Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Racism vs. Culturalism

The riots in Sydney have been generally tagged as "race" riots.

I wonder, though, if that's really an accurate tag for what's going on.

Certainly there still remains, even in this fifth year of the new millennium, a certain amount of racism among all races and groups.

Certainly there's no excuse for mob violence, which mostly serves to discredit the sentiments of the rioters, whether they're valid or not. The rioters would do a lot more for their cause if they'd get involved in politics and get some level-headed people elected.

But I'm not sure that the rioting is coming out of a racial issue as much as a cultural issue. Muslims in general, and Arab Muslims in particular have earned a reputation for "not playing well with others." Culturally, many seem to be almost devoid of the basic personal humility necessary for one to respect the opinions and ideas of others within a pluralistic society. Many are seen to be imbued with arrogance a sense of entitlement. At least a significant portion of the Arab youths in question appear to hold the opinion that a woman of any culture is "theirs for the taking" if she fails to conform to Middle Eastern ideas of dress and comportment. These are all cultural issues which are largely coincident with, but not caused by, the racial makeup of the Arabs.

Assuming that the white Aussies are upset with the Lebs over their distinct culture rather than their distinct appearance, is that any better, from a moral standpoint? I submit to you that it is vastly better, on a number of fronts. First, even if a person were to believe that there was such a thing as an "inferior race" or a "bad race", we have an understandable ethical problem with condemning someone for a fact over which they have absolutely no control. In contrast, a person can change his culture. And in contrast to the old-fashioned ideas of superior and inferior races, I submit to you that there are demonstrably "superior cultures" and "inferior cultures". Whether or not a culture respects the "golden rule" (or some variant thereof) says a lot about the quality of that culture, IMHO. Cultures which refuse to acknowledge the role of free will, personal choice and mutual respect between individuals are cultures of the past, which we should seek at every turn to eliminate.

Don't get me wrong. I don't advocate that we seek to eliminate the inferior cultures by eliminating the adherents of those cultures. To do so would violate our own principles and make us no better than them. I do advocate that we take pride in our own culture and that we vigorously challenge the old cultures. I do advocate that we establish the rule that the basic precepts of our culture will be respected within our own territory. I do advocate that we shine the bright light of truth on the cultural neanderthals. At the same time, any commie lib academic who asserts the equivalency of a foreign culture yet has not lived under that culture should rightly be ridiculed. If you can't bring yourself to respect the superiority of the basic precepts of western liberal democracy, then please take yourself somewhere else.

Western society has created the freest, wealthiest and most open societies mankind has ever known. That's not something to apologize for. It's something to vigorously and unabashedly defend.


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