Multiculturalism

This paper seems hard to follow because your terminology is not clear.  Multiculturalism and colorblindness seem to be opposed to each other, while you want to see them as similar “frameworks.”  Multiculturalism doesn’t just tolerate differences, it celebrates them.  Colorblindness wants to suggest that differences are meaningless or inconsequential. 

Multiculturalism in the educational context has ironic consequences because it sends contradictory messages.  On the one hand, it purports to preach tolerance, while on the other hand it tells people that the most important thing about themselves is their membership in a group and that the most important thing about other people is exactly their otherness.  Once you hold up otherness as an ideal, you are reinforcing tribalism and pitting group identities against one another.  Tolerance cannot survive that. 

Multiculturalism in the corporate context has less to do with consumerism than with being an anti-Labor strategy.  Isn’t it kind of suspicious that corporations were so quick to adopt diversity as a goal?  I’m much more impressed by ideas that corporations find difficult, like full employment.  Diversity breaks up the working class into competing ethnicities that corporations play off one another to their own advantage.  Capitalists have always used race to set the working class against itself, and the corporate embrace of diversity is simply that same tactic warmed over in self-righteous, neo-liberal rhetoric.

Your essay tends to accept terminology from your sources without really investigating that terminology, so at times, you have to ask yourself what you are saying.  What do you mean by “pureness in culture?”  It seems important, but you don’t define it.  You seem to be including things because they sound right in the political rhetoric you are appropriating rather than thinking about what argument you are actually making.

Proponents of multiculturalism would have you believe that the converse of multiculturalism is intolerance, but they are wrong.  The opposite of multiculturalism is humanism.  Multiculturalism says that what’s important is our differences; humanism says that what’s important is what we share.  Humanism is not colorblindness; rather it says that the way to fight racism is to understand what we share.  My problem with the people you quote is that they seem to want to have it both ways.  They want to criticize multiculturalism, but stop short at embracing humanism.  For instance, what is “Eurocentric knowledge formation” and why should anyone oppose it?  The unthinking, unquestioned usage of “Eurocentric” as a pejorative is very bad, inept rhetoric.  Knowledge is knowledge, and the ways of acquiring or forming knowledge are determined by the nature of knowledge and not by any ethnocentric imperative.  If the methodology of intellectual inquiry developed as a consequence of European philosophy, it is necessary to understand why that happened, not to denigrate intellectual inquiry with an epithet.  Calling something bad because it is “Eurocentric knowledge formation” is a big steaming pile of neo-Anarchist, anti-intellectual horseshit.