Multiculturalism Has Always Made America Stronger-- A Guest Post By Liam O'Mara
On Wednesday, China announced they are slapping sanctions on 28 Trump officials including Mike Pompeo. "The sanctions prohibit those individuals and their immediate family members from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao. They are also restricted from doing business with China, as are any companies or institutions associated with them. 'Over the past few years, some anti-China politicians in the United States, out of their selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against China and showing no regard for the interests of the Chinese and American people, have planned, promoted and executed a series of crazy moves which have gravely interfered in China's internal affairs, undermined China's interests, offended the Chinese people, and seriously disrupted China-U.S. relations,' the ministry said." Among the list of sanctioned Trumpists with Pompeo: Bannon, Azar, Navarro, Bolton...
Riverside County historian and congressional candidate, Liam O'Mara, had just been writing about his own ideas of what's wrong with Pompeo and I asked him to share them with DWT readers. If you like what he has to say, please consider clicking on the 2022 Blue America congressional thermometer below and contributing what you can towards getting O'Mara's campaign off to a strong start.
The Rich American Tradition Of Multiculturalism vs Mike Pompeo's White Nationalism
-by Liam O'Mara
Mike Pompeo used his last public address as Secretary of State to attack multiculturalism as unAmerican. In doing so, he revealed the white nationalism which drew him to Trumpism, and rejected the founding ideals of this great country.
Many early colonies were explicitly multicultural. New Netherland embraced intermarriage with Native Americans, and invited not only fellow Calvinists, but Catholics and Jews. Pennsylvania was ethnically and religiously diverse, and more than a third of its people spoke German.
Pompeo seems to forget that the Founders were quite deliberate in refusing to declare a national language (the U.S. still does not have one). They also welcomed Jews and Muslims to these shores, and refused a national religion (the first three presidents weren't Christian).
Some of our earliest treaties were with Arab and Turkish powers. We were founded with large Amerindian and African-born populations. We absorbed territories with long-established Hispanic and French populations. We have always been multicultural.
Since the 1960s, as US politics began to divide along cultural and racial lines rather than economic, the Republican party came increasingly to stand for white male resentment of a changing country. As such, dog-whistle bigotry and cultural politics-- like these attacks on multiculturalism-- became the norm.
But nothing about this was inevitable. Cross-cultural solidarity has always existed in our history, from slaves and indentured servants working together in Bacon's Rebellion, to the Populist organizers of the late nineteenth century, to César Chávez and the labour movement in California's Central Valley, to the amazing diversity on display in the Black Lives Matter protests of the past year.
It is that last which shows how toxic are some of our remaining divisions, and how far we still have to go. Rather than working to integrate the country and celebrating our diverse heritage, half of our political class has worked consciously and consistently to deepen those divisions, and to cultivate resentments which they can exploit for votes.
Our immigration system was, in fact, deliberately broken to create a wedge issue and manipulate voters. Instead of worker solidarity in the name of better wages and working conditions, we see now a large share of the working class blaming other workers for their ills... and not the bosses who are playing them off of one another.
Our incumbent here in southwest Riverside County, Ken Calvert, has spent much of his career demonizing immigrants, blaming minorities for crime, and pushing homophobia and transphobia. His vicious rhetoric towards Hispanics, Muslims, and the queer community, and frequent attacks on Black Lives Matter, reveal just how far we are from realizing MLK's dream here in inland California.
Mike Pompeo, like Calvert and many others in the Republican party, wants to blame social conflict on human differences-- as though the mere existence of other cultures was the source of our division. It is not. The problem, both now and throughout our history, is insecurity and irrational hate, often stoked by élites for political and economic gain.
It's time to reject these pointless and self-defeating divisions, and to celebrate an America which lives up to the potential with which our Founders imbued it. I look forward to an American which is willing to admit its inherent multiculturalism, and to the widespread recognition that fear and hate are as unAmerican as it gets.