Yesterday French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the following about multiculturalism during a television interview:
“My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure,” he said in a television interview when asked about the policy which advocates that host societies welcome and foster distinct cultural and religious immigrant groups.
“Of course we must all respect differences, but we do not want… a society where communities coexist side by side.
“If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France,” the right-wing president said.
“The French national community cannot accept a change in its lifestyle, equality between men and women… freedom for little girls to go to school,” he said.
“We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him,” Sarkozy said in the TFI channel show.
You might be thinking this was a gaffe, but it turns out it’s actually part of a trend. It began last October when German Chancellor Angela Merkel made much the same point:
This approach has failed, totally,” she said, adding that immigrants should integrate and adopt Germany’s culture and values. “We feel tied to Christian values. Those who don’t accept them don’t have a place here,” said the chancellor.
This was bolstered by British Prime Minister David Cameron who just a few days ago said:
Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.
Some on the right have suggested that Cameron’s statements were weak. I disagree. Can you imagine any major political figure in the United States saying this?
when a white person holds objectionable views, racist views for instance, we rightly condemn them. But when equally unacceptable views or practices come from someone who isn’t white, we’ve been too cautious frankly – frankly, even fearful – to stand up to them.
With the leaders of Europe publicly and forcefully abandoning multiculturalism, isn’t it time for America to make the same move?