Assessing false promises of ‘multi-culti’ education
If multiculturalists had kept their promises, school and college curricula would have been enriched by the inclusion of the literature, ideas, values, and history of societies relatively ignored in Western education. As Camille Paglia puts it, “Multiculturalism is in theory a noble cause that aims to broaden perspective in the U.S. which, because of its physical position between two oceans, can tend toward the smugly isolationist.”
Instead, of course, the multiculturalists have used their agenda not only to broaden our knowledge but to denigrate the texts and traditions that form Western civilization. The inclusion of ethnic content was not enough; schools required deep structural change. …
Multiculturalism is much more exclusionary and prejudicial than any form of education the West has ever known. Both curricula and pedagogy are being tailored to serve the political purposes of a bureaucratic elite. This elite, meanwhile, distracts students from noticing the education they are missing with loud protestations of concern for their psychological well-being.
When multiculturalism merged with the therapeutic, the demand arose for a new form of segregation, self-segregation. For example, the designation of “safe spaces” on college campuses, black-only or women-only college events, and lectures about “white privilege” and “toxic masculinity” at freshman orientations. It’s one thing for a grown-up to hear this nonsense being thrown around, but an 18-year-old can be easily intimidated into believing it. …
Those of us beyond those student days encounter these ideas packaged throughout the media from news reporting and political speech to our central forms of entertainment — television, movies, music, magazines, and books. Militant feminist, gay, lesbian, and transgender characters abound, rarely depicted as anything less than serenely happy, and far superior to white males and married women with children.
These duplicitous practices carry messages about morality, politics, traditions, religion, and our nation. Some messages are embedded; others are blatant. Once these messages gain traction, they give birth to what Socrates and Plato called “sophistry,” the reliance on fallacious arguments. …Socrates exposed the fallacies and moral shallowness of the prominent teachers of the 5th century BC. …But the [sophists] risked being publicly humiliated by an encounter with the “gadfly” of Athens.
[This] eventually sparked an outrage that put Socrates on trial for his life and convicted him. … When sophistry is unmasked, it becomes personal. The reaction is not “I see your point” or “I stand corrected” but rather an attack against the person who did the unmasking.
Excerpt taken from How to Keep from Losing Your Mind: Educating Yourself Classically to Survive Cultural Indoctrination, by Deal W. Hudson (TAN Books, 2019), from Chapter 10, “Exposing Untruth: Multiculturalism and the Therapeutic,” pp. 158-161.
DEAL HUDSON is president of the Morley Institute for Church and Culture, and former publisher and editor of Crisis magazine. He taught philosophy for 15 years at three major universities; published print and digital magazines for over 20 years; created the strategy to lead Catholic outreach in four national elections (three winning); and launched the 2015 radio show Church and Culture on the Ave Maria Radio Network.