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The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society
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The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society

What’s most surprising about this book is, first, its belated recognition of a trend that had been proceeding apace for decades when this book was written in 1990, and second, the author’s failure to see the implications of his conclusions for the immigration debate, which was as voluble in 1990 as now. Common to both is the author’s persistent ideological clinging to the quaint notion that the United States is something Special, a blessed land suspended above the hue and cry of foreign nations with their ethnic wars and endless conflicts, still Cotton Mather’s shining city on a hill, and not just another place where flawed human beings happen to live, with as much to learn from others as Americans may have to teach, and just as entitled to self-defense and self-preservation as any other people.

It is shocking, if pleasant, to hear an unrepentant Kennedy liberal who was the official historian of John F. Kennedy’s administration, finally come to grips with facts that more clear-sighted observers had noticed for years, and publicly embrace the formerly universally scorned “right-wing racist” opinion that unlimited multiculturalism with its illogical presumption that the more ethnic diversity in any society the more stable it will be, may not be wise or justified by the experience of millennia of history. Three and a half centuries after the first blacks were imported into the U.S., Los Angeles had a full-blown race riot—a city without the slightest hint of racism, or history of slavery, ground zero for social liberalism in the U.S. Forty years after the “strictly temporary” solution of affirmative action for blacks, the system of official preferences has become not only permanent for blacks, but has spread to virtually every other conceivable ethnic group, even billionaire Saudis, and has no sign of weakening or retreating. If only other liberals had similarly corrected their spectacles before the Disaster of 9/11 struck, condemning a generation of Americans to perpetual war, grinding taxes to pay for it, and stagflation, and inducing the powers-that-be to throw what little remained of the Constitution after Justices Brennan and Black trampled it in the dust during the Era of Liberalism, into the trash can.

Schlesinger, however, did not jettison his starry-eyed obsession with American uniqueness entirely, a flaw that admittedly afflicts the Right as well as the Left in this country, always ready to launch into yet another ill-thought overseas crusade. While recognizing the silliness of Ethnic Studies with its fanciful insistence that the Egyptian pharaohs were “black” in the sense that people of Zaire or Zimbabwe are “black,” he entirely fails to recognize that the political phenomenon of Gender Studies relies on precisely the same absurdities and power-plays and is equally responsible for the abysmal decline in the quality and international reputation of academic social sciences in America, but, what’s worse, he strangely refuses to face the implication of his own analysis: that if fragmented ethnicity per se is a potential time-bomb for the stability of a society if given insufficient time to absorb the newcomers, then the political beliefs and alien cultures of incoming masses of immigrants may prove utterly incompatible with the most cherished values of native Americans who may, after all, have more than a passing interest in preserving such values as the ballot-box, the peaceful transfer of political power, and separation of church and state.

The legal struggle over the implementation of Sharia law, with its amputations and death by stoning and rigorous segregation of the sexes in public areas, has joined battle in America’s courts as the number of traditionalist Muslims has reached critical mass sufficient to demand legal recognition of their values. Mexicans fly the Mexican flag on Cinco de Mayo parades, scorn the border, and refer to the American Southwest as Occupied Mexico. Indian-Americans (from India), even those born and bred in the U.S., publish calls for affirmative action on the basis of their ethnicity in college newspapers. Shiites build $50 million shrines and community centers and openly declare their readiness to strike the U.S. with thousands of suicide bombers from within its borders in the event of conflict with Iran. Indians (from domestic tribes) demand compensation and apologies after 400 years of co-existence with the U.S., instead of gratitude for learning the arts of civilization, or offering their own apologies for centuries of torture and massacres of innocents, inflicted on both settlers and other Indian tribes.

In the past twenty-five years, 100 million people immigrated to the United States. The next 15-20 years will see another 100 million arrive; and another decade or so will likely witness yet another 100 million. With over a billion people in each country, China and India could each send 200 million people to the U.S. overnight without even noticing the difference. Of this enormous influx, virtually all come from societies that differ profoundly from the U.S., and a great majority from countries that have no experience whatsoever with democracy or human rights as Americans know them. This immigration will not only crush the environment in this country and deplete what remains of its resources, but, given the gridlock in Washington, has the potential of paralyzing the body politic and preventing a majority from emerging on any conceivable topic, including perhaps the preference of ballots over bullets. On the day of 9/11, Washington temporarily suspended the Constitution. If the political conflicts implicit in unrestricted immigration and infinite ethnic diversity become endemic, you can perhaps kiss the Constitution, and the ballot-box, goodbye. Schlesinger petulantly addressed only the disintegration of America’s colleges and the rise of incivility among professors and students. Had he bothered to look beyond his books, he would perhaps have seen coming in the distance droves of domestically-produced car-bombs and suicide-bombers. — SiriusReviews.com.

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The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society, 2.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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