"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, December 17, 2004

Good Multiculturalism, Bad Multiculturalism

Christmas is here and yet again we have the usual wrangling over whether to publicly celebrate Christmas, celebrate all the potential holidays (including the very lame Kwanzaa), or celebrate a generic winter festival. I have a movie in my head where a British captain of some sort goes on an adventure with a Jew, a Hindu, and a Muslim. Maybe he's allied with all of them against some monstrous foe or perhaps fate simply causes their paths to cross. In the movie in my mind, I see each of the characters being who they are without a lot of apologies about it. That's good multiculturalism. Bad multiculturalism is when we think we are doing our friend a favor by ignoring our own traditions or patronizing them about theirs because we aren't threatened by it. The vital public square is the one where we learn to be who we are and strive to convince others in a vigorous, fair-minded, positive and honest manner. The patronizing forbearance we give a concocted celebration like Kwanzaa has got to go. Ditto the sanitization of the celebration of one of the most consequential events the world has ever known.

1 comment:

Tlaloc said...

"The vital public square is the one where we learn to be who we are and strive to convince others in a vigorous, fair-minded, positive and honest manner."

Feel free to engage any holiday events you want...

...on your property and at your expense. That's exactly the limit of your right to push your beliefs on others. If you don't mean to push your beliefs on others then there is no reason to try and hold them in a public square. And especially no reason to get uset when you can't.