More blessings of diversity in the Anglophone world:
- In England, a prison officer with an unblemished 21-year record was sacked for insensitivity. He threw some keys hard into a metal chute and someone asked him about it. He said there was a picture of bin Laden at the bottom. Unfortunately, three Asians (the officer may or may not have been aware of them) were within possible hearing range and might conceivably have been offended. The moral seems to be that at least in the English prison system elementary sensitivity now requires treating all Asians as OBL fans worthy of respect as such.
- Concern about sensitivity may be well-placed. In Vancouver a 10th-grade Filipino boy was beaten to death by some East Indian schoolmates after an apparently insensitive exchange of taunts. The death climaxed a string of stabbings, machete choppings, throat slashings and the like among local multicultural schoolchildren. The only response to the outrages the story finds worth reporting was criticism of the Vancouver Police Department. I suppose the theory is that children can’t be expected to act in a fully responsible way, so if something goes wrong it’s the cops’ fault.
- Luckily, a sense of the need for sensitivity is spreading, although not without delays and temporary reversals. In New Zealand, for example, letter carriers were forced to overcome multicultural reluctance to deliver circulars expressing anti-immigration sentiments. (The most inflammatory: “We are being squeezed out of our own country.”) Where is anti-hate speech legislation when you need it?
There’s nothing mysterious about the foregoing. What multiculturalism means is abolition of the authority of any particular culture—of any informal and unforced system of habits, understandings and standards that enables people to live together cooperatively and productively. One would expect the result to be dissension, violence, and loss of public freedom. And that is exactly what these stories suggest.