Friday, September 12, 2008

September 11th

Today people all across America had musical tributes to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the horrific Islamic terrorism inflicted upon us on 9 - 11 - 01. I appreciate the intention, but the New York City, Washington Square Park's choice of foreign music disturbed me.

For over two hours the same band played. I did not understand their language and so could not pinpoint the roots of the music. It could have been Israeli or Romanian. It sounded a bit like gypsy music and features what appeared to be a balalaika.

On 9 - 11 we should feel some sense of connection with our fellow Americans. Listening to music with words I could not begin to understand was alienating. I could feel no common cause with these people as their cultural emanations are literally foreign to me. Perhaps it being 9 - 11 made me overly sensitive, but this focus on foreign persons and cultures with whom we could not communicate brought me less comfort than they likely intended.

Music is not the universal language. Music reflects specific cultural roots. For all I know, the lyrics could have been celebrating acquiring a third wife or the engagement of a child-bride. War can be used for religious ceremonies and to send people off to war. I am not a gypsy from the old world. As a culturist I do not automatically celebrate other cultures or their emanations on our soil.

Multicultural celebrations of 9 - 11 indicate that we still do not understand cultural diversity. We still do not recognize that some cultures mean us harm. Multiculturalists want to reduce cultural differences to food, festivals, fashion and music. While urging us to "celebrating diversity," they fail to recognize that cultures actually do have profoundly different values and that some even teach hatred for the values of Western civilization.

The simple multicultural vision of the world reminds me of "Its a Small World" at Disneyland. This all-cultures-are-equal mode undermines our sense of progress and pride in our accomplishments. This same ignorance of diversity leads us to not take our borders seriously. It leads us to inadvertenly celebrate and validate communities in our midst with regressive and violent values. The multicultural 9 - 11 celebration showed how little we learned on that day.
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