The American Melting Pot compared to European Multiculturalism
Bawer claims Muslim radicalism in Europe is an integration problem that has been facilitated by Leftist policies that afford special rights to immigrant minorities. These special rights have enabled Muslim immigrants to self-segregate into closed communities, preserve illiberal cultural practices, adhere to a parallel legal system, and affect change on many levels of society. Any criticism of these developments is vehemently condemned and silenced by Leftist dhimmi authorities.
In comparison, Bawer thinks the American assimilating melting pot model of immigration integration is a spectacular “success.” America views immigrants with “respect,” sees them as “individuals” and “potential assets,” and treats them as “free, self-determining Americans” whereas Europe “condescends” them, perceiving them as “needy cases, wards of the state” — victims — and as “members of an ethnic and religious group,” a collectivity with particular customs that needs to be preserved.1
A dire result of European multiculturalism for Bawer is the trumping of individual rights by collective rights of minority groups; differences between cultures rather than between individuals are respected and preserved. What this means is that “ethnic Europeans are viewed as individuals” but Muslims are not as they are seen as members of the Muslim community, a “common identity [that] is determined entirely by skin colour, ethnicity, and religious background.” The consequence of this thinking and practice has led, according to Bawer, to the view by the European establishment that intolerance, self-segregation, and forced marriages within the immigrant community are “aspects of cultural difference” that must be accepted in a multicultural society.2
Bawer claims Europeans adopted multiculturalism not out of respect of ethnic differences but because they have “a profound discomfort with the idea of ‘them’ becoming ‘us’.”3 European multiculturalism presents itself as an anti-racist method of preserving the diversity of distinct non-European cultural and ethnic identities, but it is actually an ethnocentric strategy to maintain the ethnic homogeneity of Europeans in the face of large-scale immigration from the Third World. Because Europeans are aware of their ethnic differences, non-European immigrants are not treated as individual citizens but rather as “guests;” they are seen as members of a particular ethnic immigrant group irreconcilable with the national identity of the host country and, in consolation, are given special rights to remain separate, promote and celebrate their collective ethnic identity.
For Bawer, multicultural policies are merely segregating tools related to the “widespread” bigotry and xenophobia in Europe and have prevented immigrant minorities from assimilating into mainstream society and assuming a common national identity. These bigoted multicultural policies partly explain why Europe has a problem with radical Islamism: they have repelled many of the “most liberal and easily integrated” Muslims from immigrating so that Europe is left with “the more illiterate, reactionary ones” instead. Furthermore, rather than multiculturalism being “an act of generosity” Bawer thinks it is really an “act of cultural self-hatred and cultural suicide.” Bawer perceives that this “deep self-contempt” and xenophobic European multiculturalism, as well as Leftist PC dhimmitude, have provided the conditions for Islamic radicals to flourish in Europe at the expense of liberal democracy.4
The solution that Bawer suggests to counter Leftist-enabled Islamism is for Europe to be more careful when selecting Muslim immigrants — “[a]uthorities must simply be more careful about whom they let in” — and to scrap multiculturalism in favour of the American way: assimilation into a non-ethnically defined national identity and the glories of liberal individual rights. He writes:
the answer to the narrow strictures of fundamentalist Islam lay … in democratic liberalism, pluralism, and tolerance — the liberty that had made America prosperous and powerful.
In this view, if all immigrants, especially Muslims, assimilate into a liberal democratic Europe which treats them as individuals and citizens rather than as guests with a separate collective religious identity, then Europe would have no problem with Islamism. He believes that Islam can be compatible with democracy and liberalism but the onus is on Muslims who “must discover more liberal ways of understanding their faith.” Furthermore, Muslims in Europe “can defeat extremism by disavowing and discrediting it as an expression of Islam” and their children must not “be raised to see their religious affiliation as the be-all and end-all of their identity.”5
What Bawer essentially wants is the casting off of collective ethnic, racial, and cultural identities by non-European immigrants and European natives alike so that all peoples will assimilate into a neutrally defined common national identity based on a set of secular liberal democratic values. This is paramount to him. He wants people to be individuals — a diversity of characters — with their own lifestyle in tune with liberal rights but does not want people to identify with an ethnic collective displaying a distinct and unified way of life. The epitome of successful American-style immigrant integration, “a true melting pot, an immigration triumph” is to him, the Chinese restaurant in a European town with Asian waitresses who speak several languages and the laughing mixed race couple eating Chinese food with their mixed-race child.6 The notion of nationhood and identity based on an historic ethnoculturalism is anathematic to his dream of a world-wide American-style monoculture based on abstract human rights.
