Multiculturalism is the "belief that a society should respect and promote all the various cultures or ethnic groups of which it is composed." The belief has been promoted and opposed by different societies over time, and remains a vexed political issue. The debate over multiculturalism often emerges in discussions over immmigration, political correctness, and national language.
Multiculturalism has often been associated with a diversity of food and cuisine.
As a concept championed by liberals, multiculturalism has been noted for having a subversive element. It has resulted in pluralism, which has given way to a particularism which then exalts foreign culture, language and national identity over historically American values and identity. Liberals have also used multiculturalism to excuse illegal immigration, avoid confronting radical Islam and terrorism, impose atheistic views on the American public, and censor Christian worship.
Multiculturalism has given cover to extremist groups like The Black Panthers and La Raza. Some of these groups have even advocated the return of land to Mexico acquired during the Spanish American war.
Conservatives in the US hold that multiculturalism is an attack on America's traditional Judeo-Christian culture. A similar feeling toward multiculturalism exists in France, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy saying "my answer is clearly yes, it is a failure". Educators have also noted weaknesses in teaching multiculturalism, with regard to pedagogy and politicized agendas.
- The American Heritage Dictionary, 2nd edition, cited in Jordan, T.J. "Counselling Psychology" Meets Multiculturalism in the Twenty-First Century Unpublished. p. 26, (2010)
- Lim. S.G. (ed) Transnational Asia Pacific: gender, culture, and the public sphere: gender, culture and the public sphere Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois; Urbana. p. 145, (1999)
- Hayes, T. Illegal Immigration Threatens U.S. Sovereignty, Economy and Culture News World Communications, Inc., (2000)
- AFP. Multiculturalism has failed, says French president; Yahoo! News; Feb 10, 2011
- Robinson, D.A. Multiculturalism and Curricula: Difference can be cool. But not when it's the rule The Robinson Self-Teaching Curriculum. Fenton, MO, (1994)