James P. Lubinskas, American Renaissance, April 1998
The Menace of Multiculturalism: Trojan Horse in America, Alvin Schmidt, Praeger Publishers, 1997, 211 pp.
Ever since the 1960s, multiculturalists have had their way in American universities and public schools. This book suggests that mainstream conservatives are now fighting back, though they still avert their eyes from the significance of race.
Alvin Schmidt, a professor of sociology at Illinois College, worries that multiculturalists are teaching minorities and Third World immigrants to reject America’s Western heritage because it is uniquely “racist,” “sexist,” and “homophobic.” He argues that withholding Western values both hurts students and threatens to tribalize the nation. If non-white immigrants do not assimilate, “America will no longer be a melting but a boiling pot.”
Prof. Schmidt makes quick work of the doctrine that all cultures are morally equal. He lists many examples of barbaric non-Western practices that are almost never mentioned in textbooks. He also points out the deception and hypocrisy of multiculturalists who claim, with straight faces, that smoke signals or shamanism were merely different from radio and modern medicine rather than inferior.
Prof. Schmidt has scoured college and grade school textbooks and tells a disheartening tale of what our children are taught. Many textbooks now downgrade legitimate European history and exaggerate the inventions and successes of other cultures. They leave out important historical events and overemphasize minor characters only because they are women or non-whites. Thus the National Standards curriculum leaves out Paul Revere, Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers, but makes room for Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez and W.E.B. DuBois. Of course, racism is strictly a one-way street: The Ku Klux Klan is a prominent example of American bigotry but the Black Panthers and Malcolm X are “civil rights” leaders and seekers of justice.
Prof. Schmidt notes that although colleges brag about “diversity,” they stifle diversity of opinions. Indiana University, Arizona State University and California State University have all “disinvited” conservative speakers like Patrick Buchanan and Linda Chavez because of pressure from minority groups that refused to allow people with views different from their own to come on campus. It is now common for black and homosexual groups to destroy copies of student newspapers that print columns they find offensive.
What About Race?
Prof. Schmidt offers abundant evidence of the desirability of Western culture. He usefully catalogs the abuses, hypocrisies and lies of multiculturalism and shows how this offshoot of Marxism is now a religion complete with saints and infidels. He even goes beyond standard neoconservatism in noting that the 1965 immigration law that opened America to the Third World was a drastic measure fueled by “ignorance” and “white guilt,” which “set the stage for the possible unraveling of America’s culture.” But the unraveling is strictly a cultural matter. If only schools, churches and colleges would emphasize traditional American values, non-whites would assimilate just like the European ethnics of old.
The son of German immigrants to Canada, Prof. Schmidt makes much of the fact that he was made to conform to the mainstream culture of Western Canada. This included speaking English rather than German and putting aside the German heritage of his parents. Though he claims to have faced anti-German prejudice, he is glad he was made to embrace Canadian culture. He thinks that Asians, Hispanics, and blacks just need a dose of the same medicine.
Prof. Schmidt does not consider whether multiculturalism is a symptom of an even deeper problem—multiracialism—nor does he seem to doubt that with the right education large numbers of non-whites can be taught to embrace Western civilization. This curious faith in an outcome for which there is neither historical precedent nor current evidence is the book’s obvious blind spot, but The Menace of Multiculturalism is still an important volume for anyone concerned about America’s culture wars.