Our Israeli correspondent MC contrasts “moderate” multiculturalism, the kind he experiences in Sderot, with the “extreme” version, which forces white Westerners to hold their own culture in contempt.
Cultural Contempt: All Things in Moderation
I quite like the odd tipple, but I am well aware that the current alcohol predilection of the nation is not healthy. I am also a religious fanatic, but my religion is verbal, not physical. Whilst I might regale you with words, I am not going to behead you if you refuse to listen.
I respect moderation, and I respect self-control.
In fact, my culture is built around moderation and self-control. I was taught at school and at home that these were desirable values, and that in all things I should do as I would be done by.
As I got older, I found that my values and culture of moderation was under attack.
Last week my wife and I had a visit from three German ladies who are currently visiting Sderot, we were able to converse in a wonderful mixture of schoolboy German, schoolgirl English and basic Hebrew, not one of us shared a fluency in any language other than our mother tongues, but we shared a common set of values. Judeo-Christian values of common decency.
We dined together on the simple foods that we could afford, we drank bottled water (the tap water is fluoridated) and we conversed. We discussed Torah, and we discussed Yehushua Ha’Meshiac.
Seventy years ago this dinner party would not have been possible. The cultural differences would have made for extreme problems. The German ladies, for the previous ten years, would have been forced to conform to a world view of Übermenschen and Untermenschen. They would have fallen into the former culture and my wife and I into the latter class. And my wife and I would have been in a state of fear.
Cultural contempt makes social barriers so high that normal interaction is impossible. For example: a cultural and educational tour company advertises China as a destination in both The Guardian (left) and The Telegraph (centre-right). The tours are the same but the dates are different, because the disparate groups of people are not compatible. One holds the culture of the other in absolute contempt.
I am a racist in that I like my own culture, and I am much more relaxed in a social situation with people of my own culture. This is racism in moderation, and gives offense to nobody who is not looking to be offended.
There is an Arab lady who collects food from our charity here in Sderot. She is certainly the wrong side of fifty. She greets the volunteers in Hebrew and smiles, positively beams friendliness to us all. She is a pleasure to serve, hijab and all. Most of our problems are Russian, those who bring their communist atheist upbringing through the door with them. They find it very difficult to understand the concept of a charity, and that our staff is of unpaid volunteers, many of whom are poorer than the clients they serve. One gentleman client even demanded that we employ a Russian speaker.
Zhoya, a volunteer from Kazakhstan, speaks Russian and is a great help when she is there, but our two Russian volunteers are now elderly and infirm and we very rarely see them. Zhoya is no spring chicken, but she is lovely to work with, and is absolutely reliable. David (from WV) speaks some Russian, as well as Hebrew, English, Dutch and French, and the Moroccan and Tunisian Israelis also speak French. The charity is American, and lunchtime is a cross section of U.S. society: West Virginia, Texas, two from California, Oregon, North Carolina and Kansas, plus my wife and I from (Old) Hampshire. Culturally we are all compatible even if we do have the odd problem with corned beef, bums and fags. But one also hears Russian, French and Hebrew at lunchtime, and it is not the language or the skin colour that is problematic.
The recent spate of black-on-white violence (and the endemic black-on-black violence) is probably the saddest reflection on US society today, and the mirror is positioned at the top pinnacle of political society where there is a ‘White African’ President who is causing cultural mayhem. Obama holds white middle-class culture (from which he himself descends) in contempt, and that contempt trickles down into the whole ‘Democrat’ culture.
So it is open season on white America, on white Sweden, on white France.
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