In an address to the Christian Democratic Union on Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to limit the flow of refugees entering the country, addressing critics in her own party who have questioned her decision to open Germany’s borders.

As a top economic and political power, Germany has a “humanitarian imperative” to accept people fleeing turmoil in Syria, Merkel said. Yet after accepting roughly 1 million refugees so far this year, she added that the country must now “noticeably reduce” the number of new arrivals.

In comments The Guardian translated into English, Merkel said refugees will have to make an effort to assimilate into German society. She also dismissed the idea of multiculturalism, which in parts of Europe is associated with a policy of encouraging distinct cultural groups to live in separate communities.

“Those who seek refuge with us also have to respect our laws and traditions, and learn to speak German,” she said. “Multiculturalism leads to parallel societies, and therefore multiculturalism remains a grand delusion.”

Merkel’s sentiments are neither new nor unexpected. In 2011, the Netherlands abandoned a policy of multiculturalism that allowed separate ethnic communities to live side by side without integration efforts.

At a speech she gave to her party in 2010, Merkel said immigrants were welcome in Germany — but they should be prepared to adapt.

“The approach [to build] a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other … has failed, utterly failed,” she said at the time.

If I am not mistaken, multiculturalism highlights the best of everyone’s culture. It doesn’t divide and separate. In our country, immigrants tend to assimilate at least within a generation. No one forces them to assimilate, they just do. It’s more comfortable and more economically empowering.

We do not encourage different cultures to live separately. Nothing about multiculturalism celebrates one over the other. In schools, it is a time of unity, when everyone brings in a food dish, or wears traditional national dress. People from one region might do a regional dance, or celebrate the heroes. It’s not like Merkel describes in Germany.

Maybe the United States should be the model for multiculturalism. We certainly have been the great melting pot. Europe, on the other hand, is known for being tribal and homogeneous. Most of us speak English after a generation, albeit different dialects depending on the region.

Perhaps it was a mistake to take in a million people.  That just isn’t realistic in a country the size of Germany.  These European countries that have been so over-run with refugees should be forming a coalition  with us  to stomp out ISIS, end that civil war and return the people to their homeland.  We all have a vested interest.

7 Thoughts to “Multiculturalism: A rose by any other name?”

  1. Starryflights

    Limiting the flow to 1 million? That seems reasonable.

  2. Cargosquid

    “Maybe the United States should be the model for multiculturalism.”

    Muliculturalism is the opposite of the melting pot. It leads to balkanization of the culture and with the current “social justice” idiocy, leads to stupidity like people worrying about “cultural appropriation”…as if culture is static.

    1. Oh bullshit. So many dog whistles in that one that I hear the hounds baying. Celebrating everyone’s unique attributes is very American and had gone on for centuries. Bring your Greek salad, your friend rice, your saffron rice, and pizza.

      Its a great way to get communities and groups together and to appreciate each other.

  3. Cargosquid

    I’m sick and tired of your accusations of racism in your “dog whistle” crap.

    Multiculturalism is an actual philosophy. Just as the melting pot is. But in the melting pot, everyone becomes part of a bigger whole and is part of the whole.

    Multiculturalism means that there is not need to join, no need to “melt together.” No assimilation.

    If you think I’m racist, just say it and I won’t bother you anymore with fuc…freaking “dog whistles.”

  4. I haven’t banned F-bombs.

    I went back and looked at the posts. I don’t see a single thing about racism. I rarely make racist accusations. I don’t know what is in people’s hearts. I also come from a place where I have to tread very lightly. Having said that….

    I am not talking about philosophy. I am talking about every day multiculturalism. You know…celebrate diversity days where someone brings in fried rice, someone else brings in Korean hitachi, someone else brings in gulash or however you spell it. Americans have always done things like that and have done them well.

    We are made up of many different ethnicities. Our immigrant stories are far different than immigrant stories in Europe. Why? Because we are all immigrants who have been through the Americanization process.

    Virginia is probably the snootiest place in the world as far as diversity. Who do you know who is prouder of their purity than the FFV’s in this state? In another generation, that sense of false pride will have gone the way of the dodo bird also.

    Dog whistle is dog whistle. Its conservative-speak. Sorry…I simply don’t know any one who uses “balkanization” other than uber conservatives.

    No one said a word about racism. In fact, the entire post is more about enthicity. I called you paranoid, not racist.

    I believe people in this country don’t melt down into someone or something unrecognizable by its parts. Americans contain their unique blend of nationalities while being American. It does take a generation or two. Then the hyphens are dropped.

    I do think we are a good role model and I don’t think your idea of multiculturalism is necessary practically accurate–not in America. There are way too many of us from different nations and backgrounds not to find common ground and not to share our pride in who we uniquely are.

  5. Cargosquid

    Oh BS. “Dog Whistle” is the code that you liberals love to use whenever you want to imply racism. The only time it has been used on this site is when racism is being discussed and it is always directed at conservatives who disagree with the multicultural idea and try to be “race blind.”

    You don’t think my description of multiculturalism is accurate? Have you seen the people coming here that not only refuse to assimilate, but also are enabled by the “multi-cultis” to refuse any accommodation to American society?

    And when conservatives criticize this, we are accused of speaking in code that our fellow conservatives will recognize as denigrating races. The dog whistle, so to speak.

    1. I think you are so wrong. It doesn’t necessarily relate to race. It could relate to almost anything that a group of people wants to code.

      In fact, I first saw “balkanization” used in relation to immigration on another blog that shall not be named.

      Perhaps your description of multiculturalism is accurate in a theoretical sense but in reality, no. My sense of definition comes from school systems and it certainly isn’t limited to race. It deals more with ethnicity than race and also can include sexual orientation, religion and probably 10 other things that I am not thinking of off the top of my head.

      Let’s take some group that isn’t a hot item at the moment: Hasidic Jews. They are very much “other” and very much NOT assimilated. Is that a bad thing? Depends on who is asking. Do they stand out? Oh hell yes. Are they exclusive? From what I know, yes. They also are standoffish with other Jews who aren’t Hasidic. Would they fit under the topic of “multicultural?” Absolutely. That group will stay as homogeneous as the Amish. How about fundamentalist LDS? Do they stand out? Oh hell yes. Most of them also hate the government. Multi-cultural? yup. Haitians? Yup. They might look like they fit in but their culture is very separate as is their language. Then there is the little kid from Scotland whose mother makes a bunch of Scottish food for the kid’s class for a multicultural event.

      I am not sure everything I have mentioned is bad at all. To some folks, the Scottish food would be fine. However, if Joanie brought in two mommies for multicultural day some folks would be howling up a storm. Dog whistles could be heard far and wide around the community.

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