In October 2010, German Chancellor Angela Merkel lit a firestorm when she claimed lax immigration policies, group differentiated rights and identity politics were causing her country to lose its national identity.

“This [multicultural] approach has failed, utterly failed,” she boldly declared. Merkel wasn’t alone — British Prime Minister David Cameron echoed the same sentiment in February: “Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.”

The criticism didn’t end there. Joining the chorus was French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was perhaps the bluntest in his assessment: “If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community,” he stated. “And if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France.”

In his statement, he summed up the real problem with state multicultural policies: “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.”

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Dutch politician Maxime Verhagen and Spain’s former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar have also recently been outspoken critics of multiculturalism.

These concerns stem primarily from the growing fear of the Islamization of Europe.

More radicals are beginning to believe in Jihad and are attempting to destroy the West from within by imposing their belief system on others.
Secondly, concerns over the balkanization of these once proud and strong countries address fears that nations will disintegrate into fractured ethnocentric communities.

Thirdly, the only real way to effectively boost marginalized groups is to restrict freedoms of other groups of people, causing a paradox where everyone is repressed.

Europe and other parts of the world clearly have a problem; otherwise high profile world leaders would not be speaking out as harshly.

This begs the question — is multiculturalism a problem in the U.S.? Seventy-six percent of Americans are proud to be Americans while 6 percent don’t call themselves patriotic.

By comparison, 51 percent of Brits, 51 percent of Spanish, 36 percent of French and 21 percent of Germans are proud to be from their respective countries.
That might lead you to believe our country is immune to such problems.

However, there is cause for concern. Many believe the great melting pot should be replaced with political correctness that celebrates what divides us more than what unifies us.

Many believe tolerance must be achieved even to the detriment of our country.

There is a difference between understanding and accepting someone else’s heritage or lifestyle and letting a belief system dominate and fracture our national identity.

Immigrants who come into this country often feel culture shock. They’re afraid they might lose their identity and it can be a difficult process.
This can result in immigrants staying in their comfort zone, refusing to assimilate.

In Europe and other parts of the world, this has led to radicalism and a bitter divide amongst the masses.

We do not, nor should we, tolerate government-imposed segregation.

We also should not accept self-segregation. Immigrants have a duty to assimilate when they decide to become Americans.

In turn, Americans also have the duty to help that process. We should celebrate our diversity and through our differences use our unique skills to perpetuate the idealism of the American dream.

Free speech, freedom of religion, equal rights, blind justice, American exceptionalism and other democratic values are the bedrock of our national identity. If you refuse to buy into those values then this is not the country for you.

There are those who believe multiculturalism is the answer and that a country divided can survive without community or national identity.

They believe there is no need for a glue like the belief in democratic ideals to keep an otherwise fractured society together. They turn their back on ethics and morals, desecrate tradition and preach tolerance for the intolerant.

We must be a unified people in order to survive because the U.S. is the last, best hope for universal freedom.

Europe is learning this lesson the hard way. Let’s learn from their mistakes before making them ourselves.


1 Comment

  1. Immigrants who come to the United States do assimilate into American culture, it is the culture of entrepreneurship and economic self-empowerment. When discussion arises about assimilation into a host country, it is easy to cite superficial rejection of cultural norms (such as clothing) as a sign of self-selection. When in reality, the measure of assimilation success should be their economic contribution to their host country.

    A perfect example can be found in New York city, where 49 percent of self-employed workers are immigrants according to a recent BBC article

    If one is going to discuss the accommodation of the cultural practices of immigrants as a key factor in self-isolation in European countries, then you overlook the fact that complicated immigration policies and access to employment play in the dilemma. Germany until the year 2000, did not recognize German born children of immigrants as German citizens. Add to the fact that stricter employment laws in those countries perpetuate the abject prospects of immigrants and their children, it is no wonder that self-selecting communities exists within the Euro-zone.

    The only lesson that we need to learn is to be less like Europe and observe those values that define America as a country founded by immigrants.