpose and ideals inculcated into the lives of all people by a system of free public schools." As we now see, the system that helped create common American ideals and identity can also be used to destroy it.
The academic community, starting in the 1960s, has been teaching our children that such an idealistic view of American uniqueness and cultural superiority is the height of cultural arrogance; that other cultures and countries, even ones that abuse women and religious minorities, are equally good or better than ours; that America is not a melting pot of shared values but a tossed salad of multicultural clans; and that America's prosperity is an evil because it consumes a disproportionate amount of the world's natural resources, which is both greedy and a direct cause of cataclysmic global warming. They have apparently won the ideological battle, at least among college students.
73% of college seniors in a recent poll agreed with the statement that, "What is right and wrong depends on differences in individual values and cultural diversity." Thus almost 3 out of 4 of our future leaders believe that the 10 Commandments and the wisdom of the Western world on what conduct is right or wrong, good or evil, are irrelevant. The world view embodied in that statement is that cultures cannot be judged by outsiders and individuals cannot challenge the moral worldview of others. It is the destructive and immoral policy taught in our high schools and colleges by many textbooks and teachers, although as John Leo notes in a recent column ("Professors Who See No Evil"), "college students are rarely taught this directly, but they absorb it as part of the multicultural tolerant, nonjudgmental campus culture." The poll shows the lesson has been learned well.
What is even more appalling is that this politically correct world view was not shaken by the grim reality of the massive attack on American civilians September 11 by people from cultures that celebrate terrorism. Palestinians dancing in the streets and Mideast Muslims praising Allah over the tragic events of September 11 were not enough to shake these students' belief in cultural relativism. They apparently shared the view of the Reuters news organization that, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Leo's column notes that this perverse moral standard even prevents some students from condemning the Nazi's extermination of the Jews during WW II.
College professors such as Noam Chomsky had no problem explaining to their students that the imperialism of the West, and America in particular, was the cause of Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians committing violence against civilians. But the whining liberal profs who have effectively inculcated their charges with moral relativism must have problems explaining the justice systems throughout the non-Western world that regularly commit atrocities against women, homosexuals and religious minorities.
The most infamous recent incident concerns a tribal council in the Punjab province of Muslim Pakistan that ordered and executed a gang rape of an 18 year old woman. Early reports said, "The victim's family said the rape occurred June 22 after the tribal council in Meerwala village ordered it as a punishment after the woman's brother was seen walking unchaperoned with a girl belonging to a different tribe." The different tribe was a higher caste tribe than that of the woman and her brother, and initial reports had the rape ordered because of the insult to the tribal honor of the higher caste tribe.
Later reports show an even less noble justification for the gang rape, to cover up the earlier rape of the women's 11 year old brother by members of the higher caste. Embarrassed Pakistani civil authorities have now taken actions against the perpetrators and those who authorized the gang rape, but the incident is not an insolated one. This year alone there have been 72 gang rapes and 93 other rapes in Punjab province, often by higher caste men against lower caste women. Other examples abound. Should we be "non-judgmental" about these practices and teach that their culture is equal to or better than American culture?
This is how great cultures and countries fall: they rot from within as anti-intellectual and immoral philosophies gain popular currency and are taught in the schools. It thus is not hard to understand why many citizens question spending hard-earned dollars on public education when students are taught that "what is right and wrong depends on differences in individual values and cultural diversity." The fight for school choice gains recruits every time parents learn that basic moral values they share are undermined by the education their children are receiving. Religious schooling for their children seems appropriate to many parents when the public schools and universities teach there are no universal morals or rules of acceptable conduct (other than not disparaging minorities).
The country's Founders, all of whom believed moral values were essential for the survival of the Republic, would have been appalled by the attitudes of our children and their teachers in school as well as in Hollywood and the news media. How can the American culture embodied in the Constitution and our free market system be defended vigorously (i.e., that lives be lost to defend our nation) by these new graduates when they believe our country is no better or worse than other cultures and countries? The morally obtuse urchins most of our universities are churning out will hardly be reliable defenders of American freedoms which they have no reason to believe are valuable or special.
With the moral compass of the nation's future leaders not working, the American Ship of State will eventually crash onto the shoals of adversity and lose its freedoms and prosperity. Every generation must relearn the reasons why America's freedoms and opportunity are special and better than other countries and the principles and practices necessary to maintain freedom and opportunity. The teachers of this generation of college students have failed in that task. We should all work to show these graduates the errors of their views and help the next generation do better if we want the republic to survive.
While I tend to believe this statement, I sure would like to see some historical analysis that backs it up.
Interesting statistic, but like most, essentially meaningless except in comparison to something else.
These 165 rapes equate to .0041 per 1000 female population of the 80,000,000 people in Punjab province.
The equivalent rape rate in the US is .71 per 1000 female population.
So if Punjab had the same rate of rape as the US, there would have been 28,400 rapes there, not 165.
Of course, this doesn't take into account unreported rapes in either group. And there has never been a "court"-ordered rape here. But we should think carefully before we go denouncing them as a society particularly prone to rape.
Ain't statistics wonderful?
PS - The link on your FReeper homepage to your shipofstate site does not work...found it anyway, but thought you might like to fix that.
No disagreement. In some Islamic countries, victims of rape are routinely killed by their families to restore their "honor." This is not a Muslim practice, as such, although it is practiced by Muslims. It is a cultural hangover from pre-Muslim times.