On the one hand Bawer rightly states that European nations have had long and continuous ethnically contained histories prior to large-scale immigration from the Third World and are still “ethnically very homogenous” compared to America; on the other hand he dismisses this when comparing American integration to European integration models: Europeans “don’t understand the radical process that is true integration — a process that’s been a part of American life for generations” because Europeans are too aware of their ethnicity and too wary of allowing outsiders to take part in their centuries old traditions. He writes that across Europe there is a
reflexive, inflexible clinging to native customs; the identification of nationality with ethnic identity; and the equation of membership in the society with an attachment to long-standing tribal traditions — all this is still part of the fabric of Europe, and it continues to make true, full, American-style integration next to impossible.7
Bawer assumes that integrating European immigrants into a melting pot like America is necessary and good and that the ethnocentric identity of native Europeans must be replaced by American style values. Imagine telling this to non-White ethnic groups such as the Japanese, the First Nations of Canada, or the Buddhists of Tibet.
Under the rubric of multiculturalism, unlike ethnic minority groups, when ethnic majority Europeans define themselves by their skin color and native traditions they are called retrograde, racist, or white supremacist. Bawer wants to prevent any ethnic group from having an ethnic identity — immigrants and natives alike — and wants to scrap the multicultural model and replace it with assimilation and eventually channel all peoples of the West into an American-style liberal melting-pot democracy.
Like a typical Neocon, Bawer blames Europeans Elites and natives for the failures of Muslims to integrate into society and for the presence of Islamism in Europe. It does not occur to him that many Muslim radicals in Europe are third generation immigrants, many are refugees, many are illegal immigrants, many are radicalised over the internet and by satellite TV, many feel disillusioned from the impartial consumer society of liberal individualism, many are indeed angry at the military endeavours of the West in the Middle East, and many aim to conquer Europe and the West whether or not it practices multiculturalism or assimilation. He also does not seem to fathom that people have strong attachments to their particular cultures and ethnic identities and will come to America, to Europe, and to the West for economic reasons only; they will stick together and keep their cultural particularities, practicing their way of life in private if necessary, and will push against and not conform to the universal idea of American monoculturalism, no matter how much Bawer et al want it.
Bawer also fails to perceive that the supposedly non-discriminatory model of universal liberal democracy has not worked in his beloved America either. Although he tries to convince the reader of the superiority of American style immigrant integration this does not mean that the U.S. is a model to emulate or does not suffer from its own problems. In fact, the American-style melting pot model is not even a reality. There is no common American identity other than abstract individual rights and there is copious evidence of multicultural-like features characterising the US: emphasis on ethnic diversity in education, employment, and government, separate ethnic/racial groups, immigrant enclaves, Black ghettos, ethnic minority rights, abuse of individual rights, a non-White victim culture, La Raza, Black Pride, race-related crimes, and so on. Not only is assimilation or the melting pot not real, but the so-called democracy of America is questionable. A recent report by two university professors suggests that America is more like an oligarchy than a democracy.
Bawer also thinks that anti-American and anti-Israel media propaganda in Europe damage good relations between America and Europe, relations which he thinks are necessary for combating Islamism at home and abroad. He wants Europe to adopt American-style assimilation and foreign policy, both of which, in Bawer’s mind, have allowed America to be free from any internal Islamic threat or threat from other immigrant groups. Maybe he thinks that the numerous Muslim terrorist attacks on Americans and on American home soil, illegal immigration from Mexico, the La Raza movement, Black pride groups, the reduction of White American population to a minority by 2042 and its celebration by non-whites, clashes between ethnic groups, and the fact that Islam is the fastest growing religion in America, are nothing to worry about. Bawer’s love-blind praise for America means he cannot see these problems for what they are: problems of immigration and race mixing.
While Bawer is not wrong in blaming the presence of radical Islam in Europe on Leftist thinking, nowhere does he factor in other elements that have contributed to Islamism in Europe, such as the effects of open border practices, illegal immigration from neighbouring Muslim countries, weakened European ethnic interests due to not just Leftist but also Neocon political correctness, Western military intervention in the Middle East, the antagonistic situation of Israel-Palestine relations, general anti-Westernism, robust Muslim family and community traditions, and Muslim transnationalism that links to the Middle East by strong physical, spiritual, and political connections (family, marriages, I.C.T., pilgrimages etc.). Although he mentions some of these things in other contexts they are off the table for reasons as to why radical Islamism is in Europe. Only Leftist Elites are to blame and multiculturalism has to go.
