Separatism vs. Integration: Can Separate Ever Be Equal?
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America, the world’s only truly successful large-scale multiethnic national experiment, is threatened by separatism, masquerading as multiculturalism and camouflaged by the language of social justice. Today, multiculturalism accentuates ethnic and racial differences while undervaluing commonality and dismissing the complexity, vibrancy, and unique adaptability of America.
The major historical exception to the characteristic assimilation process that most groups underwent in the past is black America’s enslaved involuntary immigrants. Once freed, blacks were still constrained by social exclusion and legal segregation. Now, however, separatism is predominantly self-initiated, taking institutional form in separate departments and dorms at universities, for example, or in racial affinity groups within corporations.
This kind of resistance to assimilation impedes full participation in the U.S. economy and society. No effective separate, self-sufficient ethnic or racial entity has ever...