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Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Multiculturalism - A View from the Inside

I've been meaning to write a piece on Multiculturalism for a long time. What my readers might not be aware of is that I was very active in the whole Multicultural scene while an undergraduate at Michigan State University. I belonged to Multicultural Business Students (even held a leadership position), was an active member of Women in Business (part of Multicultural Business Programs), tutored for Multicultural Business Programs, served as a camp counselor for BROAD Business Student Camp (it is also a part of Multicultural Business Programs, and as I attended the camp after my junior year of high school, it was a large part of the reason why I attended Michigan State University instead of the University of Michigan). You get the picture; I was far more than just a passive participant in the Multicultural Business Programs community.

In fact, Multicultural Business Programs was only the beginning for me. I went on to participate in five separate study abroad programs, I became a Peer Advisor for the Office of Study Abroad at MSU, and I earned certification in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. I earned that certification despite the fact that many of the courses and discussions I had to attend as part of the program literally refused to accept the intellectual validity of my conservative point-of-view. Despite being so active in a traditionally Liberal bastion (in addition to my business degree in Supply Chain Management, I earned a degree in Spanish too), the conservative beliefs of my youth never wavered. As a result of much exposure to the Angry Left (both professors and students), I was forced to hold my tongue many times. It truly frightened me to see what passed for intellectualism at a not-so-insignificant American university, in some cases.

In order for you to understand my reasoning for becoming so active in multiculturalism, study abroad, and everything that went along with it (I didn't mention Alternative Spring Break, but that is an entire post in and of itself), you have to understand my background. For 18 years, I had lived in the same community, went to school in a successful rural school district with kids that mostly shared a similar background, and witnessed blatant racism in a few of my classmates. I was incredibly eager for something different (as my Mom would say, "a bigger pond"), and it was for that reason that I wanted to attend one of Michigan's large public universities. It was the BROAD Business Student Camp that helped determine where I would end up.

It probably came as a surprise to many that I ended up at Michigan State. It had been my dream to attend the University of Michigan, as my Grandpa had, from the time I was ten years old. Fate intervened. I was accepted to both MSU and U of M, no problem. However, I had vastly different experiences when visiting campus with my Mom. At Michigan State, I was welcomed with open arms and felt as though I belonged. When my Mom and I visited the University of Michigan, I was treated with contempt, disdain. Oh yeah, and my Mom got a parking ticket because of a speaker that went on too long. In other words, it appeared to me to be an elitist institution from the word go. I doubt that I would have thrived in that environment. Thrive is exactly what I did at Michigan State.

That said, as I went further along in my education, the Liberal bias became more shrill, more apparent. While the biases within the Multicultural Business Programs community weren't obvious at all, they were there. However, it all changed as I took upper level Latin American History courses and participated in Charlas (discussion-type sessions) required for my certification in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. There was never any true dialog. It was all affirmation of Liberal ideals, stopping short of endorsing Castro, Chavez, and the their ilk.

What saddened me most was the fact that my point-of-view never was seriously discussed. Topics of true importance, especially regarding Latin American politics, were never addressed as they might have been if both sides of the issues had equal billing. Instead, we focused on the art of indigenous people suppressed under Western ideals (i.e. Spain). Let's be clear here: I am certainly not denying that the Spanish committed atrocities in settling the New World. I'm just tired of it being used as justification for Latin American dictators. Latin Americans of all backgrounds deserve better.

I could go on forever discussing the perversion of multiculturalism in the American university system, but there is too much to say. What really angers me the most is that understanding of other cultures is badly needed. However, that understanding shouldn't be used to aid and abet the enemy. We need to call Islamofascism by its real name, Islamsofascism. By the way, the piece below really makes some good points; however, it goes a little too far towards appeasement for my own taste.

Roger's Rules: Thoughts on Ian Buruma and multiculturalism


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At 11:22 PM, Blogger Yaacov Ben Moshe said...

Thanks for the visit and nice comment on my blog. This is an interesting personal story of the kind I named my blog after- Would you consider a more focused retelling for Breath of the Beast?
You can find a listing of all the BotB stories on the left column at http://breathofthebeast.blogspot.com/
I sent you a face book friend request too- let me know.

At 11:35 PM, Blogger russelllindsey said...

Thanks so much for the comment! I hope that you received all of my messages OK.



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