I maintain that "relativism" and "multiculturalism" are not the same animal, in the same sense, at the same time.
I don't share your view. Commonly the term is used to equate cultures morally.
One essay, written by Daniel Bonevac and titled "Leviathan U.," describes a clear distinction made by British academic, Diane Ravitch, over twenty years ago: "...pluralistic multiculturalists seek to enrich our common culture, to make it more inclusive and less parochial by incorporating elements of other cultures. In the words of one of the most influential pluralists, "to advocate multicultural education is not to deny the need for a common public culture, but only to argue that the common culture could be less rigid and biased."
How am I supposed to interpret that? What elements should be incorporated into Western culture? Buddhism? Islam? Or what? And why should we incorporate them into an education?
Basically, what these early multiculturalists were advocating was rational sympathy for cultural differences,
like offering more varied menus in the dining halls for students with dietary restrictions, and not forcing Muslim girls to wear gym uniforms they found embarrassing.
Dietary restrictions because of health? Or culture?
Buddhists are vegetarians, do we say Buddhism, is now morally equivalent to Western culture? Is culture based on some kind of tribalistic notion now ok? Girls that protest a gym uniform because of their Islamic religion?
Multiculturalism is a repugnant idea. Making concessions to be tolerant of one's culture, a culture that is derived from religious or tribalistic notions is completely absurd and ought to be rejected. I have no sympathy for a religious or tribalistic culture. This idealogy, is what allows for the argument Muslim women should not have to show their face on a driver's liscence, or that we should abandon the classic American History education of the founding fathers and instead harp on the fact Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. Multiculturalism is a disgusting idealogy and is destroying this country's education system, and further succeeding in the Balkanization of our citizens.
I think you should read Rand's essay "Global Balkanization"
Now this ought not to be confused with tolerance with respect to individual rights. But that's not what multiculturalism is. It is defined as accepting cultures as either equivalent to our own, or rejecting the notion that one can pass moral judgement on a culture. Sorry I don't buy that. I can definitely pass a moral judgement on whether Muslim school girls don't want to wear the school's uniform. Or whether a school should accomodate it's lunch menu for some absurd religious sensibilities.
"This [particularism] has influenced
Afrocentric school curricula developed and implemented in cities such as Pittsburgh and Washington. According to particularists, American society and culture do not, and should not, approximate a 'melting-pot' producing one culture out of many. In such a blend, they maintain, the bland white majority and its culture overwhelm minorities and their cultures. Inevitably, minorities occupy subservient social positions; minority cultures play a minor roles in the culture as a whole, if they manage to survive at all. Pluralists might respond that we should seek to change our recipe, preserving the melting-pot image, or that we should seek a smorgasbord, allowing each culture to preserve its own identity while allowing people to choose among the offerings of many cultures. Particularists, in contrast, see the smorgasbord idea as deceptive. The majority culture is bound to dominate the available offerings; it will be hard to find a place for minority cultures on the table."
And? Both ideas are disgusting.
I understand ARI's long history of rejecting context, and applying definitions (or severely limiting them) to terms in an attempt to suit it's own purpose and agenda, as the quote you provided demonstrates, but this is a complex issue with many facets.
I don't get the militant hatred for the ARI on this forum. I think they got this one right. Sorry Teresa, I just don't agree with you on this one.