Multicultural quandaries

One of the basic tenets of the liberal faith is the beauty of “diversity.” Every day the dogmas of multiculturalism are promulgated relentlessly by our schools, newspapers and media, and public authorities. The transformation of the United States by waves of immigration from non-European countries is always depicted as a phenomenon to be celebrated, as are the immigrants’ religions and cultures.
Minneapolis and St. Paul have been deeply affected by the large number of Somali and Hmong immigrants who have made the Twin Cities metropolitan area their home. The occasionally disturbing cultural practices of these groups and the related social costs are never publicly discussed. Despite the liberal dogmas of multiculturalism, for example, one of Minnesota’s leading left-wing legislators was responsible for introducing legislation criminalizing the Somali practice of female genital circumcision in Minnesota in 1994. (Her feminism trumped her multiculturalism.) You can take a look at the statute here. Female genital mutilation was not much of a problem in Minnesota before Somalis settled here in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
The cultural practices of the Hmong have also proved extremely troubling. Animal sacrifice, teenage marriage, and polygamy are a few of the practices that have had secondary effects that expose them to public view if not discussion. Today’s St. Paul Pioneer Press carries an account of a wife’s murder of her husband because he was about to take a second, much younger wife. The story makes it clear that the Hmong frequently practice polygamy.
The Republican Party was established in the mid-1850’s in profound opposition to what its founders believed to be the moral evils of slavery and polygamy. The Republican Party platform of 1856 therefore equally condemned the “twin relics of barbarism–Polygamy, and Slavery.”
I wonder how long it will be before the doctrinal imperatives of multiculturalism will prevail and its proponents will demand that we respect the practice of polygamy, as they demand that we respect the practice of homosexuality, or if the understanding of those who founded the party that saved the Union can be restored to its rightful prominence in American public life.


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