Bawer doesn’t grasp (or does not care) about the tragedy that has unfolded for native Europeans. He doesn’t perceive that Third World mass-immigration, cultural Marxism, and Neocon universalism are assaulting European indigenous culture with equally destructive results as Islam. Although multiculturalism is better than assimilation as it recognises that ethnicity and cultural roots matter for people’s identity, the problem with it is that it does not afford the White majorities of Europe the right to preserve their societal culture, identity, and history. In the end, assimilation is not the answer to European problems of Islamism as the fundamental problem facing Europe today is large-scale Third World immigration.
Bawer welcomes Large-Scale Immigration from the Third World
Bawer is plainly pro-immigration, spouting the typical well-worn alarmist reasons for it:
Western Europe desperately needs immigrants. The native population is aging and its numbers are on the wane….more and more workers will be needed to keep national economies from shrinking and to help pay for mounting retirement benefits and hospitalisation costs….there’s no reason why the difficulties posed by fundamentalist Islam should prevent Western Europe from maintaining a steady flow of immigrants.8
Bawer has no problem with mass-immigration from the Third World if it means immigrants assimilate into the contemporary Western way of life defined in terms of abstract individual liberal rights for all. All immigrants as well as natives must assimilate into a liberal democratic culture and not demand special ethnic considerations. If Muslims in Europe assimilate into an individual rights based society, become secular, abandon their collective identity and their illiberal beliefs and practices, and stop their terror attacks on the West, then they can stay and more can come too.
Bawer seems to think that only Muslims pose an integration problem due to their strong collective identity and their militant radicalism, which are banes to American global supremacy in Europe. He believes no other ethnic minority groups in Europe are a problem as they have accepted their minority status and are integrating quite nicely; they do not demand special accommodations, do not bomb and commit terrorist acts against the West, are not anti-capitalist or anti-democratic. Bawer doesn’t comprehend that all other ethnic minority groups pose a threat to ethnic European identity and homelands. He doesn’t consider Third-World immigration a threat because he doesn’t consider the erosion of the White identity of Europe and the West as a problem. In these regards, he has, along with other Neocons, several elements in common with Leftism: he is for massive immigration from the Third World into the West and miscegenation, he outright rejects distinct ethnic identities, especially of Whites and Muslims, and completely opposes the right of Whites to maintain and preserve their identity at the national level in their own homelands. In the end, he thinks ethnic identity does not have a place in the American plan for global supremacy.
Bawer obviously fails to see that immigration itself is a problem for the existence of European peoples themselves. Across the Western world non-Europeans are creating problems for the majority White populations: the Chinese in Vancouver, the Hindus in Bradford, the Mestizos and Blacks in America, the Black, Asian, and Arab Muslims in Europe and Australia. Not only are non-European immigrants in Western Europe a problem, but so too are Eastern Europeans since the joining of Western and Eastern Europe into the European Union. This Union has led to a flood of East European immigrants flowing to the West, which threaten the distinctive nationalities of Europe at large.
Although he opposes multiculturalism and favours assimilation, like Leftists and other Neocons, Bawer supports the political ideal that all the races of the World should come to and exist in the West and that all races should mix together there. Neither Leftism nor Neoconism stress the importance of preserving real ethnic diversity in the world. Nor do they show concern for the demographic replacement of native Europeans in the work force, schools, and government and the displacement of indigenous Europeans from their neighbourhoods from non-European high birth-rates and large-scale immigration. They have no qualms about White peoples being overwhelmed, stifled, and dispossessed by the practices of mass-immigration. Rather, they encourage and celebrate these destructive processes.
Bawer considers the destruction of the ethnically White character of the West as necessary, and not just for financial reasons. He thinks immigration from non-European countries is essentially culturally-enriching. Take for example these statements:
Time and again…I’ve encountered immigrants who’ve brought values and habits to Norway that the country needs more of [and immigrants tend to be] much friendlier…than Norwegians.9
Bawer is plainly anti-European. He has a malicious perception of Europe and European peoples. He does not consider the diversity of ethnicities and cultures in the world as goods in themselves. He does not understand that geographical boundaries are integral to ethnic distinctiveness, or that ethnic distinctiveness is necessary for the brilliant diversity and vitality of the multitude of cultures of the world. Nor does he comprehend that ethnic particularity is a necessary feature of the psychological identity of social groups and that belonging and identifying with a distinct ethnic group with a collective identity and shared language, cultural heritage, norms, values, and traditions is an intrinsic feature of human psychology and of all human societies that have existed throughout human history. He wants to completely overhaul the traditions and character of Europe so to suit the needs, wants, and aspirations of the American global supremacist social engineering project, which aims towards the imposition of a universal monoculture on the whole world.
Massive immigration into Western Europe is plainly and simply an unethical practice that amounts to the cultural death and eventual genocide of European peoples.
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