Diversity Is Not Our Strength

(AP Photo/Ariel Tu)

How often have you heard the nostrum “Diversity is our strength?”

It’s a comforting idea. After all, America has become more “diverse” over the years, and most people would like to believe that this makes America a stronger country.

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Looking back over our history, there is reason to believe that in the long run, our country has benefited from immigrants settling here. Chance are that if you are reading this you are descended from immigrants, right? And it would be churlish to argue that immigration should have stopped in 1787, 1890, or 1917.

After all, without immigration, we would be mostly limited to eating German and British food, and nobody could stomach that for long. Throw in a later date and we would also have to endure Irish food as one of the 3 major culinary types, which is hardly an improvement. It wasn’t until the Italians started coming here that our food choices started getting really good.

Immigrants also have a higher propensity to be entrepreneurs, as they have a strong incentive to work hard to climb the social and economic ladder. People who grow up here are more likely to follow established paths up the social ladder.

On the other hand, there is more than one kind of diversity, and not every type enhances our society. Some weaken the social fabric, eroding social trust. And there is plenty of evidence that a shift in immigration policies over the past few decades has weakened us.

Many immigrants who have moved here in recent years–including many illegal immigrants–have come to the U.S. for the same reasons as in generations past. They and their families are pursuing the American dream, are upwardly mobile, and their children will become indistinguishable (save skin color in many cases) from the children of families who have been here for generations.

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But it is clear that many people immigrating to the US and Europe these days have no intention of integrating into the larger culture, and even disdain it. This tendency is reinforced by the prevailing ideology in our public schools and academia that disdains integration. Ironically these are the people who keep repeating that “Diversity is our strength.” By diversity they mean “non-Western” and even anti-Western.

The metaphor of the melting pot–a cauldron in which the differences are blended–has been replaced by others such as the “salad bowl” in which the ingredients may or may not mesh, but are very different. “Multiculturalism” is the benign version of this, with the idea being that cultures exist side-by-side instead of melding. Over the years the ideal has become replacement, which is necessary due to the inherently colonial/White supremacist nature of American society.

Of course, the melting pot was always something of a myth, but it also was a unifying ideal. People may have retained some of the more stubbornly irreducible parts of their home culture, but they and their neighbors strove to mix well enough and maintain an overarching common culture. As an ideal it created a social glue.

Consider a concrete example: prior to World War I Germans were a very distinct subculture in the United States. Schools, newspapers, and churches were clearly German. With the entry of the US into the war American Germans very self-consciously chose sides–with the United States. So much so that Minnesota–ethnically a very German state–is now seen as Scandanavian more than German, despite Germans being the larger ethnic group.

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Teddy Roosevelt famously preached against “hyphenated Americans,” and his vision clearly won out.

One hundred years later we see the opposite trend, most notably with conflicts in the Middle East. Anti-American ideology openly encourages immigrants to the country to resent the dominant culture, no matter how welcoming it has been to the immigrants. As Americans welcome immigrants, the favor is not returned. Instead, Left-wing ideologues stoke resentment and even join with ethnic identity groups as fellow travelers in a shared project to undermine Western culture in our country.

The project, whether called DEI, Critical Race Theory, decolonization, or cultural Marxism dominates the cultural commanding heights in our educational institutions and has made serious headway elsewhere. I have no idea whether immigrants would be more inclined to integrate without DEI ideology, but clearly with it they feel little pressure to do so.

This version of “diversity” exists to weaken our culture, not strengthen it. Its goal is not to renew the vitality of our society, as immigration has usually done for the United States, but to undermine it. DEI ideologists are quite clear about their hostility to the dominant culture.

The US has some antibodies to this ideological virus, but Europe has none at all. I fear that DEI ideology is strong enough to overcome America’s cultural immune system, but at least we have a chance. Immigrants still have enormous upward mobility in the US, and there is nothing quite like the ability to socially and economically advance to blunt resentment.

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Here our problem is the sheer number of immigrants–the proportion of immigrants to native-born is the highest since 1890, when the West was still being settled and people thought the streets were paved with gold. It’s pretty clear that immigrants who come here in order to strike it rich are eager to integrate, but just as clear that people arriving as “refugees” are not.

And, of course, almost all immigrants prior to the 1960s came from Europe, although there were the less “meltable” populations of Asians and of course the Black population who were imported to the country unwillingly. Asians have largely melted into the population, and the US still has not solved the problem of American-born Black integration, although Black immigrants actually do integrate reasonably well into the larger culture. The legacy of slavery remains a barrier to Blacks melting into the larger culture.

If the US is having trouble integrating third-world refugees, consider the problems Europe faces.

In Europe, which has no history of mass immigration, there are few mechanisms to rapidly integrate the millions of third-world refugees. The UK has had some success integrating immigrants from members of the Commonwealth (see Rishi Sunak), but as has been made clear the integration of immigrants from the Middle East hasn’t been successful. Other countries are facing even larger problems.

I don’t have a clue how Europe solves the problem they face with the current “diverse” immigrant population. The countries most affected are not the ones you usually think of:  the Scandanavians have it worst, although Germany, Italy, France, and Spain face significant if smaller problems. France has a longer history of dealing with immigration, although its success in dealing with it is…spotty.

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Over 25% of Swedes are now either immigrants or 100% descended from immigrants, mostly from the third world. They are far more likely to be on welfare than native Swedes and don’t generally think of themselves as Swedish. The result? A huge increase in crime, bombings, and a sense of entitlement. The immigrants are, ironically, colonizers. There are now parts of Sweden where Whites dare not go.

Europeans don’t like this and want it to stop. Americans want it to stop as well.

Unfortunately, most of our elites disagree. They still believe that “diversity is our strength,” and have increasingly turned on their own population as bigots. Look at the open US border, and the hatred directed at AfD in Germany and other anti-immigrant parties. Much of the propaganda aimed at Eastern European countries as “fascists” is tied to their unwillingness to open their own borders.

I fear that Europe, the home of Western culture, is lost. The US may yet recover, although that could only happen with a thorough reform of our cultural and political institutions. Both Europe and the US have been dominated by a transnational elite that is committing cultural suicide, fundamentally misunderstanding what makes our culture tick. They seem to believe that cultural cohesion is a bad thing, rather than the foundation upon which the rule of law, societal health, and ultimately social harmony rest.

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The anti-Israel protests and near-riots in Europe are shocking to a lot of people, but they shouldn’t be. While Europeans tend to be less friendly to Israel than Americans, Westerners as a whole are nearly unified in their rejection of terrorism. Except the young, who have been propagandized into accepting anti-Western ideas by our educational elites/intersectional Left.

Will this shock to the system make people rethink immigration policies? There is some evidence that even the elites are waking up, but it is unclear whether they can follow through on promises to change the situation.

Here in the US the current administration is deeply committed to open borders and anti-Western ideologies, and the administrative state is almost as Leftist as academia. At the State Department bureaucrats are protesting against US support for Israel

Most people in the general population have already concluded that their national policies let in too many too fast. The real question is whether the political elite will listen. And it’s not even clear that any change of policy today will make it easier to deal with the clear and present danger that already exists.

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Our colleges and universities are, it is by now very clear, enemies in our midst. They have created an anti-Western hysteria that, when married to unlimited immigration, could destroy our society. Our government institutions are not far behind.

Can the West recover? Not with our current leaders.

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David Strom 12:40 PM | July 24, 2024
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